Dinner with Kirsten

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Pumpkin Bundt Cake

November 23rd, 2008 · 22 Comments

pumpkin bundt cake

My sister bought me a bundt cake pan as a present years ago, and I absolutely love it. But, I’ve only actually used the pan a handful of times. I lugged it from Nebraska to New York, then from my apartment to Geoff’s, and it has been sitting neglected in his cupboard ever since.

Every once in a while, riffling through cupboards looking for some dish or utensil, I bump into my bundt cake pan. Our encounters transpire like fleeting unexpected run-ins with old friends: We are happy to see each other and resolve to get together soon, but then we never follow through.

But then Geoff ran into my pan. He complained about having this large, heavy, flower-shaped pan cluttering up his cupboard when I never even use it.

“I’ve used it!” I protested.

“When?” he asked. “Not here.”

I thought I had. . .  But maybe he was right. I remember looking for bundt cake recipes and intending to make cake after cake, but I can’t remember the last bundt cake I made. So, when I was asked to bring something to work for a Thanksgiving potluck, I immediately searched for a fall bundt cake recipe.

pumpkin bundt cake slice

This recipe is so easy and delicious that I had to make it twice (two bundt cakes in two days!). It disappeared quickly from the potluck dessert table, and the small sliver I tried convinced me I had to make it again.

Buttermilk and butter make this cake extra-moist, and it tastes even better a day or two after it’s baked, as the flavors have time to meld and settle. I added more spices than the original recipe, and I think they’re about perfect now, but you should adjust according to your taste. Usually baking is an exact science, but in this case, a little more or less spice is a reasonable adjustment.

pumpkin bundt cake

Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Buttermilk Icing
Adapted from Gourmet

For cake:
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened, plus additional for greasing bundt pan
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for dusting pan
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin – you’ll need a 15-ounce can
3/4 cup buttermilk, well-shaken
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs

For icing:
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons well-shaken buttermilk
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar

Special equipment: a 10-inch nonstick bundt pan – but I’d love to try this as cupcakes, also

For cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter bundt pan generously, then dust with flour and knock out the excess.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and salt in a bowl. Whisk together pumpkin, 3/4 cup buttermilk, and vanilla in another bowl.

Beat 1 1/2 sticks butter and granulated sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Then add eggs and beat 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and add flour and pumpkin mixtures alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture and mixing until batter is just smooth.

Spoon batter into pan and smooth top. Then bake  about 45 to 50 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick or skewer inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a rack 15 minutes. Then place rack over cake and flip the cake onto rack. Cool 10 minutes more.

For icing:
While cake is cooling, whisk together buttermilk and confectioners sugar until smooth. Drizzle icing over warm cake, then cool cake completely. Icing will harden slightly.

Tags: baking · dessert · quick fix · recipes · thanksgiving

22 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Kathy Croson // Nov 23, 2008 at 9:42 pm

    This sounds wonderful! I am going to make this for thanksgiving. If it disappeared from a potluck at a food business it must be incredible! Look me up when you get in town and maybe we can do lunch (you can experiment or we can do el bees).

  • 2 Cate // Nov 24, 2008 at 8:49 am

    this looks beautiful, kirsten. and nice way to dust off the old bundt pan.

  • 3 Karie // Nov 24, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    Thank you so much for helping me get my bundt
    pan off the shelve.

  • 4 Kevin // Nov 24, 2008 at 9:17 pm

    That cake looks nice and dense and moist and good!

  • 5 ingrid // Nov 26, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    Thanks for sharing the recipe! I’ve printed it out and will give it a try in my barely used bundt cake pan!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  • 6 ingrid // Dec 10, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    I made this cake for Thanksgiving! It was fantastic! Everyone LOVED it. Their wasn’t that many of us and it was all gone with two hours of first cutting into it. I didn’t use the icing recipe but will give it a try another time.

    While I didn’t get a photo I did blog about it and provided a link back to you. Thanks for sharing the recipe. It was your wonderful photo that convinced me this was the cake to make!

  • 7 Colloquial Cook // Jan 26, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    Too bad I didn’t take a picture either! i made it this weekend on Saturday, hid it in my bedroom and served it on Sunday (so that my roomies wouldn’t be tempted to dig in on the first day :-) )
    It was very moist and easy to slice! Great recipe, definitely a keeper. The icing doesn’t do much I think, apart from the prettifying business of course :-)

  • 8 Amber // Nov 9, 2009 at 10:40 am

    I baked this cake last weekend & took it to a luncheon- it was gone within the first 5 minutes…the WHOLE thing!! It was absolutely delicious- will definitely make this for Thanksgiving & for just about anything- I loved it!

  • 9 Hanna // Nov 14, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    I made this tonight and just had a slice, SO delicious! Thanks for posting the recipe, its a great fall treat :)

  • 10 Angeli // Oct 9, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    Awesome Pumpkin cake! I baked it this evening and didn’t change anything in the recipe except the icing. I used white chocolate ganache with rum flavour and I couldn’t believe the combination.. perfect marriage!
    Very moist and so delicious!!!
    Thank you so much for this recipe. :-)

  • 11 Annie // Nov 3, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    My bundt pan also doesn’t get used often. I made this and I live in Denver (high altitude) I followed the recipe and baked it about 10 minutes extra. It was a bit gummy the first day, but the next day it was absolutely perfect. My husband asks every day for a second cake! I actually skipped the icing at his request and it was still great.

    Thanks for sharing

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