DWK ARCHIVE: Pumpkin Bundt Cake

pumpkin bundt cake

I loved my old blog, Dinner with Kirsten, and even though I’ve moved onto this new and improved site, I still like my old recipes. So, I’m moving my favorites over! Please excuse the old writing style and less-than-stellar photography. Heck, I’m still working to improve my photos, but looking back it’s encouraging to see that I have made some improvement since 2008.

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.

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 with Buttermilk Icing
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  1. 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened, plus additional for greasing bundt pan
  2. 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for dusting pan
  3. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  4. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  6. 3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  7. 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  8. 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  9. 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  10. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  11. 1 1/4 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin – you’ll need a 15-ounce can
  12. 3/4 cup buttermilk, well-shaken
  13. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  14. 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  15. 3 large eggs
For icing
  1. 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons well-shaken buttermilk
  2. 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  3. Special equipment: a 10-inch nonstick bundt pan – but I’d love to try this as cupcakes, also
For cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter bundt pan generously, then dust with flour and knock out the excess.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  1. 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.
  1. 2016 NOTE: Since writing this blog post, I've made this cake several times and skipped the icing completely. I just sprinkle a little powdered sugar on top to make it look pretty, and it's good to go.
Adapted from Gourmet, November 2005
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