Flat and undercooked, tasted terrible. This recipe was not adequately tested before publication.
It was tasty but too dense, more like a bread than a cake. I saw a lot of people making modifications which is suspect as a good recipe shouldn't need modifications. One was use a smaller pan, which may have helped but really, the right pan size should be a given. I would look for another recipe to try.
I have made this cake twice: for my father's birthday in November and for my birthday yesterday. With my adjustments I would give the cake five stars and everybody loved it. First, add one-half teaspoon of baking soda; it improves the texture of the cake. I also increased the cinnamon to three and one-half teaspoons and added a teaspoon of ginger. It really pumps up the flavor. I beat the eggs well before adding them and then beat the wet ingredients well again before adding the flour. I mixed by hand using a wooden spoon and a whisk. I added a third cup of chopped pecans and a half cup dried cranberries. I baked the cake in two 8 inch round pans. I used the frosting recipe as-is with a little extra vanilla...I made it into a lightly frosted layer cake. It is very good and it looked good, too! I will make it again for my brother, when he visits in February.
I followed this recipe exactly and my husband and I loved it. For us, it was a cross between a cake and pumpkin bread. The frosting was delicious and creamy. Will make this again. We thought the flavors were perfect, not too spicy and not too sugary. I agree with Lynn75, I lighltly spooned the confectioner's sugar into the measuring cup and didn't sift either.
This really didn't turn out like cake at all. More resembled a dense moist bread. Pay no attention to the reviewer that said you must be an inexperienced baker for it to turn out poorly. It was not light or fluffy at all. That being said the flavor is good and the icing is nice and creamy. Just more of a moist bar/ moist bread sheet than a cake.
Dense and bland....
This is an extraordinary light, fluffy and delicious pumpkin cake! The basic recipe just needed a few tweaks...I added an extra 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg. I also baked the cake in a 9 x9 inch pan as I could tell by looking at the amount of batter that a 13 by 9 pan was too big. The cake rose beautifully. I think that the negative reviewers must be inexperienced bakers. To ensure a light and fluffy cake, flour MUST be spooned lightly into measuring cups, not scooped. Also the size pan is imperative when baking a cake and if it looks like you don't have enough batter for the pan size listed than size down! Try this cake...it is exceptional!
I should have checked the reviews before making this recipe. I baked mine in muffin tins & mini loaves, hoping to be able to share with friends, but this isn't really anything special enough to share. As I now see others have reviewed, the cake flavor wasn't pumpkin-pie enough for me. I wish I would have added a few other spices or just used pumpkin pie spice. But the biggest drawback for me is the frosting. The powdered sugar made this much too sweet and sugary for my liking. A more traditional cream cheese frosting would be much better on this in my opinion. Also, as others have noted, the batter itself baked exactly into the original shape in the pans - there was no rising or smoothing of the finished product. Presentation is important to me when sharing goodies with others, so these will stay here & only be eaten by family.
Made this for a church coffee hour and it was a huge hit. I followed the recipe and found the cake sweet and moist with a great pumpkin flavor. The frosting was excellent!
I had made these once before and remembered they were very moist, but didn't remember much else about them. This time I liked them, but didn't love them. I probably should have added all the sugar because they seem a bit more of a breakfast item because of their lack of sweetness. However, I thought the pumpkin taste was prominent enough but understand people's desire to add more spices to enhance the pumpkin flavor. As for the texture, I wouldn't say they're dense in a filling way, but they are definitely very moist and a bit doughy; I would have liked if they had been a bit more airy but still very moist (like Cooking Light's Pumpkin Pie Cake (which I loved)). I did not make the icing this time because I didn't have cream cheese on hand, but I'm sure that would have added to this cake's success. They are more like Pumpkin bites or bars like others have been saying. I like how there's not much butter or sugar in them but I wonder if it took away from its success.
I weigh all my flours, and this was a dense, flavorless cake. I love pumpkin but just couldn't taste it.
