Pumpkin Bundt Cake

I have fallen off the posting train! But I’m trying to get back on board. It’s been a busy and fun fall, which means I have neglected this little hobby of mine. But this cake was too good not to share! I had a fun Oktober fest at a new friends house. It was outdoors on the perfect chilly, but lovely October night. They had grilled up two whole lambs, and brewed some homemade beer, and then invited a bunch of people over to share.

I decided to try out a new cake recipe. It’s pumpkin season and this cake did not disappoint. It has a mix of butter and oil for flavor and moisture with the perfect amount of fall spices. It baked up beautifully and came out of the pan easily. I topped with a simple yogurt glaze which had just enough tang to perfectly compliment the rich and sweet cake. Happy Fall!

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The original recipe had a cream cheese glaze. I didn’t have any cream cheese so I ended up making something up on my own. I didn’t measure anything so I can’t tell you exactly, but I used melted butter, milk, powdered sugar and plain Greek yogurt. I turned out great, but if you’re looking for exact measurements, follow the link to the original recipe and try hers out, I’m sure it’s great!

 
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Pumpkin Bundt Cake
From Style Sweet CA
Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon cardamom

  • 1 teaspoon ginger

  • ¼ teaspoon clove

  • pinch black pepper

  • ¾ cup Land O Lakes® European Style Unsalted Butter, softened

  • 1 cup brown sugar

  • 1 cup white sugar

  • ¼ cup flavorless oil, like grapeseed or canola

  • 3 large eggs

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • 1/3 cup buttermilk

  • 14 ounces pumpkin puree

Directions
Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Generously brush the inside of a Bundt pan with very soft butter, sprinkle with flour, and tap out the excess. Set aside.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium-low speed with the paddle attachment until smooth. Add in both sugars and mix on medium until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the oil and vanilla. Mix until combined.

With the mixer on low, add in the eggs, one at a time. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.

With the mixer on low, add in half of the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Add in the buttermilk and mix until combined. Add in the remaining half of the flour mixture and mix until just incorporated and few streaks of flour remain visible. Add in the pumpkin puree and mix until smooth. The batter will be thick.

Spoon the cake batter into the prepared pan. Tap the bottom of the filled pan on a hard work surface to release any air bubbles. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a long wooden skewer or thin paring knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for about 15 minutes. Gently loosen the edges of the cake with a flexible rubber spatula. Place a wire rack or cutting board on top of the cake. Holding on to the edges of the pan and rack, carefully invert everything. Remove the cake pan and continue to completely cool the cake before adding the glaze.

Classic Pumpkin Scones

So, I know I posted a pumpkin scone recipe just a few weeks ago, but I couldn't resist posting another one. Since it's almost the end of November (which I consider the unofficial pumpkin-baked-good month) I had to share this recipe before the month is over. I've made quite a few different pumpkin scone recipes in the past which have all been good, but when I made this one last week I knew I had the winner! I think this is probably the best one of the bunch. It's a classic scone, buttery and tender, with the addition of a little pumpkin and scented with warming autumn spices. I was planning on adding some chocolate or nuts to the dough, but I realized when they were all cut and on the baking sheet that I had forgotten to add anything at all. But I needn't have feared, they turned out amazingly! Everything I wish for in a scone. Whether you keep theses scones plain, or add your favorite mix-ins, you won't be disappointed, I promise! 

Yum!! So tender and delicious! These scones did not turn out tough like some pumpkin scones do. I think it's key to work the butter evenly into the dough, not leaving the pieces too big so the butter just melts out. And also be very careful not to add too much liquid. I've made this mistake in the past and it leads to a tough finished product. You want just enough of the liquid to pull it all together, and not any more. I usually don't add all the liquid right away at the beginning, instead adding it a little bit at a time until all the dough is moistened and just sticks together. Stop at this point and start shaping. This will help that end product be a real winner! Some chocolate, walnuts, pecans, or cranberries would all be fabulous. Or just keep them plain and simple, and enjoy those warm and buttery spices.

 
 

Classic Pumpkin Scones
Adapted from Vanilla and Bean
Ingredients

  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1 cup (120 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2-4 tablespoons half-and-half
  • 1/4 cup (60 grams) pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Cut the cold butter into 1/4" cubes and place in the freezer while prepping the other ingredients.

Sift the flour, corn starch, brown sugar, spices, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large mixing bowl.

Add the cold butter to the sifted ingredients. Use a pastry cutter to cut in the butter into the pastry until evenly incorporated. The butter should be small, about pea sized, evenly coated, and distributed in the flour.

