October 21, 2013

Pumpkin Pie Cake

Chapter 1: The Reaction
To: Madoline
From: Coworker
Subject: Yum!!!
Message: That's the best pumpkin cake I've ever had.
(This was copied and pasted from an actual email, for full disclosure.)

Chapter 2: The End Product
Dense, buttery cake.
      Then, pumpkin pie.
            Finally, buttery cinnamon streusal sprinkled on top.
                  All melded together in the oven.

Chapter 3: From Whence It Came
My friend Brianne's aunt's pumpkin cake recipe.
The one she brought to Southern Progress fellow potlucks.
The one made with cake mix.
Tweaked to be from scratch by subbing in parts of some random "homemade cake mix" recipe Google found me.

Chapter 4: The Critique
I took this baking project on too late on a school (err, work) night (over-ambition in the kitchen=my downfall in life). And then I had to do math to combine recipes because I wanted to be original (originality for the sake of originality=not always the best idea). And then it was 11:30 p.m. and the top of the cake was STILL not set. And I just wanted to go to bed. So, yeah, I had bias against this cake before the innocent thing made it out of the oven. It ended up tasting sweet and richly dense, yes, but also too much like pumpkin pie for this Thanksgiving-pie hater. I ate a bit, gave away most of it, and then moved on to... chocolate, my one true love. But now I baked something seasonal and something original, so I can check that off my list and move back to the 17,987th variation on chocolate cookies and cakes I can develop.

Also, it was really ugly to photograph. That's why you basically see pictures of plant green and tree/house bright yellow with only a splash of all shades of distasteful browns and oranges, brightened in Photoshop.
Pumpkin Pie Cake
Adapted from Brianne’s my Aunt Sue’s recipe
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3 ½ cups granulated sugar, divided
3 eggs, divided
½+2/3 cup milk, divided
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 cup flour, divided
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter
1 can pumpkin
1 ½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or combo of cinnamon, cloves and ginger)
1 tsp. cinnamon

Cream 1 stick butter and 2 cups sugar with electric mixer. Beat in 1 egg, ½ cup milk and vanilla. Add in 2 cups flour, baking powder and salt. Spread cake mixture into a greased 9x13-inch pan.
Mix the pumpkin with 1 cup sugar, 2/3 cup milk and pumpkin pie spice. Pour over the cake mixture.
For the topping, cut the 1/2 cup flour with 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon and 1/2 cup butter. Crumble and sprinkle over cake.
Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour or until pumpkin mixture has set.

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