Holiday Pumpkin Bundt Cake

December 15, 2010

Aunt Suzy says . . .

I first heard about this cake on the radio a few years ago in a  Dorie Greenspan spot around Thanksgiving. This cake immediately became a holiday staple at my house, and even though I’ve seen this on a dozen other blogs, I’m compelled to share it!  It’s sometimes called “All In One Cake”, most likely because it contains many ingredients used in fall/winter holiday cooking.  I made this prior to Thanksgiving intending to post it then, but had a cake “fail” – the cake stuck to the bundt pan!  So I hotfooted it over to the NordicWare store to get the lowdown on how to make sure this didn’t happen again.  Since the founder of NordicWare, David Dahlquist, invented the bundt pan back in the 1950’s, I knew they’d be able to help.  They have compiled these tips on how to make the perfect bundt cake, and I heartily recommend that you check these out.

Margaux says . . .

This cake is fantastic!  I’ve made it for the past few years at the holidays since Aunt Suzy first shared it with me.  As I’ve said before, I’m a lover of all things pumpkin, and this cake has so many other goodies in it, too!  I really think it’s a must for Christmas or Thanksgiving…I would even give up pumpkin pie to have it.   I am a sucker for cakes, though!  🙂  The last time I made it, I didn’t chop the cranberries, apples and nuts small enough, and it kind of fell apart when we served it.  It’s especially important, I think, to make sure the apples are in really small pieces (like 1/4″).   I might even use the food processor to chop the apples and cranberries next time I make it (just pulse them a few times).

Aunt Suzy says . . .

Great point, Margaux, about making sure all the pieces of goodies aren’t too big.  Thanks for mentioning this!  I, for one, am looking forward to having a piece of this for breakfast with a cup of strong coffee!  It occurs to me to also note that this cake is a great dessert when there’s going to be a crowd – it serves many!

Preheat oven at 350 degrees.  You will need a 9-10 inch greased and floured bundt pan and an electric mixer.

2 cups sifted all purpose flour                               2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda                                           2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg                                      Pinch of salt

Whisk the dry ingredients together in a bowl.  If you do not have fresh ginger, you can substitute 1 teaspoon dried with the dry ingredients.  Set aside.

1 ¼ sticks butter (10 Tablespoons)                    2 large eggs

1 cup granulated sugar                                             ½ cup packed brown sugar

1 ¼ cups canned pumpkin puree                        1 tsp vanilla

1 ½ teaspoons grated fresh ginger                     1 large apple, peeled and diced

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter with the sugar on high speed until fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time and beat on high after each for 1 minute.  Add the vanilla and beat a little more.  Reduce speed to low and add the pumpkin, chopped apple and grated ginger and beat till mixed.  Add the dry ingredients and beat on low until incorporated.

1 cup halved or chopped fresh cranberries           1 cup chopped pecans

Fold in the cranberries and pecans with a rubber spatula and stir until spread evenly through the batter.  Spoon the batter into the bundt pan and then smooth the top with the spatula.  Tap the pan on the counter a few times to settle the batter into the pattern in the pan – this is one of the NordicWare tips.

Bake for 60-70 minutes until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.  Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 10 minutes.  Unmold onto the rack and cool to room temperature.

Just before serving, dust with powdered sugar.

COOK’S NOTES: Pay careful attention to quantities in this recipe – there’s a lot going on.  For example, this time I used the entire can of pumpkin instead of measuring out the 1 1/4 cups.  I ended up with a custard-like cake vs. cake-like cake.  One time I put in 2 sticks of butter instead of measuring 10 Tablespoons because I had set both sticks out to soften.  This didn’t ruin the cake either, but made it a lot more buttery!  Some would say not such a bad thing.  On another note, you can store the cake, wrapped, for up to 4 days or wrap in foil and freeze.  Unless we are making this for a crowd, half goes in the freezer for later use.  You can use the Maple Glaze that follows if you want, although I think this cake is just delicious plain or with powdered sugar.

Maple Glaze

Sift 6 tablespoons powdered sugar into a bowl.  Stir in 2 tablespoons maple syrup.  Add more syrup a little at a time until the icing runs off the tip of the spoon (maybe ½ tbsp more).  Put the cooled cake on a plate and drizzle with the icing.  Let it set for a few minutes before serving.

Texas Cake

July 2, 2010

Margaux says

This is everyone’s favorite cake in my family, even those who aren’t huge fans of cake.  We typically have it in the summer, for the 4th of July and my Granny’s birthday.  We also randomly have it for birthdays and other special occasions throughout the year.  It’s rich, chocolaty and buttery, which is probably due to the three sticks of butter in it.  As my Granny says, “with three sticks of butter, what’s not to like?”  I made it for Father’s Day…I gave Jason two choices: Texas cake or strawberry pie.  Despite being more of a pie lover, he chose this cake.

Aunt Suzy Says

My Mom (aka Granny) learned about this recipe sometime in the 1970’s and it has become a staple, as Margaux says, at family birthdays and other events ever since.  I will add to the quote . . . “with 3 sticks of butter and a cup of sour cream, what’s not to like?”  🙂  Some in our family have started making this without the nuts, although I think the nuts add a great texture contrast to the rich, gooeyness of the cake.  And Margaux’s Dad has made this into cupcakes that he calls TDF’s (to die fors), which I think are a fun alternative way to make this recipe.  A few years ago, Randy and I visited his best friend’s Mom, Susie Sutton, and she served this cake but called it Mississippi Mud cake.  This tickled me since she lived in Texas!  So, Margaux . . . . serve with ice cream or not?  What do you think?

Margaux says

ICE CREAM!  And a cup of coffee. When I was a kid, I was a purist and would only eat my 3 (or more) pieces of Texas cake without ice cream.   But now I need it to cut the richness of the cake.

The Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 10×15 jelly roll sheet.

2 sticks butter

1 cup water

4 tablespoons cocoa

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

2 cups sugar

½ cup sour cream (Susie Sutton used buttermilk)

1 teaspoon vanilla

Melt the first 3 ingredients in a saucepan.  Do not boil.  Cool.

Place the dry ingredients in a bowl.  Add the eggs, sugar, vanilla and sour cream and mix well.

Slowly add the cocoa mixture.  Pour all into the pan and bake for 20-25 minutes.  Frost while warm with pecan frosting.

Pecan Frosting

Place 1 stick butter, 4 tablespoons cocoa and 6 tablespoons milk in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Add 1 box of powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 cup chopped pecans and beat till smooth.  You will want the frosting to be a little runny so it doesn’t tear the cake.  Pour over the cake while still warm.