In a separate bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of the half and half, pumpkin puree and vanilla and pour into the flour mixture. Gently stir the mixture until the flour is just moistened. The dough will be shaggy and seem dry. Add more half and half very slowly as needed for the dough to just hold together. Do not add too much liquid or the scones will turn out flat and tough, you want to add just enough so that the dough barely holds together. 

Dump the contents out of the bowl onto a flour dusted work surface and shape into a circle approximately 3/4-1 inch thick, depending on your preference. Cut the circle into 4-6 wedges. Place scones on the parchment lined sheet pan, cover and place in the fridge for 20 minutes. (At this point, the scones can be held in the fridge overnight for a quick bake in the morning. Just make sure they are wrapped tightly).

Preheat oven to 425F while the scones are resting in the fridge.

Before baking, sprinkle the coarse sugar evenly over the top of each scone if desired, using a little water to help it stick if needed. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden. Enjoy warm or at room temperature. 

Autumn Rose Wedding Cake

I had a fabulous night last night celebrating the wedding of my friend Corrie and her now (new) husband Jon. I have known Corrie for my entire life and am so glad that I still count her as a good friend. Our families have so made so many memories together, camping at Lake Michigan, swimming in her family's pool on many hot summer days, family vacations to Iowa, Kentucky and Florida together, and so much more. I was so excited when she asked if I would be willing to make a small cake for her and Jon to cut at their wedding. This was the perfect way for me to be a part of her special day!

It was so much fun to put this delicious cake together. If you've been following my blog, you might notice that this cake looks similar to the cake I made for my birthday last month. That was by design! On my birthday I decided to do a little test run of the cake I was thinking of making for her wedding. Happily my birthday cake turned out so well that I wasn't too nervous about how the wedding cake would turn out. I made the exact same recipe for the cake and frosting this time, but multiplied them both by 1.5 because I wanted three layers instead of two. It worked great! A beautiful triple layer chocolate cake covered it stunning fresh flowers. A fabulous cake to celebrate a fabulous couple!

Find the recipe for the cake and frosting HERE. If you want a triple layer cake like you see here, multiply all the ingredients by 1.5, use 3 cake pans instead of two and you'll be good to go!

Cherry Walnut Pumpkin Scones

This past week I took my first vacation days of residency. It has been absolutely wonderful. 5 days off (plus both weekends - bonus!) to do absolutely nothing. I really had nothing planned (other than a dentist appointment, woohoo) which is really how I like my days off to be, relaxing and uneventful. It's been kind of a gloomy week. Rainy and cold for several days, not a lot of sun. Early in the week I decided that I needed to had something fun to enjoy for breakfast while on vacation. Since it's October I really didn't have any other choice than to make something pumpkin-y! Something seasonal to leisurely enjoy with my morning cup of coffee. After much deliberation I settle on scones. 

Scones are one of my favorites! I made some delicious pumpkin scone with cranberries and pecans last year, but I had a couple other recipes pinned so I figured I'd try a new one! This recipe is from Joy the Baker, one of my favorite bloggers, and probably the blog I've been following the longest of any food blog. I trust her recipes so I knew this would be a winning recipe. They were the perfect treat for my chilly fall morning breakfasts!

Scones are not difficult. These are pretty basic as scones go, similar to the ones I made last year. These did spread a little while baking, but not too much. They are moist and hearty. Pumpkin scones never have that crispy airiness that traditional scones have, but that's to be expected due to the moist and dense pumpkin. Add a little drizzle of glaze for looks and extra sweetness and then dig in. Don't forget the coffee! 

(Sorry about the dark, not so wonderful pictures of these scones. The batteries in my camera died and I haven't been able to go buy some new batteries yet!)

 
 

Cherry Walnut Pumpkin Scones
Adapted from Joy the Baker
Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups (180 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons, 3 ounces) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 cup (110 grams) buttermilk, cold
  • 1/2 cup (120 grams) pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup a mix of coarsely chopped walnuts and dried cherries

Directions
Place rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and all of the spices.  Add the cold butter to the dry ingredients and toss to coat.  Using your fingers or a pastry cutter, break the butter down into the dry ingredients.  Work quickly so that the butter remains cold.  Some of the butter will be the size of oat flakes, others will be the size of small peas.

In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, pumpkin puree, and vanilla extract.

Add the wet ingredients, all at once to the dry ingredients.  Stir together until almost thoroughly combined.  Add walnuts and cherries and stir until no dry flour bits remain.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter. Shape into a small circle, approximately 1 1/2 inches tall. Use a bench scraper or a sharp knife to cut the circle into 6 or 8 wedges. Transfer scones to prepared baking sheet.  Leave about 2-inches of space between each scone.

Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until browned slightly with dry tops.  You can insert a toothpick into the center of a scone to test for doneness.

