Culinary Cardinals: Tito Landrum’s Pumpkin Cake

This is the tastiest Cardinals recipe I’ve made so far! I’ve got to hand it to Teresa Landrum. With six recipes, she was one of the most prolific contributors to Cooking with the Cardinals.

Unlike Jack Clark’s Cake, which called for using box cake mix, this cake is made from scratch.  Here’s the recipe…

2 cups sifted flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup Wesson oil
2 cups canned pumpkin

Sift together flour, soda, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Beat eggs, sugar and oil together. Add to flour mixture and beat well. Add pumpkin, stirring well. Pour into greased 13″ by 9″ pan; bake for 30 minutes at 325 degrees.

1/2 cup butter
1 box powdered sugar
1 cup nuts, chopped
1 tsp vanilla
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese

Combine and beat ingredients. 

This cake was simple to make. I baked it about 35 minutes as it didn’t seem quite done at 30 minutes, but that might just be my oven. The cream cheese frosting was especially delicious. I shared it with neighbors and everyone raved. The cake was tasty while it was still a little warm, but I liked it even better after it had been in the fridge.  The cinnamon gave it a bit of a spice cake feel, and it complemented the pumpkin well. It’s the perfect cake for this Fall season. You could rename it Pumpkin Spice Cake to be trendy.

After spending eight years in the minors, Tito Landrum played on the winning teams of back-to-back World Series’ in 1982 (Cardinals) and 1983 (Orioles). After one fruitful season in Baltimore, he came back to finish his career with the Cardinals. Tito also was a key player for the 1985 Cardinals, playing in another World Series as a stellar substitute for Vince Coleman after Vince was maimed by the tarp. After baseball, he became a physical therapist. He was the honorary valedictorian of his NYU graduating class.

img_3973Tito and Teresa met at a nightclub in St. Petersburg, Florida. They have two kids, Melissa and Julie. Julie Landrum is married to Paul Pierce of the Boston Celtics.


Tito and Teresa divorced in 1986, and he remarried Carol Williams, who encouraged him to go back to school after baseball. It appears that Tito and Carol are still together today, or at least they are working together at Premier Lab Associates.

Regarding the pumpkin cake, Teresa wrote, “This is one of the best cake recipes we’ve collected in our travels over the years. This and the Granny Cake recipe come from a very dear friend in Carmi, Illinois.”  The Granny Cake will definitely be on my list of recipes to try – hopefully it isn’t made of grannies.

NY Times story on Tito Landrum’s life after baseball


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