Whether made with pecans, cheesecake, apples or pumpkin, pies galore will fill buffets on Thanksgiving Day. If you want something a little different that still screams Thanksgiving, does Pumpkin Ooey Gooey Butter Spice Cake make your mouth water? Does mine.

The recipe comes from the TV Food Network and is one I found when looking for one like my cousin, Betty Moore Holder, used to make. She passed away several years ago, and the recipe is now lost to the ages, but they certainly were a hit at our Thanksgiving feast every year and one of the first desserts to go. And though I couldn't find a recipe just like hers, this recipe comes close as far as something different and delicious with all those yummy flavors of autumn: cream cheese, pumpkin, spice and everything nice, particularly the finishing touch of sweet whipped cream.

You may have seen recipes like this one using yellow cake mix for the base, but spice cake seems more appropriate for Thanksgiving, and it's so simple and good for a last-minute treat for tomorrow. Though the recipe doesn't call for it, toasted pecans sprinkled over the whipped cream makes for a lovely presentation.


Pumpkin Ooey Gooey Butter Spice Cake

1 (15.25-ounce) box spice cake mix

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled


1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Sweetened whipped cream, for serving

For the crust: Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13- by 9-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray. Combine the cake mix, eggs and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the butter, and mix just until combined. Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared baking dish.

For the filling: Beat the cream cheese in a clean mixer bowl with the paddle until light and smooth, scraping the sides occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the eggs, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla; beat until smooth. Add the pumpkin and butter, and beat until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, and beat on low speed to incorporate, then beat on medium until light and smooth, about 1 minute. Pour over the cake layer, and smooth the top with a spatula.

Bake until the edges are puffed and golden brown and the center is just set, 35 to 40 minutes. Don't overcook. Let cool. Cut into squares and serve topped with whipped cream.


A toast to the holidays

More sparkling wine is sold this time of year than any other. Parties and other celebrations demand some bubbly. But there's also the problem of cost. The best sparkling wines can add many dollar signs to your budget, so Josh Cellars has a new prosecco — the Italian version of sparkling wine — that is priced reasonably at $18 and is ideal for sipping or having on hand as a hostess gift to take to your next gathering. Look for it on the shelves of grocery and liquor stores this season.

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Anne Braly

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