Pumpkin Cake for Two

pumpkin cakeCould you eat an entire pie by yourself? The answer to that question is probably yes. And really, I’m not here to judge. But each year I bake both apple and pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving, and because apple is Mike’s favorite and my mom doesn’t eat much dairy (including the evaporated milk in my pumpkin pie recipe), part of my delicious pumpkin creation goes to waste. Not wanting such a result this year, I chose to bake a little pumpkin cake, perfect for just a few servings. The funny thing is that with the way I frosted it, this cake actually reminds me of a pie.

The original recipe for the cake comes from Carla at Homemade In The Kitchen, a fellow Pittsburgh baker who focuses on small-batch recipes, perfect for just one or two people. I paired her pumpkin cake with some caramel cinnamon buttercream frosting of my own, and I cannot wait to have it for dessert later today. Mike and my mom will enjoy the apple pie I baked yesterday, and Tucker, our new pup, will get some pumpkin puree for his dessert. Everyone wins, and nothing goes to waste. Happy Thanksgiving!

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 1/2 cup flour, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

For the frosting

  • 4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • About 1 1/2 tablespoons caramel sauce, to taste
  • Cinnamon to taste

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 6-inch round cake tin and line the bottom with a parchment circle.

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt; set aside. In another medium bowl, whisk together pumpkin, oil, sugars, egg, and vanilla. Gradually add the dry mixture to the pumpkin mixture, stirring to incorporate completely.

Pour into cake tin and bake for 22-27 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean; the original recipe said to bake for 22-25 minutes, but my cake needed a few more – everyone’s oven is different. Cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then invert on a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, beat butter on medium speed for 1 minute, then add powdered sugar and beat on low until all of the sugar is incorporated into the butter. Add vanilla and caramel and beat to combine, about 2-3 minutes. Add cinnamon to taste – truth be told, I didn’t measure this, but rather just sprinkled a few dashes into the mixture and tasted it to see when I’d reached my desired flavor. Frost the cake using an offset spatula; if desired, fit a piping bag with a leaf tip and pipe leaf shapes around the edge.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for about 2 days; pumpkin cake is very moist and can get soggy if kept longer. Makes one 6-inch cake, about four servings.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake

pumpkin choc chip cakeWho bakes with pumpkin in July? A woman who is one month away from her kitchen remodel and trying to use up as many ingredients as possible so she doesn’t have to pack them away. Also a woman who hasn’t been very fond of July for many years and wishes it would pass quickly. Basically, me. I am the woman who bakes with pumpkin in July.

While I have some very dear friends who celebrate birthdays this month, July is a melancholy month for me. My dad passed away in July 16 years ago, and a few weeks ago Mike and I said goodbye to our beloved Millie, the best dog who ever lived. So today, as I look forward to fall, to cooler weather, to a complete kitchen, and hopefully, to a new four-legged friend, I present this pumpkin chocolate chip cake. It is beyond delicious, made even better by the abundance of chocolate chips. I hope Mike’s coworkers enjoy it.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 15 ounces pumpkin puree
  • 12-ounce bag semisweet chocolate chips

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease a 10-inch Bundt pan.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together sugar and oil until very well-combined. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing very well after each.

Stir in flour mixture and pumpkin alternatively, stirring until well-combined and smooth. Fold in chocolate chips, then spoon or pour into prepared pan.

Bake for about 45 minutes, then check with a cake tester or toothpick; continue baking for a few minutes at a time, checking frequently, until the cake tester comes out clean. My cake baked for about 50 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool cake in pan for 10 minutes. Flip out onto a wire rack to cool completely before serving. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.

Makes about 12-16 slices, depending on the size.

Pumpkin Pecan Bundt Cake

My mom has some dietary restrictions, and she tends to stay away from dairy. Last night Mike and I went to her house for dinner to celebrate my birthday, and I figured baking a dairy-free cake was the least I could do for the woman who gave me life. After all, she’s the one who did all the hard work, right?