Whole Grain Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Yes, that's right, I'm not done with pumpkin yet. In fact, I think pumpkin is something we should be using more frequently throughout the year, not just in the fall. It's healthy, cheap, and easy to use in so many different recipes, sweet

and

savory. Today I have for you a whole grain pumpkin muffin that uses whole wheat flour and oats mixed with the pumpkin and a bit of butter for richness. Lightly flavored with all those nice fall spices and a small bit of sugar for a little sweetness. I found these muffins to be a filling way to start my day in a hearty and healthy way and I think you will too.

Made with 100% whole wheat flour and some oats, these muffins live up to their whole grain name. But don't worry, they aren't dense and dry, the pumpkin along with some milk help keep them nice and moist. And there's a good amount of pumpkin in these which is how I like it, 3/4 cup for 6 muffins. If I'm going to add pumpkin to a baked good I want it to be a good amount, not this 1/4 cup for a whole loaf like you see in some recipes. 

There is not a whole lot of sugar in these, so if you like your muffins to be on the sweeter side I would add a bit more, but for me these are perfect. If you mix in a nice sweet add-in such as dried fruit or chocolate you probably won't notice anyway. 

Whole Grain Pumpkin Spice Muffins
Adapted from This Runner's Recips
Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup (20 grams) rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) milk
  • 1 c (4.5 ounces) whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (7 ounces) pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)
  • 1/2 cup add-ins (dried fruit, nuts, chocolate, etc.)

Directions
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Place the oats and milk in a small bowl and let sit for 5 minutes to soften the oats. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the butternut squash puree, butter, brown sugar, and maple syrup, if using.

Stir the oat and milk mixture into dry ingredients. Form a well in the center and pour in the wet ingredient mixture. Lightly mix together being careful to not overmix. (If the batter seems too thick, you may add an additional tablespoon of milk to the batter.) 

Grease or line the cups of your muffin pans and divide the batter evenly amongst 6 tins. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until the domes are peaked and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack.

Spicy Butternut Squash and Red Lentil Soup

It's squash season at the farmer's market and grocery store, I just wanted to let you know in case you've missed the giant piles of butternut, spaghetti, acorn, delicata, hubbard and other squashes that seem to have taken over everywhere produce is to be found. I don't know about you, but I never tire of delicious winter squash, never. I love the sweet and creaminess of this extremely versatile vegetable. You can eat it on it's own, sweet or savory, you can add it to salads, soups, stews, chili, pasta, or you can add the mashed flesh to baked goods, smoothies, oatmeal...the list just goes on and on.

I have been baking up squashes left and right over the past couple of weeks. I love having already cooked squash sitting in the fridge, ready for whatever I feel like making. One of my recent creations was this delicious soup. With a couple of cups of cooked butternut squash hanging out in the fridge and some red lentils that have been trying to make an appearance for some time now, I knew a simple soup was just the thing. The perfect thing to sit down to on a cool autumn afternoon.

The inspiration for this soup was a recipe I found on Food52 for a sweet potato red lentil soup. I took the idea and made it my own, substituting butternut squash for the sweet potato and a chipotle pepper for the harissa since I didn't have any harissa on hand. For the spices, I just threw in a mix of some of my favorites such as cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, chili powder, cumin, coriander, paprika, you get the idea. I didn't measure them. When you're making a quick soup for yourself on a chilly day there's no need to measure or worry about exactly which spices to add. Just pick some of your favorites, add in whatever seems like a good amount and go from there. It's not an exact science, that's what makes cooking so fun, it turns out different every time, but always tasty!

Spicy Butternut Squash and Red Lentil Soup
Heavily Adapted from Food 52
Ingredients

  • 1/4 onion, sliced thin
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 small carrots, chopped
  • 1 small chipotle chili
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup red lentils
  • 1-2 cups cooked, cubed butternut squash
  • A few shakes each of your favorites spices (cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, chili powder, cumin, coriander, paprika, etc.)
  • Cilantro, for garnish

Directions
Heat a small amount of oil in a small saucepan. Once hot, add the onion and saute for 5-10 min, until translucent and just starting to color. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, a minute or two. Then add the carrot and enough water to cover the bottom of the pan, let cook over medium heat, covered, until carrot begins to soften. Then add chipotle, stock, lentils, butternut squash and spices. 

Cook until everything is soft and cooked through, 20-30 minutes, adding water as needed to reach your desired consistency. Transfer soup to blender and blend until smooth. Return blended soup to pan. (Alternatively, use an immersion blender to blend soup until smooth.) Add water more water if needed. Taste for seasoning and serve, garnishing with cilantro if desired. 