It was not fluffy and it lacked a pumpkin taste. I was looking forward to a taste similar to pumkin spice bread but was very dissapointed. (The frosting was yummy though!!)
I made this with a couple of modifications and it turned out good. I added 1/2 tsp all spice, a little nutmeg, I would have added more cinnamon but I ran out. I also tossed in approx. 1/4 cup chopped pecans and a handful of chopped dried cranberries. Next time I will toss in some OJ and maybe some rind from the orange, that would be a nice addition. I like the texture of the nuts and cranberries added to it. Mine was not dense at all, and it's very moist. I will be making this one again!
We loved this! I made it for a group and it was a hit. I made it as is, and it was the perfect combination.
It was more dense and brownie like than traditional cakes but was very moist and delicious. I added about 2 tsp ginger to cream cheese frosting and it tasted great. Next time may add more spices to cake but enjoyed the true pumpkin flavor.
I was very disappointed with the cake and threw it in out. I knew when I put it in the pan something was not right. It needed milk or something it was so thick. Before I threw it away I tasted a tiny piece and the taste was flat. The frosting was delicious so I put it in the fridge and will have to make another cake tomorrow. I would not make it again.
This cake was moist and tasty...I did however add a few more spices, fresh nutmeg,1/4 tsp each of ground cloves, cardamom and ginger along with the required cinnamon. I would make this again and I did use my own garden fresh roasted pumpkin pie pumpkins for the puree.
This cake was wonderful! I think maybe the other reviewers were adding too much flour. That will make your cake too dense. Take the time to weigh out the flour exactly or do what the recipe says and VERY LIGHTLY spoon your flour into measuring cups and level with a knife. This really is a very important step. I do agree with other reviewers however in that making the recipe as is would cause it to be a little on the bland side. I like a lot of flavor and here is what I added to the initial flour mixture before incorporating it into the pumpkin/sugar mixture: extra 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon of allspice. Also, I didn't sift my powdered sugar for the frosting and yet it came out wonderfully. This recipe is going into the files and I will make it again and again!
Not sure why this got such awful reviews--we loved it! My husband called it "a pumpkin brownie" because it was so dense. So I guess if you like light, fluffy cakes this isn't that great. But it's one of our favorite cake recipes now!
If only I had read the reviews before I made this! From the density that is neither here nor there and poor, flat flavor to its unpleasant aesthetic, it isn't worth my time to "make it work." CL has many other outstanding recipes. Not to sound snooty, but I have higher standards than this.
EHHH I have mixed feelings about this one. The texture of the cake is awful. I had to use my hands to spread the batter! Also, it looks REALLY bad. I baked it in a pumpkin shaped pan so I am going to try to doll it up by adding orange food coloring to the frosting. Amazingly, the cake TASTES good. I'm going to bring this in to my co-workers tomorrow and hope that it is not judged for its looks and at the very least tasted!
I thought this was delicious. My husband and 3 kids thought so too. Very moist and flavorful and I even had half a piece without the frosting. The picture didn't make it look very thick so I wasn't expecting it to rise very much. My only modifications were I used half whole wheat flour and I ADDED about 1/2 tsp ginger and maybe a touch more cinnamon. (I like a lot of spice). Overall, I agree with the last few people who liked this recipe...not really sure why so many people gave it such terrible reviews.
After reading other reviews I adjusted as follows with very good results: Reduce the flour by 1/2 cup, add 1 heaping tsp of pumpkin pie spice, add 1/2 cup of plain yogurt and a little extra salt. Be sure not to undercook and it's a winner!
Just made this cake without consulting here first! Wish I had seen the negative reviews because mine turned out just the same negative. Flat in appearance and in taste. Gummy (which is a far cry from moist!). Except for two bites, the rest went in the trash. Thank goodness I did not waste frosting on it before tasting. I wonder if a tsp of baking soda would have helped?
