From passion fruit… to pumpkin. Summer to fall. In the blink of an eye.
I figured I better get my pumpkin fix out now, before Thanksgiving is over and everyone has moved on to peppermint. Seriously. Pumpkin has a very limited editorial life (although it seems to show up earlier and earlier each year, well into the summer when I’m still swimming in stone fruit).
Still, I probably could have been a bit better about my seasonal desserts. Seeing that it’s nearly Thanksgiving and this is the first pumpkin recipe I’ve posted this year. Go ahead, take away my food blogger credentials if you must.
But first, have a bite of this cake. You may just forgive me once you taste it.
This lightly spiced and vibrant orange cake can only be described as moist. I know some people are entirely averse to the use of that word, but tell me, what other word would you use to describe a cake like this? Surely not dry, and yet not wet either (wet cake? gross). Tender, with a soft crumb that practically melts in your mouth, soft and sultry and simply amazing. Unfortunately, the English language is lacking in proper cake descriptors. So, moist it is.
The recipe itself was adapted from our Banana Bread Bundt Cake from Breakfast for Dinner. I figure, why reinvent the wheel (literally—wheel ‘o cake), when we had a perfectly delicious, perfectly moist chocolate chip bundt cake recipe already? Banana and pumpkin can pretty much be used interchangeably, as this cake veritably proves.
I did modify the glaze, no peanut butter this time (somehow peanut butter and pumpkin seems like an odd combo). This glaze is thinner, with more cream and butter and a bit of corn syrup for shine. It should be thinner than a typical ganache, thin enough so that it easily runs down the sides of the cake, enrobing the entire thing in a thin layer of soft, luscious dark chocolate.
I used my precious French Broad 68% chef’s tablet for the glaze, and I don’t think I’d accept anything less. The rich and fruity, robust chocolate flavor is unlike anything you can buy in a regular grocery store, or at least buy cheaply. But it’s worth it.
The recipe makes about twice as much glaze as is actually needed to coat the cake, but only because the coating is such an inefficient process. Place your cake on a wire baking rack, and place that inside a rimmed baking sheet. Once you’ve poured the entire pan of glaze over the cake and succeeding in covering every last spot, tap the pan firmly on the table a few times to smooth out the glaze even more. Then transfer your cake to a cake plate or serving dish.
What’s left of the glaze will have been caught in the baking sheet. Scrape or pour it out and use it for something else, re-warmed it’d make an excellent sauce for ice cream, or chilled you could scoop it into balls for truffles. Especially if you’ve broken out your best chocolate for this recipe, don’t let it go to waste.
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips, tossed with 2 tablespoons flour
- 6 ounces 65-70% dark chocolate, chopped
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoons corn syrup
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a standard (12-cup) bundt pan, making sure to get in all the nooks and crannies. Dust with flour, tapping out any excess.
- In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
- In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat sugar and butter until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then mix in pumpkin and vanilla. Add dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with milk, mixing until incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips.
- Pour batter evenly into prepared pan. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the deepest part of the pan comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs attached. Move to a wire rack and let cool; invert onto wire rack, cake should come out cleanly.
- To prepare glaze, heat all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until melted and smooth. If necessary, add more milk or cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, until glaze is the consistency of maple syrup. Place wire rack with cake inside a sheet pan or cookie sheet. Pour glaze evenly over cake, letting it drip down and completely cover the top and sides, using a spatula if necessary to cover any missed spots. Let sit for 30 minutes to allow glaze to set. Slice and serve. Leftover cake will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days.