Not only was my Grandma Meyer a fabulous cook, she spoiled me so rotten that I would happily have spent my entire life on her lap. My aunts roll their eyes as they tell stories of how she would let me trash her kitchen with my kooky baking experiments, while preparing for me whatever I wanted to eat—weird things like egg whites, the crispy-only part of hashbrowns, and hamburgers fried in butter (seriously).
And pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving! Which isn’t particularly odd, except that no one else in my family likes pumpkin pie. But since it was my favorite, there it always was, “for Stephanie,” with a huge bowl of whipped cream. It was so completely amazing. Ah, I miss her very much.
These days the pie baker in my family is my aunt Marge, who is famous for her perfect pecan pie. This year she’ll be in California, however, which leaves dessert to me. Yikes! I can’t compete with her pecan pie! I would of course love a pumpkin pie, but not all to myself. So I’ve decided on a pumpkin cake, which everyone loves, to have with that bowl of whipped cream.
Bake this cake a day ahead—it actually improves with a day of rest. Serve it at room temperature or heat it a bit. Warm, spicy cake with melty whipped cream is almost as awesome as pumpkin pie.
Double the recipe and bake in a 9×13 or Bundt pan.
1 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
generous grinding of fresh nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cardamom
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. oil
1 can pumpkin puree
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of a nonstick 8×8 square baking pan (or 8″ or 9″ nonstick round cake pan) with parchment paper and grease the pan and paper.
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt.
In the bowl of a mixer, combine the sugar, pumpkin, and oil. Beat on medium speed until smooth, then beat in the eggs. Turn speed to low and add the flour mixture, beating until just combined.
Pour batter in prepared pan and bake for 35-45 minutes depending on what type of pan you use. A tester inserted in the center of the cake should be clean.
Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely. (Can can be baked one day ahead. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature). Serve with whipped cream.