I first made these Pumpkin Squares last fall when my sister Maureen sent me the recipe and said, “you absolutely have to try these!” She said they were my niece Ally’s favorite. Well, all I can say is that Ally’s got great taste, and now they’re one of my favorites. The cake is incredibly soft and moist, with the wonderful flavors of pumpkin and cinnamon. As soon as I feel fall is in the air, I whip out my half sheet cake pan, and plan a little dinner party just so I can make them, and not eat them all myself!!
I’ve made them several times with cream cheese frosting, but this time I decided to change it up a bit, and I made my homemade Cinnamon Vanilla Buttercream Frosting. I’m a huge cinnamon fan, especially during the fall season. Cinnamon and fall just seem to go hand in hand for me, and it’s just the perfect complement for these pumpkin squares. I love the little flecks of cinnamon in the icing.
I also decided to step up my game in the icing department and try my hand at icing roses. I have seen so many gorgeous cakes with icing roses on Pinterest and other awesome blogs that I just had to give it a go. I’ll be honest, I’m not very talented in the cake decorating department, but with some encouragement from my good friend Hakeem, the pastry chef, and a little help from an online tutorial, I did it! They may not look perfect, but since the cake is, (thanks Ally!) all my guests loved it!
As Natasha says in the online tutorial, use a Wilton 2D tip to pipe the roses and practice first on a baking sheet until you get the hang of it. I thinly iced the sheet cake first, then cut them into squares, and finally piped the roses on top of each square.
Take it from my niece Ally, you don’t want to miss out on making this simple and incredibly delicious fall dessert. It’s sure to impress!
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- 1 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 15 ounce can pumpkin
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- Icing Ingredients:
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter (3 sticks), softened
- 5 1/4 cups confectioners sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp. whipping cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray a half sheet cake pan (11x15) with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin at medium speed with electric mixer until fluffy.
- In medium bowl whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients at low speed until well combined.
- Spread batter into prepared pan.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until toothpick comes out clean when inserted in middle of cake.
- Let cool before frosting.
- For icing:
- In bowl of stand mixer combine butter, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Beat on low speed until blended, about one minute.
- Add the vanilla and cream and increase speed to medium and continue to beat for 4 minutes until smooth and creamy.
- Add more cream, if necessary, for good spreading consistency.
- Lightly frost the top of the cake.
- Cut into small squares and place on serving tray.
- Pipe a rose on top of each square.
Cake adapted from Paula Deen. Cinnamon Buttercream by Mary Ann Dwyer.