Dairy-free baking isn’t always as challenging as it might seem, and there are many recipes out there that don’t require a range of bizarre ingredients to substitute for butter or milk. Most vegetable cakes, like this pumpkin cake, use oil instead of butter. Such cakes are usually fluffier than butter-based cakes, and tend to keep their moisture longer. And if you choose to bake your cake in a Bundt tin, as I did here, there’s no need for a buttercream or cream cheese frosting; you can whip up a simple glaze icing with just powdered sugar and water. I’m happy to report that Genny loved this cake, so it’s one I’ll make again for her in the future.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 15 ounces pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted and cooled
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 4-5 teaspoons water

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease a 10-inch Bundt pan.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and pumpkin pie spice; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together sugar and oil until very well-combined. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing very well after each.

Stir in flour mixture and pumpkin alternatively, stirring until well-combined and smooth. Fold in toasted pecans, then spoon or pour into prepared pan.

Bake for about 45 minutes, then check with a cake tester or toothpick; continue baking for a few minutes at a time, checking frequently, until the cake tester comes out clean. My cake baked for about 50 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool cake in pan for 10 minutes. Flip out onto a wire rack to cool completely before glazing and drizzling.

To make the glaze, in a small bowl, combine powdered sugar and 2 teaspoons water. Continue adding water until glaze reaches a pourable consistency, then pour over cake and allow to drip down the sides.

Store cake at room temperature for 2-3 days. Makes about 12 servings.

Pumpkin Bundt Cake

pumpkinbundtIt’s October, the time of Pumpkin Spice Everything. Lattes, cheesecakes, scones, breads, raviolis, even Pop Tarts – you name it, at this time of year, you can find it in the pumpkin or pumpkin spice variety.

Canned pumpkin is a staple in my pantry, stocked year-round for a range of recipes. I buy pumpkin puree – not pie filling – in the large, 29-ounce cans, which leaves plenty for multiple recipes at one time. Earlier this week, I used 15 ounces in some pumpkin chocolate chip bread, so I had 14 ounces – about 1 3/4 cups – left over.

Once open, canned pumpkin will last in the fridge for about 5-7 days, so it’s best to use it up soon. If you’re looking for good ideas, you need 1 cup for pumpkin streusel muffins or pumpkin cupcakes, and can use the remaining 3/4 cup for pumpkin biscotti. You can also use 1 1/2 cups for pumpkin donuts and just mix the remainder into some pancake batter or a smoothie. I wanted to use the rest of my pumpkin up all at once, and I found this pumpkin Bundt recipe at Taste of Home; it originally called for 15 ounces of pumpkin, but my 14 ounces did just fine. Topping-wise, you could dust this with powdered sugar or just leave it plain, but I thought the combination of glaze and spice drizzle gave it a nice extra touch.

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 14 ounces pumpkin puree

For the glaze

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • About 2 1/2 tablespoons milk

For the spice drizzle

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 3-4 teaspoons milk

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease a 10-inch Bundt pan.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together sugar and oil until very well-combined. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing very well after each.

Stir in flour mixture and pumpkin alternatively, stirring until well-combined and smooth. Spoon or pour into prepared pan.

Bake for about 45 minutes, then check with a cake tester or toothpick; continue baking for a few minutes at a time, checking frequently, until the cake tester comes out clean. The original recipe called for 60 minutes of baking time, but my cake baked for about 50 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool cake in pan for 10 minutes. Flip out onto a wire rack to cool completely before glazing and drizzling.

To make the glaze, in a small bowl, combine powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon milk. Continue adding additional milk until the glaze reaches a pourable consistency, then pour or drizzle over cake, allowing to drip down the sides. Allow glaze to set for just a few minutes before adding the spice drizzle.

To make the spice drizzle, combine powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in a small bowl. Add milk 1 teaspoon at a time until the drizzle reaches a drizzly consistency, like thick honey. Spoon into a piping bag and pipe over the glaze, allowing drizzle to drip down the sides (or just drizzle with a spoon). Allow drizzle to set before serving.

Store at room temperature.

pumpkinbundt2Here’s an overhead view of the cake  – pretty, eh?