Due to a late Halloween (thanks to Hurricane Sandy) and an earlier than usual Thanksgiving, it is time to do some serious Thanksgiving planning around here!
This is a quick and easy dessert perfect for any fall holiday or for surprising the kids with a mid-week dessert just for the fun of it. It is amazing the bewildered (but joyful) looks on their faces when you produce dessert without any other reason than that you love them.
Pumpkin Sheet Cake (or Pumpkin Bars) with Cream Cheese Icing
1 2/3 cup sugar
1 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 16oz can of pumpkin (about 2 cups)
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Using a mixer, beat eggs, sugar, oil, vanilla and pumpkin until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Fold into pumpkin mixture.
Spray a 15x10x1” jelly roll pan to make Pumpkin Bars or a 9×13” pan to make a Pumpkin Sheet Cake with cooking spray (preferably the kind with flour made for baking). Spread batter into prepared pan.
Baking Times: For 15×10” pan: Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until set.
For 9×13” pan: Bake for 35-45 minutes.
Cool in pan; frost in pan.
CREAM CHEESE ICING:
1 – 8oz package of cream cheese
½ cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
Pumpkin pie spice and/or cinnamon (optional)
Toasted finely chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
Using a mixer, beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Beat in powdered sugar. Optional: beat in about ¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon, if desired.
Frost cooled cake. Sprinkle with nuts and/or pumpkin pie spice for garnish.
Refrigerate cake until ready to serve.