Pumpkin Cake, Cream Cheese Frosting

It was my turn to hold our monthly book club meeting.

That meant that I got to choose the book, “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens and I got to make the cake.

Deciding on what kind of cake was easy…. It had to have pumpkin / butternut squash in it because I had to use up what I had left from last summer’s harvest.

A little internet search led me to this recipe Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting.

I chose it based on 2 criteria: The recipe sounded good and the blog post was the least irritating of the ones I had looked at that morning. It was still extremely irritating….. it took me forever to page through inane photos to find the recipe, but once I got there I could print it and stop scrolling.

I actually used butternut squash in my recipe and it’s a cake…. Bars are not supposed to be 3 inches high and fluffy.

But it was a really good cake….

Click here to Pin Pumpkin Cake, Cream Cheese Frosting


Pumpkin Cake, Cream Cheese Frosting

I actually used a mix of pumpkin from the freezer and leftover butternut squash that I had roasted for dinner the night before. I just mashed it all with a spoon before adding it to the cake.

  • Author: Katie Zeller
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 1820 servings 1x
  • Category: Cake


  • 1 2/3 cups (12oz, 350gr) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (8oz, 240ml) vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups (15oz, 450gr) pumpkin / butternut squash, mashed 
  • 2 cups (9oz, 260gr) flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 10oz (300gr) cream cheese, softened
  • 2oz (60gr) butter, softened
  • 2 cups (8.5oz, 240gr) powdered (icing) sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  • Butter and flour a 9 X 13 (23cm X 33cm) cake pan
  • Preheat oven to 350F (175C)
  • Cream oil and sugar.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each egg.
  • Add pumpkin / squash, vanilla and mix.
  • Combine dry ingredients and add to wet ingredients, stirring gently just to combine.
  • Pour into prepared pan and bake, 30 – 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes away clean. 
  • Remove and cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • Combine cream cheese, butter, vanilla and sugar and whip until smooth.
  • Add more powdered sugar if too thin / a dollop of milk if too thick.
  • Frost cake


I only had 2 cups of powdered sugar….  I like gooey frosting but it probably could have used another 1/2 cup,

Keywords: pumpkin cake, butternut squash

Pumpkin Cake, Cream Cheese Frosting

This was an amazingly light and fluffy cake. Everyone loved it,

This would be great in layers for a birthday cake – with the cream cheese frosting in the middle and on top……

We were happy to have leftovers – and happy that it kept well as it took us 5 days to finish it. It’s been a few years since I made a proper sheet cake….

Everyone loved the book, too. I highly recommend it.

6 thoughts on “Pumpkin Cake, Cream Cheese Frosting”

  1. Cake looks interesting, but I am more interested in your book club. Only ex pats in it or also some French? Wondering how the French would understand a book like that. Just curious. Susan

    • All expats, British and American. I think it would be challenging for a French reader unless they had spent time in the US. I loaned a similar book (but true story) to a Belgian friend who regularly reads in English, and he had a lot of questions. The concepts are sometimes hard to translate.
      On the other hand, I’ve been reading books in French – at my level it’s not something I do for pleasure lol

  2. I have a delicious recipe for a pumpkin sheet cake. I do make it”out of season,” but not often.

    I do have a couple food blogs that I follow that have lots of pictures, but they also have a jump-to-recipe link at the top of the post so I can skip all the junk.

    • A ‘Jump to’ and Print button should be mandatory lol. My mother always made sheet cakes. I’ve just gotten out of the habit. Still have my rather beat-up ole aluminum 9 X 13 pan…. 45 – 50 years now lol

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