As anyone who knows me well will attest, I have a weakness for sweets. I love to keep them around at all times in case a craving hits. But often that means candy or chocolates since those keep well for days. Very rarely do I come across a cake or a pie that will keep for over two weeks, enough for me to enjoy a small slice here and there until it’s gone.
But the other day, I remembered that my banana bread recipe does keep for over a week, actually improving with age. Eager for pumpkin cake this time of year, I decided to adapt my recipe using pureed pumpkin in place of the bananas. After I baked it, and it cooled, I cut into it and was shocked at how dry it was. I almost threw it away, but wrapped it in plastic wrap and kept it on my counter, thinking I would just eat it with tea to revive it when needed.
To my surprise, the cake actually improved the next day, morphing from a dry disappointment to a moist, tender victory. And it’s been 10 days since I made the cake, and it’s still moist, kept tightly wrapped in plastic every day. The browned butter icing I poured over it definitely helps things out, too, complimenting the cinnamon and nutmeg in the cake. If you’re looking for a shelf-stable, sweet treat that gets better with age and pays off exponentially more than the effort to make it, this is it!
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Pumpkin Cake with Browned Butter Icing
Makes one 10-inch Bundt cake
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 (15-ounce) can pureed pumpkin
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Heat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour (or spray with baking spray) a 10-inch Bundt pan and set aside. Whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, cloves and nutmeg in a bowl. In another bowl, whisk together brown sugar, oil and eggs; whisk in pumpkin until smooth. Add dry ingredients and stir just until incorporated. Pour into Bundt pan, and smooth top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 55 to 60 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
- To make the icing, heat butter in a small pot or skillet over high heat, swirling pan, until butter begins to brown and smell nutty. Pour into a bowl and add confectioners’ sugar; stir until smooth. Add maple syrup, vanilla and salt, and stir until smooth.
- Invert Bundt pan over a cake platter and remove pan. Pour icing over cake and let set for about 15 minutes. Wrap loosely in plastic wrap and let sit for 1 day before slicing and eating.
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