I made this cake out of the Cooking Light magazine months ago, and just came across the recipe here. I agree that something is wrong with the recipe, as published. It was dense and the cake was nearly flavorless. The frosting was okay. I served the cake after Thanksgiving dinner with friends, NO ONE ate it! What an embarrassment!!!
I had to try this recipe because it looked so delicious and there were a few good reviews. Mine turned out like the picture and it was ok...the frosting made the cake. I love cream cheese frosting. The cake is definitely missing something (more sugar, spices, etc??) but it definitely has potential. I would recommend it but you mght want to spice it up. We will make it again. I liked the heaviness. The batter was thick and did not spread easily.
I'm wondering if the problem is the flour measurement. My friend once made fun of me for using "wet" measuring cups for "dry" ingredients. It was never a problem until today. The cake tastes good but is so flat it looks like a cookie.
Good to hear it wasn't just me. When I was making this, I thought "This is really thick for a cake batter" and when it came out of the oven, "What an odd looking cake." I'm pretty sure something's not right about this recipe. It didn't TASTE bad...it just has more the consistency of a muffin or bread than a cake and it doesn't rise much at all. Weird.
I wish I'd read the reviews first which I usually do. Same thing, NOTHING like the picture....how could the cake be so orange and pumpkin-y colored with a cup of brown sugar in it? And it was so incredibly dense, more like a muffin or pumpkin loaf than a cake. Cooking Light...what the heck??
Wow. What negative publicity this recipe is receiving. I saw this recipe and made for my birthday cake in November, and it came out beautiful and was very delicious. I have a favorite Martha recipe for this cake which is high in calories, but not only was THIS cooking light recipe delicious and pumpkin-y but I felt no guilt enjoying the alotted big serving. I dare all others to try this recipe again. If not, you are truly missing out! CL, don't eliminate this one based on the previous neg reviews, I give you 5 stars!! No ingredient is left out, perhaps a bad atmospheric cooking day for the other ladies.
This was a waste of time. See the other one-star reviews for details, as mine turned out this way, too. I used my last free cooking day before Xmas to try this. Now I'll have to resort to one of the usual desserts instead of offering my family something new this holiday. Cooking Light gets a lump of coal for this one.
CAUTION!!! I really think this recipe is a misprint as there has to be some ingredient missing. I made this cake EXACTLY as the receipe states, subsitituted nothing and mine came out dense and flat. At first I thought my baking powder must have been old, but then when I read all the negative comments about this receipe and similar results as I had, I think now that there is an ingredient missing. Mine looked nothing like the photograph in the magazine. I wish I had read the reviews first as I would not have made this cake in the first place.
Made the recipe without changes. Moist and dense. Everyone like it! I'll make it again.
I agree with the other reviewers. I followed the instructions carefully and the cake did not rise and was a disaster. I also thought it was because my baking powder was old, but apparently that is not the problem. The problem is with the recipe itself. I ended up throwing it all away and going back to my recipe for pumpkin squares, which is a fool-proof recipe.
Cake didn't rise at all. Virtually flavorless. My family hated it. Will not make again.
Too dense, didn't rise, overall unattractive and an embarrassment. It was a waste of a good can of pumpkin.
I made this cake using spelt flour instead of white, and it was moist and delicious. It rose fine. I used 1/2 the amount of sugar called for, both in the cake and frosting - and this was more than sweet enough for my family's tastes. One thing I did differently was beat the eggs well, adding air and body. I beat them REALLY well after each egg was added - for about 2 minutes on high speed (Kitchen Aid whisk attachment). I wonder if those whose cake didn't rise did not beat the eggs long enough or add enough air to them? I'm not a baking expert, so this is pure speculation. ; )
I made this cake following the instructions carefully. I thought that it was odd that it instructed the flour be folded in. The cake was dense and did not rise. I thought maybe my baking powder was old. I served the cake at Thanksgiving anyway, assuming that at least the icing would be good. My sister commented she had made the same cake using the recipe in Cooking Light and it came out the exact same way. Obviously there is an error in the recipe - it wasn't the baking powder!
