Cream-filled pumpkin Bundt cake

Pumpkin Bundt cake with a surprise filling and brown butter glaze is delicious seasonal treat that will have everyone going back for seconds.

The Pastry Chef's Baking
A rich pumpkin Bundt cake with a surprise filling of pastry cream and topped with a delicious brown butter glaze.

I adapted this from The Baker Chick; I made her pumpkin Bundt cake but I added my own element with the pastry cream as a "tunnel" in the middle.

I'd like to tell you it was because I love to experiment and make up my own recipes but unfortunately, while that's sometimes true, I just don't have that kind of time these days. Instead, I needed milk for another recipe, ended up having to buy a quart instead of a pint like I normally do because all that was available was a quart. So I had too much milk. When I have too much milk on hand, I either make pancakes, bread pudding, or pastry cream. I didn't feel like pancakes and I didn't have any challah in the house so pastry cream it was. I love pastry cream, too much so. Or at least I love the recipe which I make – one of my best takeaways from culinary school. I could spoon up pastry cream like pudding.

But since I "had" to make it this time, I decided to stuff it inside this pumpkin Bundt cake. That turned out to be a good call as the vanilla pastry cream paired very well with the pumpkin flavor, the texture of the cake, and the brown butter glaze. The glaze turned out thicker and more like a frosting than a glaze but if you want it thinner, simply add more milk. Either way, it was delicious. I even ate a normal-sized piece instead of a taste test sliver because it was so good.

Cream-filled pumpkin Bundt cake with brown butter glaze
Adapted from The Baker Chick

For the pastry cream filling:
1/2 quart (2 cups) milk
generous 1/2 cup sugar
scant 1/3 cup cornstarch
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
Vanilla extract to taste
3 tablespoons butter

1. Heat milk.

2. Mix sugar and cornstarch, then add eggs.

3. Temper in milk, meaning add the hot milk a little at a time while whisking into the egg mixture so the egg mixture gradually warms up. If you add the hot milk all at once, it risks cooking the eggs. (For a more detailed explanation of making pastry cream, click here.)

4. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add butter and vanilla.

5. Strain and cool.

For the pumpkin cake:
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin
3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar
3 large eggs

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 10-inch Bundt cake pan  with nonstick cooking spray and dust with flour, set aside.

2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, spices, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

3. In another bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, buttermilk, and vanilla.

4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time until well combined.

5. Alternate adding the flour and pumpkin mixtures, mixing on low speed, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Don't overmix.

6. Spoon 2/3 of the batter into prepared pan then add the pastry cream in a ring on top of it. Cover with remaining batter and smooth top with the back of a spoon.

7. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. (Try to avoid testing the middle where the pastry cream is. Instead, insert the toothpick along the sides as well as close to the inner tube opening.)

8. Invert and cool for at least 30 minutes on a wire rack before icing.

For the brown butter glaze:
1 stick of butter, browned
2 cups of powdered sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-4 tablespoons milk

1. Pour the browned butter into a bowl and whisk in the 2 cups sifted powdered sugar and vanilla, stirring until smooth. Add the milk, a tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is achieved.

2. Drizzle over the cake and serve warm, at room temperature or even cold from the fridge.

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