Monday, October 17, 2011

Pumpkin-Coconut Bundt Cake

A pretty treat

If this Bundt cake seems familiar to you…good, because it should. :)  It’s an cold-weather version of the Lemon-Coconut Bundt Cake I blogged about this spring.   With the cool winds and fiery colors of autumn finally beginning to kick in around here, I’ve been itching to incorporate a little pumpkin cookery into my dessert repertoire.  I had tons of pumpkin desserts to consider and choose from - pumpkin cookies,  pumpkin pie (of course), pumpkin mousse, pumpkin roulade, pumpkin bread pudding, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin crème brulee – each one fancier and flashier than the next.  So why, you may wonder, with all these exciting treats to choose from, did I decide to make a humble pumpkin Bundt cake? 

Ingredient Collection

The answer lies in that lemon cake.  A simple confection itself, that cake was pure perfection, one of the best desserts I’ve ever been lucky enough to eat.   And I wanted to recreate that same lovely deliciousness with this cake – but with a little less less lemon, and a little more pumpkin.  So that’s basically just what I did.  I started with the Lemon-Coconut Bundt Cake recipe, nixed the lemon juice and zest, added pumpkin puree, a scoop of cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg, then substituted in some brown sugar for half of the granulated sugar.  I liked the idea of keeping the coconut, a little twist I was glad to keep, and so I did.


The result was pretty darn good.  Moist and tender, not too sweet, definitely yummy.  But taste tests among a bunch of friends yielded thoughts that perhaps it could be a bit more pumpkiny
an idea I definitely agreed with.   And so round two included double the pumpkin, a pinch more cinnamon, a speck more nutmeg, a little less coconut, and a ratio that generously favored the brown sugar.  I was willing, and actually expecting, to try out this recipe as many times as needed, but one bite of Test Cake #002 left no doubt in my mind that no other trials were necessary.  This simple cake too, just like it’s sweet-tart sister, was absolute perfection. 

Pumpkin Puree

With the same dark golden, crisp outer crust, and an utterly moist, achingly tender crumb, there’s no denying that these two cakes hang from the same branch on the Dessert family tree.  They definitely share some strong genes, but  they’re delightfully different too.  While the lemon cake boasted huge flavor and bright, brag-worthy zestiness, this pumpkin cake is bit more demure. It gracefully carries a certain subdued maturity, and shines in its classic simplicity.  Deep, rich pumpkin flavor hums a low tune in perfect harmony with light trill of subtle sweetness, and the result is utterly charming.  A dessert perhaps more suited for brunch or tea, rather than say, a birthday party.  But that’s alright, I do believe.  Because this chilly time of year, I can’t think of anything I’d enjoy more alongside a steaming mug of tea or coffee.

Powdered Sugar Dusting 

Pumpkin-Coconut Bundt Cake
Serves 10
Pumpkin-Coconut Bundt Cake
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
about 1 Tablespoon confectioners’ sugar, for  dusting the cake
Vanilla ice cream, for serving  (optional)
Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Coconut & Pumpkin
Pre-heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle position of the oven.  Generously grease a 10-inch Bundt pan with vegetable oil, and set aside. 
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk to combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon & nutmeg.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk to combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, coconut milk, pumpkin puree and vanilla.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, doing so in about three batches, and stirring gently after each addition, until the ingredients are just combined.  Fold in the coconut flakes. 
Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan.  Bake for about 50 minutes, or until a wooden tester inserted into the cake comes out clean.  Allow to cool for about 10 minutes on a wire rack.  To invert the cake, place the serving dish up-side-down over the top of the cake pan, then flip over and lift the pan from the cake. 
Fresh out of the oven
Allow to cool completely.  Once cool, sift a pretty dusting of confectioners sugar over the top.  Slice and serve.  By the way, this goes marvelously with scoop of vanilla ice cream. 

Pumpkin Farm Stand

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