Fall Dinner Party Menu+ Pumpkin Cake with Maple Frosting

Hello, Friends! I’d love to know if any of my readers are planning to host a Fall Dinner Party? Today I’m sharing a delicious fall menu, plus a Pumpkin Cake with Maple Frosting.

Pumpkin Cake with Maple Frosting

We are still entertaining outdoors, which I really love this time of year in the Rogue Valley. The colors are not quite there yet, as in vibrant like they were last year.

But for sure fall is the perfect season to host an outdoor party, with crisp air, but not so uncomfortable that your guests are sweating or freezing.

Fall Dinner Party and Pumpkin Cake with Maple Frosting

Make your own flower arrangement.

We recently had friends over and I challenged myself at the Farmer’s Market to not buy any flowers. Surely we had something blooming in our yard that would have an autumn tint, that would be pretty for the table.

I walked through the yard and was happy to see our sedum blooming, with a hint of burgundy, pink, and light greens.

Fall Dinner Party and Pumpkin Cake with Maple Frosting

It was easy to snip the branches and place in Mason jars.

Line the center of the table.

Set the table.

Use a white linen tablecloth.

Pull out MacKenzie-Childs Courtly Check chargers and Aurora pattern salad dishes.

Fall Dinner Party and Pumpkin Cake with Maple Frosting

Of course, there’s always an element of “Dollar Store bargains” on my table, which were indeed the black plates.

Black cloth napkins.

Fall Dinner Party and Pumpkin Cake with Maple Frosting

My friend, Jenny, helped me set the table.

Fall Dinner Party and Pumpkin Cake with Maple Frosting | ReluctantEntertainer.com

Enjoying delicious appetizers, which, by the way, this Pepper Relish Cream Cheese Dip recipe was completely devoured.

Pepper Relish and Cream Cheese Dip Recipe

And ending the evening with this pumpkin cake!

Pumpkin Cake with Maple Frosting

Pumpkin Cake with Maple Frosting | ReluctantEntertainer.com

Fall Dinner Party Menu.

Pepper Relish Cream Cheese Dip Recipe {Harry & David}
Grilled Steak {Wears Many Hats}
Green Salad with Bacon Dressing {without the chicken}
Grilled Spaghetti Squash
Crunchy Bread

Pumpkin Cake with Maple Frosting

And this fabulous dessert: Pumpkin Cake with Maple Frosting

What’s your favorite way to host a party in the fall time?

Pumpkin Cake with Maple Frosting | ReluctantEntertainer.com

Pumpkin Cake with Maple Frosting
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Pumpkin Cake with Maple Frosting

You can mix all of the nuts in the cake or leave 1/4 cup out for garnishing.
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Servings: 8


  • 1 cup pecans toasted and chopped
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 stick 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 can 15 oz. pumpkin I buy Trader Joe’s organic
  • 1 package 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. maple extract


  • Heat the oven to 350. Coat an 8×8 baking pan with cooking spray.
  • Place nuts on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or in the microwave (on paper towel) for about 2 minutes, turning occasionally. Cook the nuts; chop and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix the sugars, butter, eggs and vanilla. Add in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix well.
  • Mix in the pumpkin, stirring well until combined. Add the chopped nuts.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for about 30 minutes and frost.
  • For the frosting, with a mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth, adding in the powdered sugar, maple syrup, and extract. Beat until completely smooth.
  • Frost the cake and top with extra nuts if you prefer; serve.

Fall Dinner Party Menu+ Pumpkin Cake with Maple Frosting Fall Dinner Party Menu+ Pumpkin Cake with Maple Frosting

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18 comments on “Fall Dinner Party Menu+ Pumpkin Cake with Maple Frosting”

  1. BEAUTIFUL SANDY! I love love love did I say love your blog? I send everyone I know to your site to find excellent recipes and beautiful living ideas.

    I just made your pumpkin cake last night for a large crowd I was hosting. It was a SMASH HIT I am telling you. Delicious, very fall tasting AND easy. So easy. Crazy easy.

    The frosting divine. Just wow.

    I am making another today.

    Thank you for inspiring so many. There are many people here in Colorado that love your cooking and lifegiving!

    Much love to you.

  2. What a perfect party – and perfect pumpkin cake!! My heavens!

  3. This cake looks great! Love that maple frosting.

  4. This post is so timely for me! I was just making some notes for a dinner party I’m planning for next weekend. Your table is so pretty. I LOVE eating outdoors in the fall…cool, crisp air, beautiful fall colors and no bugs! So glad I found this…that cake is going to happen next weekend! It is absolutely perfect!

  5. I love setting a nice table too. AND there is no reason to use the same dishes over and over, when you can buy ‘new’ ones at the Good Will for 69 cents each. I always have fresh flowers at work and at home. My own during the cutting flower garden time and store bought ones otherwise. It’s a pleasure in life that I am no longer denying myself. Anyway I enjoy your blog immensely. The cake looks ultra moist! We already know it is delicious.

    • Thank you, Carol, for being a faithful commentor. :) I, too, buy flowers in the off-season of our garden, because I love them so! The cake is moist – watch out (really good). :)

  6. Hi! I’ve been reading your blog for a few years now. I must say your photography has really improved. Some really nice photos in this post. Now that I’ve written this out, I sound arrogant, like I’m some sort of an expert (Ha!), but I mean to pay a compliment.

    • That’s very sweet, Denise. Yup, trying to step up my photography a bit. I really appreciate your compliment – it goes a LONG way :)

  7. Thanks for the game plan! I have sedum in my yard too :) I was thinking of also adding some pumpkins to carve after dinner…

  8. I got an error code 404 – not found so I wasn’t able to print the recipe. Sure looks wonderful! Love the idea of the maple being added.

  9. Yum! Looks good! We haven’t done much entertaining in the fall simply because it is full on soccer season and with hubby’s work, it just doesn’t work, This recipe look yummy!!!! As always, love your pics

  10. What a perfect menus for a fall dinner and this cake looks so delicious! Moist and full of yummy frosting!

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