This cake looked nothing like the picture at all. As many other have complained, this cake did not rise. I followed the recipe as written and was excited to have some delicious pumpkin cake. Instead I got a pumpkin puck. I don't even know what I could have done to fix it....an overall disappointment.
I am not sure where this recipe went wrong. I am not an expert on baking and not sure what was needed for this to rise. I think sometimes this happens with pumpkin recipes since pumpkin is so dense and gooey. The only thing that made a few pieces edible was the icing...
I'm surprised that this recipe received negative reviews. I followed the instructions to the letter and my boys and I LOVED it. I will say that this is a dense cake, but very moist...almost like a pumpkin brownie. It will not rise over the top of the cake pan, but, with the frosting, it doesn't matter. As instructed, I waited for the cake to cool completely before adding the frosting. The finished product looked wonderful! The cream cheese frosting is rich and decadent. It tastes great with coffee or a glass of milk, and I plan to make this again for my colleagues at work.
This is a good recipe in theory. The cake comes out so bland though. I don't taste pumpkin at all. The frosting was pretty good though. Not too sweet.
In real life, this cake did not look anything like the picture. It did not rise at all. Very disappointing!
I typically love Cooking Light recipes, but this one fell short. While the texture of the cake was very nice (dense and very moist), the flavor was....well, there just wasn't any flavor. Disappointed.
The picture in the magazine looked awesome, but I made it and was very disappointed. I made the recipe as it stated except I subbed fresh pumpkin for the canned stuff thinking it would make it even better. The cake was dense and didn't have much flavor. The icing was not as sweet as other cream cheese icings I have had. I won't make this again.
I was so excited to make this because of the photo and the recipe looked easy. I was extremely disappointed when the timer went off and I found that the cake didn't rise at all. It didn't look anything like the photo. In defense of the recipe, it did taste great, but it looked awful. I'm willing to make it again if there is a way to make it rise and look like the photo.
I made this cake without modifications this weekend in a 9x13 stoneware pan. It came out perfect! In fact, the whole cake disappeared in two days. This will be added to my recipe rotation file. I do not know why there are negative comments here. My friend, who is an excellent cook as well as I, loved the cake and took the recipe with her!
Not to my standards and I've made other cakes from CL that were much nicer. While the photo is pretty I was extremely disappointed in what the cake I made looked like. I think there was not enough "wet" to the dry here. I had to literally spread the cake out and it baked in the same shape as I had to spread it.
I agree with Floridacooks. The cake did not rise at all and was "gummy". The frosting was good though. I am wondering if it was just the recipe or the fact that pumpkin does not make a good cake.
We loved this recipe! This is a dense cake, so don't expect it to rise very much. I would describe it as a cross between cake and cheesecake in consistency. Very moist and flavorful, it was a big hit at our house. Loved the frosting, too. Our guests even asked for the recipe! Will definitely make again.
This cake had a good flavor, but expect it to be a bit more dense than a regular cake. I made it for a tennis get together and several people had seconds so I would definitely make again. I only put about a cup and a half of powdered sugar in the frosting and added it while the cake was still hot out of necessity and it was great.
Followed this recipe correctly, cake did not rise at all. The frosting was just okay. The cream cheese frosting from CL's carrot cake is much better. This is the first Cooking Light cake recipe I've tried that I did not like.
A wonderful cake. I made the recipe exactly as written. I was unsure of the 1/3 less fat cream cheese, but it was fine. This is a very pumpkin-y cake. You don't taste much of the cinnamon as it's really just about the pumpkin. So, if you want more of a pumpkin pie spice flavor blend, definitely add more cinnamon and other pumpkin pie spices like cloves, nutmeg and ginger to give it that flavor profile. Definitely will be made again.
This recipe was very easy and it's delicious. Turned out exactly like the picture. I will definitely make this again.