Saturday, November 26, 2016

Pumpkin Buttermilk Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Buttermilk Cake - made November 8, 2016, adapted from Cake Central
In honor of National Cake Day today and Thanksgiving week/month which still counts as pumpkin season in my book, here's something to celebrate both.  The original recipe called for roasting a pumpkin and using that in the cake. I have never bought a pumpkin in my life and the only pumpkin I know comes out of the Libby's can as pumpkin puree. I know just enough to pick the can that says "puree" and not the one that says "pumpkin pie filling". So it probably can go without saying that I substituted that can of pumpkin puree for "real pumpkin".
I don't know what kind of difference that made and I'm sure people who've baked directly with the real thing might be cringing but, since I don't know differently, I thought this cake turned out pretty well.  It's a nicely seasonal cake, appropriate for more novice bakers who want to bring out something simple for a holiday gathering. You mix it up like a basic cake, pour into a Bundt pan and, the baking gods willing, it comes nicely intact out of the pan. Let it cool then frost with your favorite cream cheese frosting recipe.
Pumpkin isn't a strong flavor, hence the spices in the recipe. If you don't like a lot of spice, you can omit the cloves and increase the cinnamon. I love cinnamon and my absolute favorite is the Vietnamese cinnamon from Penzey's. Seriously, I even give it away for gifts along with my favorite recipe(s) for snickerdoodles. Matter of fact, if you want a holiday or hostess gift idea, make up a batch of these snickerdoodles, print out a copy of the recipe on holiday stationery, wrap up the cookies in holiday packaging (those cookie plates or festive boxes from Michaels work well), include a small jar of Penzey's Vietnamese cinnamon and affix the recipe with your gift tag.
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
½ cup butter, softened
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
⅔ cup buttermilk
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously spray a Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray and dust with 1 tablespoon flour.
  2. Place granulated sugar, brown sugar, and butter in a large bowl; beat with mixer at medium speed 3 minutes or until well blended.
  3. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in pumpkin puree and vanilla.
  4. Lightly spoon 3 cups flour into dry measuring cups and level with a knife.
  5. Combine flour and cinnamon, cloves, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  6. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove from pan, and cool completely on wire rack.
  7. If desired, frost with cream cheese frosting: beat 1/4 cup butter and 8 ounces cream cheese until blended and creamy. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and briefly mix to combine. Add up to 2 - 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, depending on desired taste and consistency. Beat until smooth. Frost cooled cake.

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