I baked this lovely cake at the weekend to take to our Thanksgiving get-together. I had decided that the tarts were not very portable and I wanted something that would stand up to the trip in the car. I know that Thanksgiving usually means Pumpkin Pie for a lot of people . . . but Pumpkin Pie is something a lot of people either love or loathe. I wanted to bring a dessert that I felt would be enjoyed by most of the guests.
Although this recipe does make use of a cake mix, that doesn't mean it hasn't any value or that it doesn't taste homemade. In North American you can use a Yellow Cake Mix, but I have found over here in the UK, where cake mixes are not all that available you can use a Betty Crocker Carrot Cake Mix with excellent results.
With very little effort you end up with a cake that is very moist and quite delicious. Basically for the cake you tip all of the ingredients into a bowl and then beat them up. There is a luscious brown sugar and walnut praline topping, which is also spooned into the center of the cake before baking, which becomes a delicious filling, adding to it's deliciousness in a delightful way.
After the cake is baked and tipped out of the pan, and while it is still warm, you reheat the topping, stir in a bit of cream and then spoon it slowly over the top of the cake, allowing it to drip down the sides and into all of those lovely grooves and crevices. That is why it is nice to use a bundt pan which gives you all those pretty curves.
Served with a huge dollop of whipped cream, this is a firm holiday favourite in this house and I am sure it will become a favourite in yours too. You can find tinned pumpkin in Sainsbury's or Waitrose, or you can very easily make your own, simply by steaming pumpkin until it is cooked through, mashing and then draining it in a mesh strainer over a colander to remove as much of the liquid as possible. Once you have done that, you can proceed as per the recipe. You will need about 2 cups, well drained.
You can find a recipe for making your own pumpkin pie spice in my right hand side bar about halfway down the page. Now you have no excuses for not making it! Enjoy! Perfect with a nice dollop of whipped cream!
*Pumpkin Spice Cake*
A deliciously moist spice cake with a lucious praline topping. This is a winner all round!
1 (18 ounce) box of yellow cake mix
(Here in the UK, you can use a Betty Crocker Carrot Cake mix, with great results)
1 (15 ounce) tin of pumpkin
3/4 cup soft light brown sugar, packed (150g)
1/2 cup safflower oil (125ml)
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (mixed spice) (see my sidebar to make your own)
4 large eggs
For the topping:
1/2 cup butter (115g)
1/2 cup packed soft light brown sugar (100g)
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped (120g)
(2 TBS double Cream to finish)
Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4. Generously grease a large bundt tin and dust it lightly with flour, tapping out any excess. Set aside.
Place the cake mix, pumpkin, sugar, oil and spice into a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer for about 1 minute. Beat in the eggs for 2 minutes longer, until well combined.
Melt the butter along with the brown sugar for the topping in a small saucepan. Stir in the nuts. Remove from the heat.
Pour half of the cake batter into the prepared pan. Spoon a very small amount of the topping into the center of the batter all the way around, being careful not to touch the sides. Top with the remaining cake batter.
Bake for 45 minutes to one hour, until the cake tests done and springs back when lightly touched, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to sit in the pan for 15 minutes before turning out onto a plate. Allow to cool completely.
Gently reheat the topping over medium low heat, whisking in the cream. Spoon this mixture over top of the cake, allowing it to drip down the sides.
*Note* - I often double the topping ingredients.