This super simple Mini Pumpkin Cake with cream cheese frosting and homemade candied walnuts is the perfect easy fall dessert to share with a couple friends.
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 7x5-inch baking dish and line with parchment paper*.
In a medium bowl, whisk together egg, sugar, vegetable oil, and pumpkin puree until very smooth. Whisk in flour mixture. Pour batter into prepared baking dish and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with just a few wet crumbs and when gently pressed, the top of the cake springs back.
While your cake is cooling, make the candied walnuts. Place a sheet of parchment paper on the counter along with an extra spatula or fork (you'll need it to separate the nuts later).
Heat a medium non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add walnuts, butter, and sugar. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring often (don't leave unattended), until sugar is completely melted and a light amber and nuts are coated. Turn out walnuts on to prepared parchment paper, scraping all the sugar out onto the nuts. Use the two spatulas to separate the nuts into a single layer, scraping the cooling sugar on to them as you go. Be VERY careful with the hot sugar so you don't burn yourself!
Allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes and then break the nuts apart.
In a medium bowl, combine softened cream cheese, butter, and vanilla, and beat until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar and salt and beat until well-combined.
Spread over cooled cake and pile cooled candied walnuts on top.
*Parchment paper is only necessary if you want to be able to lift your cake out of the dish to frost and serve.
Store cake covered in the refrigerator.