Everywhere I turn on Pinterest, I'm seeing all sorts of pumpkin desserts sprout up. And, being sadly lagging on the blogosphere calendar, I'm finally making a pumpkin cake I pinned awhile back but never got to until now. The pictures on Heather Christo's blog are mouthwatering and seemed like the perfect autumn dessert with both pumpkin and toasted pecans, not to mention caramel. Caramel. Sigh.
Although unfortunately, when I was making this cake, I was short on time to make the caramel from scratch so I ended up cheating and topping it with the salted caramel from Trader Joe's. I know, total cheater, right? It also didn't work as well as I wanted either. I spread the caramel while the cake was still a little warm. It looked fine at first but ultimately it absorbed into the cake itself so I was left with a plain-looking cake with random pecans stuck on it and darker colored patches where the caramel once lay. Oops.
Fortunately, however, despite its appearance, this made a good cake. It had a nice fluffy texture and a good pumpkin flavor. I left the original caramel recipe below for anyone who wants to make it from scratch but I think to make the frosting stand out a little more, I'd try making a caramel buttercream for it instead. Or just use more caramel like the original recipe seemed like it did.
Pumpkin spice cake with caramel pecan glaze
From Heather Christo
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1-1/2 cups white sugar
1-1/4 cups pumpkin puree
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cardamom (I omitted)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 cup buttermilk
Caramel pecan glaze
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cream
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place a bundt cake pan on a baking sheet and generously grease it with baking spray.
2. For the pumpkin spice cake: In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat to combine. Add the pumpkin and combine well.
3. In a separate bowl add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices and sift them all together. Add half of the flour mixture to the batter, and then half of the buttermilk. Combine completely and then add the rest of the flour and the rest of the buttermilk. Mix the batter until it is completely combined.
4. Pour the batter into the bundt cake pan. Bake the cake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
5. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool on a rack almost completely before turning out onto a cake platter.
6. When the cake has been turned out onto the platter, then make the caramel pecan topping.
7. In a medium-sized pan over medium heat add the sugar. When it starts to turn golden around the edges, reduce the heat to low and begin to stir until all the sugar has melted. Add the butter and the cream and stir constantly over low heat until you have a smooth caramel sauce-this may take up to 10 minutes.
8. Add the pecans and immediately stir and pour over the top of the pumpkin spice bundt cake.