So I read somewhere that there is a world-wide shortage of canned pumpkin this year. Now while I was not one to panic when there was all this craziness in 1999 with the coming of the new millennium about how we needed to stock up on bottled water, candles and toilet paper (in part because I knew my sister had stocked up) I did have a moment of panic about a lack of canned pumpkin. I will do many things by hand, taking the extra steps, but I have never been one to prepare my own pumpkin purée and I am not about to start. And I find it difficult to imagine the fall and winter without my pumpkin pie, especially since it is a favorite of my godchildren’s. The logical thing to do would be to see this as an opportunity to look for wonderful new recipes that don’t require pumpkin, but oh no – I suddenly had this craving – this actual physical need – for everything pumpkin-related. I started scouring my local grocery stores for canned pumpkin – preferably organic – and can now say unequivocally that I have enough canned pumpkin purée to last me through several winters. Therefore, when I came across this recipe for a pumpkin bundt cake, I decided it was safe to give it a try. It has a cinnamon streusel running throughout and an optional salted caramel sauce. I have included a version of a salted caramel sauce that I have made in the past for an apple pie. The sauce that came with the original recipe did not measure up, which is why there are no photos of it here with the cake. After throwing out the sauce, I simply used powdered sugar. I made a few minor tweaks to the original recipe and the result is a lovely, fragrant, moist cake – not amazing, but very nice with coffee or milk. I am still on my quest for a true pumpkin experience.
Pumpkin Bundt with Cinnamon Streusel and Salted Caramel Sauce by Kelli Foster of kitchn
Yield: 1 large Bundt cake serving 10-12
For the cinnamon streusel:
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
For the cake:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons unsulphured molasses
For the salted caramel sauce:
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup heavy cream
3.5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350°F. Generously butter and flour the sides and tube of a 12-cup Bundt pan or coat with cooking spray; set aside.
- Make the cinnamon streusel: Mix the sugar, chopped walnuts and cinnamon together in a small bowl; set aside.
- Make the cake: Whisk together the flour, spices, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
- Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. (Alternatively, use a large bowl and hand mixer.) Beat on medium-high speed until fluffy and lightened in color, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Beat in the pumpkin purée, molasses and vanilla extract, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Don’t worry if it looks almost a bit curdled. Once you add the dry ingredients all will be well.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture and beat lightly, just until the flour is no longer visible.
- Transfer half of the batter to the prepared Bundt pan and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle the cinnamon streusel over the batter in an even layer. Top with the remaining batter.
- Bake until the cake springs back to a gentle touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 85 minutes. Ovens vary so see how things are going after 1 hour. Cool for 15 minutes in the pan on a wire rack. Flip the cake out onto the rack and cool completely. While the cake cools, prepare the salted caramel sauce. Alternatively, you could just sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.
Make the caramel: In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar and water over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and bring to a boil, without stirring. If necessary, use a wet pastry brush to wash down any sugar crystals on the side of the pan. Boil until the syrup is a deep amber color – about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the sugar from the heat and carefully whisk in the heavy cream. The mixture will bubble. Stir in the unsalted butter and salt. Transfer the caramel to a glass bowl or jar and allow it to cool. The sauce will thicken as it cools. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve with the cake. Leftover sauce holds up well in the fridge and is wonderful on everything apple or on ice cream.