Pumpkin Cake with Maple Brown-Butter Glaze

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As Hannah Montana once said: Everybody makes mistakes, everybody has those days. Today was just one of those days, you guys! Firstly, I began making this cake and everything was going pretty well. I like to keep my ingredients with me on the counter to stay organized and to make sure I don’t forget anything. It’s not a foolproof system–clearly because I forgot the egg! Anyway, I realized my mistake as the cake was baking and quickly pulled it out in an attempt to save it. I thought I had preserved it but later on I had trouble determining if the cake was completely cooked. It wasn’t. But I’ll get to that later. Despite my many trials and tribulations, I would still recommend this recipe–especially the glaze! I got it from the New York Times Cooking website (go check it out!).

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups/384 grams all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups/440 grams light brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup/114 grams unsalted butter, soft but cool
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 (15-ounce) can/425 grams pumpkin purée
  • ½ cup sour cream

For the glaze:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup/102 grams confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  •  Pinch of salt
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons lightly toasted pepitas(optional)

Preparation:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees, and butter and flour a 12-cup (or larger) capacity bundt pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, allspice and black pepper until well combined.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine brown sugar, butter and olive oil. Beat on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing for about 20 seconds in between each egg. Add the pumpkin purée and sour cream, and mix until well combined, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl as necessary.IMG_6200
  4. Remove the bowl from the mixer, and use a rubber spatula to fold in the dry ingredients until well combined. Make sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to ensure an evenly mixed batter.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top and firmly tap the pan on the countertop a few times to release any large air bubbles. Bake the cake until golden and puffed, and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 55 to 65 minutes.
  6. Set the cake, still in its pan, on a rack to cool for 20 minutes, then use the tip of a knife to loosen the edges and invert the cake onto the rack to cool completely before glazing.
  7. Make the glaze: Once the cake is cool, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook the butter, occasionally scraping the bottom and sides of the pan with a rubber spatula until it turns a deep golden brown and smells nutty. Don’t walk away from the pan during this process. The butter can go from brown and nutty to acrid and burnt in mere moments.
  8. Transfer butter and all the brown bits from the pan to a heat-safe bowl, and let it cool slightly. Whisk in the confectioners’ sugar, maple syrup and salt until smooth. The glaze should be thick but pourable. If it’s too thin, add a bit more confectioners’ sugar. If it’s too thick, add a few drops of water (I did this a few times).
  9. Transfer the cake to a serving platter and pour the glaze evenly over the top. Sprinkle with pepitas if desired. Let the glaze set for a few minutes before slicing.

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I mentioned that I was having some trouble determining if the cake was fully cooked. Well, I ended up taking it out of the oven a little bit too soon and slathering it in glaze, only to discover it could have been kept in for a good 15 more minutes, if not more. But you live and you learn, right? Anyway, I will be making this cake again because even though I continuously messed up, it’s still a great recipe that I strongly recommend! Thanks for reading!

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