skip to Main Content
Menu

Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Maple Brown Butter Glaze

Looking for an alternative to the pumpkin pie that’s ubiquitous on everyone’s Thanksgiving table? Or maybe you just want a delicious dessert to serve at your next Sunday supper. This moist cake has all the right autumn flavors going for it – from pumpkin to cinnamon, allspice, cardamom and a touch of black pepper too. Plus it’s topped with a luscious glaze made with browned butter that adds a nutty taste, in addition to the maple syrup and confectioner’s sugar.

The recipe comes from the New York Times, and it included toasted pepita seeds on top. I took it a step further and candied them. Just make sure you use either a Silpat mat or a piece of buttered aluminum foil. Otherwise you’ll have a hard time prying the candy from the pan.

Be careful not to touch it until it cools. Once the candy cools and hardens, you can break it up with your hands, then sprinkle it across the top of the cake. The candy is also delicious as a topping on ice cream too.

Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Maple Brown Butter Glaze
 
 
Ingredients
  • RECIPE FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1½ tsp. ground cardamom
  • ¼ tsp. ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, soft but cool
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pureed pumpkin
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • FOR THE GLAZE:
  • 2 T. unsalted butter
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons lightly toasted pepita seeds (optional)
  • or candied pepita seeds
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees and lightly butter and flour a 12 cup or larger bundt pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, allspice and black pepper until well combined.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine brown sugar, butter and olive oil. Beat on medium high until light and fluffy, about three minutes.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing for about 20 seconds between each egg.
  5. Add the pumpkin puree and the sour cream, and mix until well combined, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl.
  6. Remove the bowl from the mixer, and use a rubber spatula to fold in the dry ingredients until well combined.
  7. Make sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to ensure an evenly mixed batter.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top and firmly tap on the countertop a few times to release any large air bubbles.
  9. Bake the cake until golden and puffed, and a tester in the center comes out clean, about 55 to 65 minutes.
  10. Set the cake, still in the pan, on a rack to cool, about 20 minutes, then use the tip of a knife to loosen the edges and invert the cake onto the rack to cool completely before glasing.
  11. TO MAKE THE GLAZE:
  12. 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.
  13. Transfer butter and brown bits to a bowl to a heat safe bowl and let it cool slightly. Whisk in the confectioner's sugar, maple syrup and salt until smooth. The glaze should be thick but pourable. If it's too thin, add more confectioner's sugar. If it's too thick, add water. (I added some milk to thin it down a bit.)
  14. Transfer the cake to a serving platter and pour the glaze over the top. Sprinkle with pepitas if desired.
  15. TO MAKE CANDIED PEPITAS:
  16. Place about ¼ cup sugar into a saucepan and heat at medium until the sugar melts and starts to turn a light golden color. Pour in some pepitas (1/4 cup or so) and stir for a few seconds to coat. Then pour the mixture onto a Silpat mat or a piece of aluminum foil that has been greased with butter. Careful not to burn your fingers. The melted sugar will be extremely hot. Let it cool, then break into bits.
 

Pumpkin Ravioli With Walnut Cream Sauce

Pumpkin ravioli with walnut cream sauce

Before I begin, let me say this is a project for the patient and the committed. There’s no squirming out midway because you’re tired or your pilates class is starting and you have to run to the gym.
But be not afraid for you shall be rewarded.
After traveling to Bologna together (the pasta heartland where pasta filled with squash is on every menu) my friend Ellen wanted to learn how to make these. So I invited her over to spend time in the kitchen rolling out pasta. It’s a lot more fun and takes a lot less time with someone else helping. We didn’t cook the pasta while she was at my house, since I wanted to freeze mine for later. She was planning to cook hers at home with a simple butter, sage and parmesan cheese sauce. Wonderful.
But sinfully sublime is what I would call the walnut cream sauce. The photo of the finished pasta in sauce is from a pasta party we had at our home a couple of years ago, when we gathered some relatives and friends for an evening of pasta-making and eating. The kitchen was a mess when we were finished, but we had a lot of fun and our tummies were grateful.

