Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

Bundt cakes, up to now, have made me nervous. I slather butter into the dips and peaks of the pan. I flour the pan if the recipe calls for it. But too many times, when I turn the cake out onto a plate, parts of it stay behind, stuck to the pan.

This time would be different. After googling for advice, I decided to use Baker’s Joy – a lot of it, to let the cake cool for much longer than the recipe says, and to bang the Bundt pan on the floor before unmolding it. I think the long cool-down is the trick. I’m happy to report success – not a crumb stayed behind.

And it was delicious. Pumpkin, pecans, cranberries, apples, maple, and warm spices — these are Thanksgiving flavors to me. I found this recipe a few years ago on Serious Eats. It’s from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours.

The cake is moist and keeps well. I bet it would freeze well too if you have the room. Instead of freezing it, we have a huge slice, really a slab, every night until it’s gone. Such hardship.

Holiday Bundt Cake | Grabbing the Gusto

Holiday Bundt Cake | Grabbing the Gusto

Holiday Bundt Cake

You’ll need a 9- to 10-inch (about 12-cup) Bundt pan, medium bowl, whisk, mixer and bowl, rubber or silicone spatula, cooling rack

  • Baker’s Joy or butter and flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1-1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons/5 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1-1/4 cups canned unsweetened pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1 large apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • 1 cup fresh (or thawed) cranberries, halved or coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
  • Optional: Maple syrup icing (see recipe below) or confectioners’ sugar

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350. Spray the Bundt pan with Baker’s Joy or something like it. Or use butter and flour. Be very liberal.

Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt in a bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside dry ingredients.

In a mixer beat the butter and both sugars together at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes depending on your mixer. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat for 1 minute after each addition. I scraped the bowl down after each egg was beaten 1 minute. Beat in the vanilla.

Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the pumpkin and apples – don’t be concerned if the mixture looks curdled. Still on low speed, add the dry ingredients, mixing only until the flour is just barely incorporated. Working with a spatula, stir in the cranberries and pecans.

Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top with the spatula. Slide the pan into the oven and bake 60 to 70 minutes at 350, or until a knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Dorie says to not place the pan on a baking sheet because you want the oven’s heat to come up through the Bundt pan’s open core.

Transfer the cake to a rack and let cool for about an hour until the pan is just slightly warm to the touch before unmolding the cake. Bang the bottom of the pan on the floor until you feel the cake loosen from the sides. Cool the cake to room temperature on the rack.

Option: Drizzle with maple syrup icing or simply dust the top lightly with confectioners’ sugar.

Maple syrup icing

You’ll need a small bowl and a spoon.

  • 6 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Sift confectioners’ sugar into a bowl. Stir in 3 tablespoons maple syrup. Add more maple syrup little by little, until you have an icing that runs nicely off the tip of a spoon. Put the cooled cake on a sheet of parchment or waxed paper and drizzle the icing over the cake. Let the icing set for a few minutes before serving.

Original recipe: All-In-One Holiday Cake, Serious Eats

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5 thoughts on “Holiday Bundt Cake

  1. frugoal says:

    May have to bake this up for the holidays!

    1. deirdrereid says:

      You should! Next time I might make more icing. I’m happy with a lightly iced cake but Jim wanted more.

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