cake · Dessert · Squash September

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Mascarpone

I’ve mentioned this quite a few times on this blog, but I thought I’d mention it again:

I’m terrible at baking.

Can I cook a mean risotto? Yes. Do I know the proper temperature to serve meat? Oh yeah. Can I grill fish until it is tender and flaky? You bet.


Can I bake a cake? Nope. Not even close. Can I frost a cake? Negative. It looks like a toddlers doodles. Do I know the difference between baking soda and baking powder? Well…yeah. One has the word “soda” on it and one has the word “powder” at the end….

Anyway, when I do decide to make deserts, I tend to keep it simple. Bundt cakes, cookies, pudding-dump-desserts. Easy to not screw up, you know? Well, I stumbled upon this cake recipe in my collection and thought, This can’t be so bad!” 


And guess what? I wasn’t wrong! It’s a basic spice cake recipe with absolutely zero frosting. No tedious instructions, no perfect working conditions needed, and no nail-bitingly frustrating, hard-to-work-with ingredients. It’s almost like this cake recipe was made for me to bake!


Pumpkin Spice Cake with Mascarpone

  • Servings: 16
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

A simple pumpkin spice cake swirled with creamy mascarpone and topped with fresh pepitas.


  • 3 cups flour, plus more for the pan
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground clove
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin puree
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 8 oz. mascarpone, softened
  • 1/4 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8″ cake pans and set aside.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and clove and set aside.
  3. In another larger bowl, mix eggs, pumpkin puree, oil, sugar, vanilla and orange zest together until well combined. Fold flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture and stir together well. Divide batter evenly between the two cake pans.
  4. Using a spoon, drop spoonfuls of the mascarpone on top of each of the cakes. Using a butter knife, swirl mascarpone into cake batter. Sprinkle pepitas on top and bake, rotating pans about halfway through cook time, for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Let cool slightly before serving.

Step-By-Step Instructions


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Flour and grease two 8″ cake pans. In a large bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, clove, baking soda, and salt.


In another larger bowl, whisk the eggs, pumpkin puree, orange zest, vanilla and sugar together until well combined.


Add flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and stir together until smooth. Divide cake batter evenly among the two cake pans.


Drop mascarpone by the spoonfuls on top of the cake batter. Using a butter knife, swirl mascarpone into the cake batter. Sprinkle each cake with pepitas.



Bake the cakes, turning pans halfway through cooking time, for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cakes comes out clean. Let cool slightly before serving.


I took one cake into work with me the next day, and munched on the other cake throughout the week. This cake would go perfectly with a nice hot cup of coffee! I love all of the spices in this cake and you really can taste the pumpkin. Yummm!



2 thoughts on “Pumpkin Spice Cake with Mascarpone

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