One of my mother’s time honored traditions was to serve a pumpkin cake each year, for both of these holidays, with her special toasted coconut frosting.
She is not here this year, but that does not mean the cake will be missing!
Mum died a few years ago so she missed out on our last Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Want to try using fresh coconut in this recipe? It will make this frosting even sweeter. See my tips for buying and storing fresh coconut here.
The cake is super moist and delicious with the lovely flavor of fall pumpkins. The top of the cake is iced with a normal butter cream frosting, but it has the special surprise of being sprinkled with oven toasted coconut.
My husband is not normally a fan of anything with pumpkin in it. He could easily be called the Pumpkin Scrooge!
Making my mother’s Pumpkin Cake
Just look what is going to go into this cake! My mouth is watering already, thinking of how great it is going to taste. I used unbleached white flour for this recipe.
The cake is a wonderful blend of unbleached white flour with cinnamon, eggs, oil and canned pumpkin. It is topped off with a delicious toasted coconut frosting.
It’s time to make this Pumpkin Cake with Toasted Coconut Frosting.
So, let’s get down to business. No messing around. This is one of my FAVORITE cakes. It is moist and full of pumpkin flavor. It tastes fabulous on its own, but add the frosting?
Oh my goodness – perfection in a pan! The bonus with this toasted coconut frosting is that the frosting gives a nice bit of texture to the cake without adding nuts or seeds to it!
To start the cake, combine all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk them well. Mum used to re-sift all of her dry goods but I find that whisking them is quicker and still gives a light textured cake.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the sugar, oil and canned pumpkin. Mix well, and then beat in the eggs, one at a time.
Next comes the flour mixture. Just like I do with any cake, I added it gradually, mixing well between each addition.
The cake goes into a prepared 9 x 13″ pan and then into a preheated 350º oven for 45-50 minutes.
The cake is ready when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out cleanly. Look at that golden pumpkin color! I can’t wait to dig into it. The kitchen smells divine right now.
This recipe makes a very large cake. When I serve it for Thanksgiving or Christmas, I ice the whole cake.
But at other times, when we don’t have such a large gathering, I cut it in half and freeze one half of the cake for later. It can be frozen both iced or plain.
The cake will keep for a few months in the freezer either way.
The frosting is a simple butter cream frosting with a special coconut treat on top. I just mixed together the egg with the melted butter and added the powdered sugar and pure vanilla extract.
Once the cake had totally cooled, I frosted it with the buttercream icing.
NOTE: This recipe is decades old, when they did not worry about uncooked eggs in frosting. If this is a concern, omit the eggs and add extra milk to get your consistency.)
To make the toasted coconut surprise, just place flaked coconut on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper and toast it in a 350º oven for about 5 minutes until lightly toasted.
Check it often so that it doesn’t burn. I took mine out about half way through and stirred it around.
Every bite of this delicious Pumpkin Cake with Toasted Coconut Frosting is a reminder of the holiday season
This homemade Pumpkin Cake with its Toasted Coconut Frosting makes the perfect fall dessert. It should really be nicknamed Autumn in a Cake.
For more great Thanksgiving ideas, be sure to visit my Let’s Give Thanks board on Pinterest.
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For the Cake:
- Unbleached all purpose white flour
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp sea salt
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups of granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups of canola oil
- 1 14 oz can of pumpkin
For the Frosting:
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/4 cup of unsalted butter, melted
- 1 pound of powdered sugar
- 1 tsp of pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup of flaked coconut, toasted
- Preheat the oven to 350º F.
- Grease and flour a 9 x 13" pan, or line it with parchment paper and spray with cooking oil.
- Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and sea salt in a large bowl.
- Gently whisk to combine all of the ingredients well.
- Place the sugar, oil and canned pumpkin in the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Mix well until it is thoroughly combined. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
- Gradually mix in the dry ingredients, beating well between each addition.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and cook in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out cleanly.
To make the frosting:
- Place a silicone mat or parchment paper on a baking mat and spread out the flaked coconut.
- Put in a preheated 350º oven and cook for 5-7 minutes until the coconut is lightly toasted. Watch it carefully so that it does not burn.
- Place the beaten egg in the bowl of a stand mixer and add the melted butter and mix well.
- Stir in the pure vanilla extract and gradually add the confectioner's sugar.
- Beat well and frost the cake after it has cooled completely.
- Sprinkle the entire cake with the toasted coconut. Enjoy
NOTE: This is my mother's recipe and is Decades old. If using raw eggs is a concern for you, just add extra milk to the icing to get the desired consistency and omit the egg.