To make the pasta you need a pasta machine or you’ll need very strong arms to roll out all the dough. This recipe for pasta and for the filling makes enough for about 110 ravioli.
Pasta dough:
3 cups flour
4 jumbo eggs

If you want to be authentic, you can make a “volcano” of the flour on a wooden board, then crack the eggs into the center and start to incorporate them into the flour until the liquid is all absorbed. Otherwise, put everything into a food processor and blend until it starts to hold together. Pull it out of the food processor and knead it on a floured board until it becomes smooth.
Let it rest under a covered bowl for at least a half hour, which will help the dough to become even more smooth and elastic and easy to work.
Flour your board or counter and cut off a quarter of the pasta. Keep the rest under the bowl. Flatten the piece with your hands, flour it a little then pass it through the thickest setting on your pasta machine. Keep changing the setting until you get to the penultimate one — not the thinnest one. Now you should have a long strip about three to four inches wide. If it’s too long and cumbersome to work with, cut it in half. Lay it on your board and place little spoonfuls of filling all across the strip, leaving a small space in between each spoonful.
Dab a little bit of water between the filling and across the top and bottom of the filling. Take one edge of the long strip of dough and carefully fold it over the filling, pressing down in between each one to take out any air bubbles. Run a decorative crimper along the edges to separate the ravioli. If you don’t have a crimper, a knife will do.

Lay the ravioli on cookie sheets that have been covered with floured, linen dishtowels. Refrigerate if serving that day, or place in the freezer. After a few hours, remove from the cookie sheets and store the ravioli in plastic freezer bags.

For the filling (adapted from “The Splendid Table” by Lynne Rossetto Kasper):

I don’t use the typical Halloween-style pumpkin, since it doesn’t have as much flavor as squash. This recipe gives you the closest approximation to what you’ll find in Italy. Some recipes call for the addition of crushed amaretti cookies, but I find that a little too sweet. The squash itself provides adequate sweetness. I also do this ahead of time and drain the cooked squash in a cheesecloth-lined sieve overnight. Otherwise, you risk having a filling that is too watery.

1 large butternut squash
1 1/2 large sweet potatoes, or two small ones
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
nutmeg, black pepper

Roast the potatoes in a 375 degree oven. Roast the squash at the same time. Cut the squash, remove seeds and place on an oil baking sheet. Roast for about an hour to an hour and a half, or until it is easily pierced with a fork. Remove the flesh from the squash and puree it in a food processor, then place in a sieve that is lined with cheesecloth or paper towels. Place a bowl under it to catch the water that is released and put the bowl in the refrigerator overnight, along with the potatoes.
The next day, remove the skin from the potatoes, puree them in a food processor, and put in a bowl. Add the pureed squash, the cheese and a grating of nutmeg and black pepper.

Make and fill the ravioli.

When you are ready to cook, bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add the ravioli but do not let the pot to continue at a rolling boil or you may burst the ravioli. Boil for four or five minutes until cooked.

Cover with sauce and parmesan cheese.

Walnut cream sauce
(This is enough sauce for about four dozen ravioli.)

1 1/2 cup walnuts, roasted in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
a few grindings of nutmeg
dash salt, freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sweet wine such as vin santo or moscato
freshly grated parmesan cheese

Roast the walnuts in the oven. If you have the patience, remove some of the outer skins of the walnuts. This is easier to do if you put them in a linen dishcloth, fold in half and rub back and forth. Grind the walnuts in a food processor until they are coarse – not fine. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the heavy cream and wine. Cook for a few minutes on high heat until the
sauce reduces and emulsifies. Add the nuts, cinnamon, nutmeg salt, and pepper. Take off the heat and add a generous amount of parmesan – at least 1/2 cup or more. Pour over the ravioli and serve with additional parmesan.