What Are the Different Types of Pumpkin Cake?

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  • Written By: Valerie Clark
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 21 February 2020
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Pumpkin cake can take the form of just about any type of cake, from a spice cake or a cake roll to a cheesecake. New varieties continue to be developed when pumpkins are ripe for the picking and traditional pumpkin pie just isn’t enough to satisfy a pumpkin craving. Some recipes have blended pumpkin with flavors such as chocolate, citrus and nuts, while other recipes stick to traditional pairings. Baking with pumpkin is a seasonal feature of the autumn holidays, particularly in the United States.

A pumpkin spice cake is a seasonal twist on a classic recipe. The basic recipe is modified to include a pumpkin puree, and the result is topped off with a cream-cheese frosting that complements the cake. Common spices in pumpkin spice cake are ground cinnamon and nutmeg.

The traditional pumpkin cake roll also is filled with cream cheese frosting — a signature icing for many types of pumpkin cake. The exact grouping of spices in the cake batter may vary, but the basics are cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Canned pumpkin can be used instead of a fresh pumpkin puree when making a pumpkin roll, and chopped walnuts are an optional complement that adds taste and texture.


Potentially more challenging because of the time and patience involved is the pumpkin cheesecake. A fresh pumpkin puree is preferred for cheesecake, and the result typically is a fresher, better-tasting pumpkin cake. Canned pumpkin will work in such recipes, however, particularly because it is combined with cream cheese, sour cream and the standard line-up of pumpkin pie spices.

Beyond the most common types of cakes made with pumpkin, there have been a few new twists on the classic recipes. For example, topping a pumpkin cake with whipped cream and a caramel drizzle or chocolate sauce ups the sweetness factor of the basic recipe. A chocolate pumpkin cake — just add cocoa to the mix — is one step away from a standard pumpkin recipe. A citrus-glazed pumpkin cake incorporates orange, lemon and, possibly, carrots into the cake batter and glaze topping. A marble pumpkin cheesecake made by swirling a non-pumpkin batter together with a pumpkin spice batter can create a tasty and interesting marbled effect.

Pumpkin cakes can be different shapes, though a Bundt cake may be the most common. There also are pumpkin cupcakes and pumpkin muffins that all fall under the pumpkin cake category. Pumpkin-shaped cake also is popular, particularly for autumn gatherings.


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Post 3

Does anyone know if store bought pumpkin cake has the same ingredients as the homemade kind, or if it's modified and preserved to fit the needs of the market? I'm thinking about saving money by going to the store and buying one, although the article is giving me some second thoughts.

Post 2

The second paragraph reminds me of a funny story during my time in school, relating to pumpkin spice cake, by the way. During my sophomore year of high school, it was a dish we were assigned to make in my culinary arts class.

Even though my teammates and I followed the instructions to a T, on the other hand, something didn't turn out quite right when we tasted it, as we used way too much nutmeg and ground cinnamon.

No pun intended, but it was a definitely a spice cake. In my opinion, this really shows how no matter what type of dish you're making, and no matter how much fun you're having preparing it, don't forget to follow the instructions, as failure to do so can lead to mistakes.

Post 1

When it comes to some of the famous pumpkin recipes, one thing that I've always found to be incredibly frustrating is how time consuming it is to make some of that stuff. This is especially the case for pumpkin desserts.

A lot of time is involved, and the ingredients must be followed to a T. Despite some frustration however, I feel that in some ways, making your own pumpkin dishes (cake in this case) is better than buying a cheap one at the store, which are usually a lot more artificial than the homemade kind.

Adding onto this, I feel that making pumpkin desserts from scratch is a better choice than going to store, because pumpkins only come around once a year. Shouldn't you take advantage of that situation, and make the best of it? If one doesn't have time, that's understandable, but for those who do, it's definitely something to take into consideration.

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