Baking Sweet Treats with My Sweet Girl
I will be the first to admit that the Shyba Family is fully onboard on the fall + winter pumpkin flavored holiday train. We don’t go totally overboard, but as soon as we are able to pick out the sweet sugar pie pumpkins for roasting, we start planning our recipes and dishes accordingly. The holidays are the perfect time of year for me to get in the kitchen with the kids-and while any time of year is great for that-it seems to work best for us when the kids are home from school and it’s too cold to play outside.
One of our favorite desserts to bake together is cream cheese pumpkin sheet cake. I found the recipe awhile back and adapted it to include whole wheat flour and flax seed, two healthy incorporations that I appreciate, even though they ignore everything beyond the sweet cream cheese topping and the pumpkin flavor. I learned early on in motherhood that ingredients are incredibly important, and it’s something I pay close attention to every time we’re cooking at home or eating out. Arla Cream Cheese comes in many varieties that we all love, but the Original flavor is a constant part of our meals and our baking throughout the year. Not only do we love the taste of all of their cream cheese spreads, but we appreciate that the company is owned by farmers and their products are free from antibiotics and synthetic hormones*. Arla is also committed to sustainability in their farming and have incorporated a three-pronged strategy focusing on climate, animals and nature.
Raising my family around our core values of togetherness, mindfulness and kindness means we aim to make responsible decisions in everything we do, but we also prioritize fun and good food at the same time. For me as their mother, getting in the kitchen and baking with my babies is a memory that I will hold dear forever, and I can only hope that they do too. They might even remember the various different recipes that we loved to make together, like this cream cheese pumpkin sheet cake! Evvie is not terribly discerning when it comes to food and sweets- she loves to enjoy good food, but she and Demi especially love this recipe and I feel good about the ingredients that went into making it. Arla Cream Cheese is a go-to for baking, but it’s also wonderful on crackers and bagels too.
Recipe as follows!
- 1 (15 ounce) can canned pumpkin puree
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 4 eggs
- 1 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 2tbs ground flax meal
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 (3 ounce) package Arla cream cheese
- 5 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 3 teaspoons milk
- 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional, I do not add due to our nut allergy)
In a mixing bowl, beat pumpkin, 2 cups white sugar, and oil. Add eggs, and mix well. In another bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, flax meal and salt. Add these dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture, and beat until well blended. Pour batter into a greased 15 x 10 inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes, or until cake tests done. Cool. In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter or margarine, and vanilla until smooth. Gradually add 1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, and mix well. Add milk until frosting reaches desired spreading consistency. Frost cake, (and sprinkle with nuts)!
*Made with milk from cows not treated with rBST. No significant difference has been shown between milk derived from rBST-treated and non-rBST-treated cows.