Prepare 2 8-inch cake tins with a piece of parchment paper on the bottom of the pan, then nonstick spray or a thin layer of butter followed by a thin layer of flour throughout the pan. This recipe will only make 2 cake layers: for the cake in the photo, I used four cake tins and doubled the recipe. Preheat the oven to 350º.
Mix flour, baking soda, salt, and spices together in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, beat pumpkin, oil, eggs and sugar together. Then add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir just until combined (don’t over-mix!) and add walnuts or raisins if you’d like.
Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Let the cakes cool completely before frosting. This is usually my downfall with frosted cakes, I’m just not patient enough! My advice is to bake the cake the night before, let the cakes cool for an hour then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate. They’ll be very easy to work with the next day.
Use a serrated knife to trim off the rounded top of each cake layer. Spread a small amount of frosting on a cake plate and then place your first layer of cake down. Use a plastic bag or piping bag to put a 1/8 inch layer of frosting on top, and spread it evenly with a knife or spatula to create a level surface for the next layer. Stack on the second layer, frost the top, and repeat with the remaining layers of cake. Pipe the rest of the frosting around the sides of the cake, filling in crevices and distributing the frosting as evenly as possible. For the “naked” cake look, use the back of a dinner knife or a bench scraper to remove most of the frosting from the sides of the cake.
Decorate by mixing a few different colors of icing together and use a butter spreader or butter knife (anything similar to a palette knife) to create leaf shapes around the cake. Use a toothpick to create leaf stems. Sprinkle top with nuts if using, and enjoy!