Note: can also make this as a one layer in a 9 by 12 cake pan or in- 2- layer 8 or 9 inch round cake pans)
2 C all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 C milk
1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) 1 1/4 C is slightly less than a can
1 1/2 C sugar
1/3 C packed brown sugar
3 T honey
1/2 C vegetable oil
1 C (8 oz.) crushed pineapple, drained well–I also squeeze between paper towels
1 C grated carrots–about 3 or 4 medium
1 C flaked coconut
1 1/4 C nuts, either pecan or walnuts–divided
(see Cream Cheese Frosting recipe at end)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray with baking Pam either 9 inch round cake pans (if making layer cake), cupcake pan, or square single layer pan. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl, set aside. Combine milk and lemon juice in bowl, it will appear curdled, set aside.
Beat eggs for a minute in your electric mixer, add pumpkin, sugar, brown sugar, honey, oil, pineapple, carrots and milk & lemon mixture and mix well with the mixer on low. Gradually add flour mixture, about a scoop at a time, beat until combined. Stir in coconut and 1 C of nuts (reserve other 1/2 C for toppings). Pour into prepared cake pans.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans, then remove cake to wire racks to cool completely.
If using 2 – 9 inch pans, frost between layers, on sides and top of cake with cream cheese frosting. Garnish with remaining nuts. Store in refrigerator.
If using cupcakes, or single layer, just frost the tops with the cream cheese frosting and garnish with nuts. Note: Cupcakes will take less time in the oven, approximately 30 minutes.
12 oz. cream cheese
1/3 C softened butter
3 1/3 C sifted powder sugar
1 tsp. real vanilla
zest of 1/2 lemon
Have the cream cheese cold and the butter room temperature. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until blended. Add sugar one scoop at a time and beat until smooth. Do not over-beat. Add zest of lemon and blend. This keeps in the refrigerator for about 1 week, or freezes up to 3 months. Soften and stir until smooth before using.
orange zest instead of lemon
tablespoon of liqueur of choice
You can spread the cream cheese on the cake or use a pastry bag.