Spicy Pumpkin Cake Recipe

This Pumpkin Cake Recipe certainly does not skimp on the spice.
By Diane St. Clair
October 2013
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Pumpkin helps make this pound cake extra moist and delicious.
Photo By MSPhotographic/Fotolia


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Pumpkin-Spice Buttermilk Cake

Cooking with pumpkin almost always signals that fall has arrived, and this cake packs a particularly autumnal punch. It’s a simple pound cake, but enriched with a can of solid-pack pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) and a potent kick of warm spices. I always find it disappointing when something called “spice cake” tastes merely like it might contain a hint of cinnamon. This spice cake has a noticeable flavor of ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and even a hint of cardamom for good measure.

Pumpkin really helps support the spices, so the cake is mellow and fragrant, not overpowering. And I guess it’s pumpkin we have to thank for the moistness and tenderness of the cake. If you glaze it with Buttermilk Syrup, as I do, it becomes almost more like a confection than a cake. Yields 12 to 14 servings.

3 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
3 eggs
1 (15-ounce) can solid-pack pumpkin
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
Buttermilk Syrup

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Liberally butter and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan.

Sift together dry ingredients (cake flour through cardamom) into medium bowl and set aside.

Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle or with beaters, cream the butter and both sugars on medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add 1 egg at a time, beating to fully incorporate each before adding the next. Then beat on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, or until the mixture is fluffy and light in color.

Beat in the pumpkin and vanilla to combine. Then on medium speed, add half of the buttermilk, then half of the flour mixture, allowing the batter to be fully combined each time before adding the next ingredient. Repeat with the remaining half of the buttermilk and flour.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then gently turn the cake out onto a cooling rack and let cool completely before cutting.

Pour 1 cup of Buttermilk Syrup over the cooled cake on its serving platter and let it soak in. Right before serving, pour the remaining syrup over the cake.

Pumpkin-Spice Buttermilk Cake recipe from The Animal Farm Buttermilk Cookbook: Recipes and Reflections from a Small Vermont Dairy by Diane St. Clair (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2013).








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