Yields: 2-3 servings

Pumpkin Scones with Cranberries and Pecans

Scones are one of my absolute favorite breakfast treats, but they are one of those things I just don't seem to get around to making very often. I'm not really sure why, they are so easy to throw together. Truly, they come together in just minutes, and usually with just a few ingredients. So last week I finally managed to get my act together and whip up a batch of scones, and since it's November I decided on pumpkin scones with some cranberries and pecans. They came together in a jiffy and baked up beautifully. A perfectly delicious fall breakfast. 

Whenever I make scones I make sure that I have time to freeze the cut, unbaked scones for at least an hour or two, preferably overnight. I've found that this ensures the tallest, prettiest scones. To me a scone should rise nice and tall, I really do hate it when scones spread out and flat. But that's just my opinion, I'm sure some people out there like a flatter scone, to each their own.

Like I said, I filled these scones with dried cranberries and pecans but you can change that up if you'd like. Some dark chocolate would be wonderful, pumpkin seeds would be very fitting, or some other nut, walnuts or almonds maybe. Whatever you decide on you shouldn't be disappointed with this tasty fall treat. Grab a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy!

Pumpkin Scones with Cranberries and Pecans
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
Ingredients

  • 1 3/8 cup (5.75 ounces) flour
  • 3 tablespoons (1 ounce) sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) butter
  • 1.25 ounces dried cranberries
  • 1 ounce raw pecans
  • 1/3 cup (2.75 ounces) pumpkin
  • 1 egg

Directions
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices.

Work in the butter with a pastry blender or two forks just until the mixture is unevenly crumbly; it's okay for some larger chunks of butter to remain unincorporated. Stir in the cranberries and pecans.

In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin and egg till smooth. Add the pumpkin/egg to the dry ingredients and stir until all is moistened and holds together, trying not to overwork the dough.

Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured counter and shape into a 5-6" circle approximately 3/4" thick.

Slice the circle into 6 wedges and arrange the wedges on a parchment lined sheet pan. Brush each scone with milk, and sprinkle with coarse white sparkling sugar or cinnamon sugar if desired.

For best texture and highest rise, place the pan of scones in the freezer for 30 minutes, uncovered. While the scones are chilling, preheat the oven to 425°F.

Bake the scones for 20 to 24 minutes, or until they're golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean, with no wet crumbs. 

Remove the scones from the oven, and serve warm. Wrap any leftovers airtight, and store at room temperature. Reheat very briefly in the microwave, if desired.

Yield: 6 Scones

Pumpkin Oat Cookies

The other week I grabbed a large can of pumpkin while at the grocery store with no specific purpose in mind. It's fall, so I knew I would have no problem finding something to do with it. One of my favorite things to do with canned pumpkin, which I have been doing all week, is to throw it in my morning breakfast smoothie. Add a couple shakes of cinnamon and nutmeg and it's pumpkin pie for breakfast - but healthy! I love added vegetables to my breakfast and not even noticing. 

As soon as I got home with the pumpkin though, the baking bug hit. I just needed to bake something pumpkin-y! After a little browsing I finally decided on this pumpkin oat cookie recipe. The oats with the pumpkin seemed like the perfect combination. I added in some pecans and dried fruit and the whole thing came together to create a soft and buttery treat, the perfect afternoon pick-me-up or after dinner snack. 

The original recipe for these cookies was described as being crisp on the outside and chewy in the middle. I actually did not find this to be the case. However, that's is not necessarily a bad thing. My cookies ended up being very soft all the way through. I did like that they didn't spread too much while baking, ending up quite puffy and beautiful. 

Had I had the choice, I would have added chocolate chips to the cookies as the original recipe called for, but since I didn't have any chocolate in the house I had to go a different route. I threw in some chopped pecans and dried fruit which did not disappoint either. I loved how the nuttiness of the pecans mixed with the toasty oats. Dried fruit for sweetness helped finish them off. A comforting fall cookie for any occasion. 

Pumpkin Oat Cookies
Adapted from Chelsea's Messy Apron
Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup (3.5 ounces) brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1.75 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon (3 ounces) canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup (3.5 ounces) flour
  • 3/4 cup (60 grams) old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2-1 cup of add-ins (chocolate, nuts, dried fruit, etc)

Directions
In the bowl of a stand mixer beat together the butter with the brown sugar and white sugar. Beat in the pumpkin, and vanilla.

In another bowl stir together the flour, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Add the dry to the wet and mix until just combined. The mixture should pull away from the edges once all the flour is added. Stir in whatever add-ins you are using. Cover the dough and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour, preferable overnight.

On the day of baking, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 14-16 minutes or until very lightly browned at the bottom/sides.

Remove from the oven and allow to set for another 5 minutes on the baking sheet before removing them to a wire cooling rack.

Yields: about 1 dozen cookies (I got 13)