Friday, September 22, 2017

Effortless fall cake- Pumpkin with maple cinnamon cream cheese frosting.

The weekend is nearly upon us, and I'm already planning the fall-ish goodies I can make and feed my family...

Last weekend, we were extremely blessed to spend time with my grandma, who had travelled to see us.  I got the privilege of hosting a nice, loud extended family gathering in my home and I have a few things to say about it.  When you gather seventeen people for food, a little planning is needed. (Like huge water dispensers with plastic cups and sharpies to mark everyone's names, along with an empty garbage and disposable dining supplies.) But here's the main thing... more people would do this if they had a few tips and tricks up their sleeve. For example, my son had a huge cross country meet the next day so I knew I'd be making pasta for him.  I decided to make two huge pans of lasagna ahead of time, and I assembled them in about ten minutes time, using no-cook gluten free lasagna noodles. (I did this all the day before) There are several dietary concerns in this crowd so I also made a small noodle-less lasagna using all the other same ingredients (meat sauce, mozzarella and parmesan) except I substituted zucchini strips for the noodles.

I delegated as people asked what they could bring, by taking several family members up on bringing apple cider, a green salad, and some garlic bread.  All I needed to prepare was the lasagna, and like I said, I don't fuss and bother, I do sauce with meat in it, cheese, noodles, repeat.  So easy and quick.  I wanted to make a special cake since this was an occasion to celebrate, and I'm a bit partial to bundt cakes in the fall.

Here's how easy this was.

I purchased a gluten free vanilla cake mix (I used Bob's)- any could work well, and prepared according to the instructions.  (Before mixing this, I buttered the bundt, and then used a tbsp. of the dry cake mix to "flour" the pan.  This is a trick I learned years ago and it works wonderfully. Do this over the bowl you're mixing the cake in, and an excess will simply fall back into it)  I also added half a can of pumpkin puree, and the spices it listed for a pumpkin pie, on the back of the can.  Those were 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger and1/4 tsp cloves.

I popped the cake into the oven and baked it.

For the frosting, I dumped two cans of cream cheese frosting into a bowl, and stirred in 1 tbsp. pure maple syrup, 1/8 tsp pure maple extract (don't skimp on this) and 1 tsp cinnamon.  You can add more if you need a more intense maple cinnamon flavor but this was perfect for us.  Once the cake was cooled and flipped onto a plate, I used a pastry bag (a spoon works well too) and piped lines of frosting back and forth over the top.  It looks almost fancy but it couldn't have been easier.  Almost homemade, but mostly just tweaked.  And yummy. 
I meant to snap a few "after being cut" images, but it was gone that very night... inhaled mostly, and I need to tell you this.  There are a few gluten free food haters in the crowd and they were all mumbling around mouthfuls of cake, "Seriously, this is gluten free???!!"

I also caught my uncle dishing up all the icing that had been left on the cake plate with his second slice.  So there ya go.  

This cake may actually unite families.  Or perhaps simply unite them over liking gluten free pumpkin cake with maple cinnamon cream cheese frosting. 

Either way, I'll take it. 



  1. I still have your lasagna recipe and it is soooo yummy and easy!

  2. All of this is making me hungry! I love cakes that are doctored up like that! Try mixing a spice cake mix with a can of pumpkin purée. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes in a bundt pan. Easy delicious pumpkin bread for when you don't feel like making it from scratch. :)

  3. This sounded amazing, but I only had a chocolate cake mix. Soooo, I went for it, just as you wrote it, but subbing in the chocolate cake mix. Amazing!