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Pumpkin Butterscotch Cake with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

Posted Oct 17 2011 8:51am

For years, I didn’t think I liked pumpkin.

The only pumpkin dessert I ever tried when I was younger was pumpkin pie – and I’m still not a fan. If I’m going to have a slice of pie, I want something warm and chocolate or doubled crusted with fruit.

A cold slice of slimy pumpkin pie is never, ever on my holiday dessert plate.

I stayed away from anything with pumpkin until just a few years ago. And now I can’t stay away – it gets stirred into oatmeal, folded into bread, spread onto toast, plopped into yogurt.

And PS: This cake was supposed to be blondies. I wanted pumpkin filled, orange blondies with butterscotch and pecans.

But that pumpkin, she is so tricky.

She changes textures as soon as she hits the batter, making you wait until your treats are done baking to find out what you actually ended up with.

Pumpkin decided to make these more cake like and less like dense, buttery blondies. It’s a good thing I like her – because these still turned out delicious, blondie or not.

I made the first batch of these for a tailgate with friends and they were gobbled up almost instantly. We had no leftovers to bring home, but Nick wanted more so I made a smaller pan and added a layer of vanilla-studded cream cheese frosting.

Warm pumpkin cake with butterscotch and cream cheese frosting is so much better than pumpkin pie.

And if you haven’t had pumpkin and butterscotch together yet, do it!

I’m pretty sure they’re meant to be together.

Pumpkin Butterscotch Cake

Makes: 12 servings


  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup buttescotch chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream the butter and sugars together for 3-4 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs to the butter and mix until it is incorporated.
  4. Beat in the pumpkin puree and vanilla, mixing for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add the flours, baking soda, and salt to the butter mixture and beat for 1-2 minutes until the flour is mixed in.
  6. Gently fold the pecans and butterscotch chips into the batter and pour into a greased 8×8 pan.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes until the top is golden and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center.


Vanilla Cream Cheese Icing

Makes: 12 servings


  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 stick butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste 0r vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar


  1. Using a stand or hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth.
  2. Add the vanilla to the cream cheese mixture and beat for 1 minute.
  3. Pour the powdered sugar into the cream cheese, 1 cup at a time, until the frosting is smooth and thick enough to spread onto the cooled cake.
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