A pumpkin layer cake studded with chopped walnuts and golden raisins, and then topped with a not-too-sweet cream cheese frosting scented with orange zest.
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup packed (light) brown sugar
- 1 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 4 large eggs
- One 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon orange or vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground allspice
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, plus more for decorating
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- Zest of 1 orange
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar (or more to taste)
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line two 8-inch cake pans with parchment and coat with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- Add both sugars and the oil to a large bowl and stir to combine.
- Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, until evenly incorporated. Whisk in the pumpkin puree and orange extract.
- Sift together the flour, cinnamon, allspice, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. Add these to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in the walnuts and raisins.
- Divide the batter evenly among the two cake pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let the cakes cool in the pan slightly before emptying on a baking rack to cool completely before frosting.
- Add the cream cheese, butter, orange zest, and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a large bowl with an electric hand mixer. Beat until softened and the cream cheese and butter are combined.
- Add in the confectioners’ sugar on low speed so it doesn’t fly all over the place. Increase the speed and beat until smooth.
- Trim the tops of the cakes with a serrated knife to create an even surface for the cakes to rest on. Proceed with frosting the cakes and decorating with the additional walnuts, if using.