Pumpkin Spice Cake with Rum Raisin Icing

If you’re going to make this cake (and you should), you need some advance warning. Perhaps you’re a better person than I am and always read through a recipe all the way before embarking upon it. I think we learned about this in seventh grade home economics, or that meeting with financial aid at the ending of college where they explained about the repayment of student loans, or somewhere else I wasn’t paying attention.

See, the raisins, they must soak. They macerate in rum for up to twenty-four hours. And believe me, it’s worth it. Gross, mundane, lunchbox raisins get all bloated with juicy booze. So, first thing’s first: Get some golden raisins steeping on the stove. The resulting icing is lovely, potent, and reminiscent of eggnog, somehow. But now I am getting ahead of myself.

We’re still talking Thanksgiving recipes here. I love the way this all comes together and makes the perfect finish to an autumnal celebration. I used canned pumpkin, but you could certainly roast some little sugar pumpkins up, and this would still come together pretty quickly. It’s pretty much a “pantry cake,” which is nice if you’re making the entire meal on your own or if you were tasked to bring dessert, this would impress. I’m still planning my menu and counting my blessings, thinking of the things I am grateful for this year. There’s not much time though! Better get cracking.

Pumpkin Spice Cake


Pumpkin Spice Cake with Rum Raisin Icing

  • Yield: One Cake


For the cake:

  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 15 oz can pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 heaping teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup golden raisins

For the icing:

  • 1 1/2 cups spiced rum
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 2 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon rum extract
  • 1/41/2 cup whole milk


For the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a bundt pan. In the bowl of a stand mixer cream butter and both sugars until fluffy. Crack in the eggs, one at a time. In a mixing bowl combine vanilla, pumpkin and buttermilk. In another mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Alternating, add the pumpkin mixture and dry ingredients to the batter, ending with flour, etc. and not overmixing. Fold in raisins, if using. Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake, 45-50 minutes. Cool in the pan, then on a rack.

For the icing:

  1. In a small pot over high heat bring rum and brown sugar to a boil. Remove from the heat, add raisins, cover and let stand for up to 24 hours. Strain the booze-soaked raisins, chop them up and add them to the cake batter, if desired. [ED NOTE: May also be sprinkled on top]. Return the infused rum to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment combine butter and cream cheese. Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time. Add cooled rum, rum extract, and vanilla extract. Pour in milk until a thin, pourable consistency is achieved. Drizzle over cooled cake.

Jillian Bedell

Jillian Bedell is a writer and mother living in a farmhouse in Cushing, Maine. She is very good at talking about herself in the third person. She is co-author of Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.