It’s already November, which means that Thanksgiving is quickly approaching. For those of us that either can’t make it home to our families or simply choose not too, that usually means spending the day with a big group of friends instead. Enter the concept of Friendsgiving. It’s just like Thanksgiving except minus the nagging relative trying to pry into the details of your relationship status and plus a lot more alcohol consumption. (Sounds good to me!)
Yes, I’ve certainly partaken in the event in years past, but this will be the first year in which Friendsgiving will be my sole source of stuffing myself silly. (I’m not going home for T-day this year.) Though a part of me will miss getting to spend the days surrounded by my relatives, I consider my friends pretty much part of my family anyway. (My family’s gatherings tend to be alcohol-free, so this also means I get to drink!)
The best part about Thanksgiving is undoubtedly the dessert table. It doesn’t count as a real celebration without one. Breaking from family tradition I came up with this delicious pumpkin cake recipe to share with you. It’s studded with chopped walnuts and golden raisins, and then topped with a not-too-sweet cream cheese frosting scented with orange zest. I had to take it to a party the next day to make sure I didn’t eat it all by myself. (It was that good.)
- 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
- ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- ¾ cup chopped walnuts, plus more for decorating
- ½ 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.
How do you plan on celebrating Thanksgiving this year? Oh, and be sure to check out #jarryfriendsgiving for more recipe inspiration.