This past weekend we had dinner in Healdsburg with P&P and with their daughter, her husband, who is Sweetie's nephew, and with the rug rat who shares Sweetie's first name. We last saw the little one in August. Four months later he is even more his own person and enthralling. I love babies in general, but really enjoy spending time with babies who are calm and observant as this rug rat is.
But what does all this have to do with Dorie or rescuing? Our part of the dinner was to bring a dessert and I wanted something that would easily serve our crowd with a few servings left over for seconds if needed. I also had a lot going on the day before, so wanted something I could bake on Friday which would be even better by Saturday. Looking through Dorie Greenspan's Baking, From My Home to Yours book provided the perfect inspiration. Her Holiday all-in-one Bundt Cake was a great jumping off place for the dessert I wanted to make. Not only does it have all the great holiday spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, but it has pumpkin, fresh cranberries and fresh apple, plus pecans. Yum!
I made a few changes - I always do - and my Sweetie was very pleased. He is very fond of molasses and I replaced the white sugar with an equal amount of dark brown sugar, then used a good dark molassas in place of the 1/2 cup light brown sugar called for in Dorie's recipe. The result was wonderful, like a cross between a pumpkin cake and gingerbread. I followed her suggestion for a glaze made from maple syrup and confectioners sugar, but next time will probably make the glaze with lemon juice instead of the syrup.
Do try this cake. It is great for a party, looks great, can be made ahead and keeps well in the unlikely event that there are any leftovers. If you make it ahead, wrap well in plastic wrap and keep in a cool place. I made it Friday evening and served it Saturday evening. It stayed moist and had a wonderful crumb.
All-In-One Pumpkin-Molasses Bundt Cake
Inspired by Dorie Greenspan's All-In-One Holiday Bundt Cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger (or 1 1/2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger)
1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup dark molasses
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups canned unsweetened pumpkin puree
1 large apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
1 cup fresh cranberries, rinsed and halved or coarsely chopped (or use unthawed frozen cranberries)
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped (plus a few to decorate the glaze)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
6 tablespoons confectioners sugar
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 to 10 inch (12 cup) Bundt cake pan. Don't butter if pan is silicon.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking sod, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and ground ginger. (If using grated ginger, it gets added later.)
In a large bowl beat together the butter and brown sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the molasses and mix well. Scrape beaters and bowl. Mixture may looked curdled. It's O.K. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat for 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. Scrape beaters and bowl. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the pumpkin, chopped apple (and grated ginger if using). Still on low speed, add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they are incorporated. With a rubber spatula, stir in the cranberries and pecans. Scrape the batter into the Bundt pan and smooth the top with the rubber spatula.
Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until cake tests clean with thin knife or toothpick. Transfer the cake to a rack and cool for 10 minutes before unmolding, then cool to room temperature on the rack.
When cake is cool, make the glaze. Sift the confectioners sugar into a bowl. Stir in the maple syrup. Add more, little by little, until you have the consistancy you like. Place cake on waxed paper or serving plate and drizzle glaze over the cake. Sprinkle pecans on glaze. Let glaze dry.
If you prefer, skip the glaze and dust the cake with confectioners sugar right before serving. Serves 12.