An autumn showstopper dessert, perfect for any occasion; it will be sure to bring oohs and aahs from everyone who has the pleasure of partaking.
I took this cake to work one night last week and the slices flew off the plate so fast I couldn’t believe it. But, I mean really moist, tender, fall-spiced pumpkin cake with a fabulous buttery carmel-y, to die for icing and the crowning touch? A scatter of sweet and salty glazed walnuts, really, what’s there not to like? Or love?
I used a tube pan just because I think the presentation is so pretty, but you could definitely use a bundt cake pan. Pecans or even almonds could be substituted for the walnuts.
You could add dried fruit like raisins or currants, a finely diced fresh apple would also be quite delicious. If you’re looking for a scrumptious dessert that’s easy to put together and sure to impress, look no further. If you’re anything like me this Pumpkin Buttermilk Pound Cake will be calling your name!
- Ingredients for the cake:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- 3 tablespoons bourbon cognac or rum*
- 1-½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup 4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2-½ cups packed dark brown sugar
- 4 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 15- oz. can pure pumpkin purée
- Ingredients for the caramel icing:
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 4 ounces butter
- 5 tablespoons milk
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- a pinch salt
- ½ cup Rosemary-Roasted Honey Walnuts These are optional. You can also make them without the rosemary.
- Heat the oven to 350°F. Generously spray a 10- to 12-cup tube pan (the kind without a removable bottom) with baking spray. Rub all over with a paper towel, then spray lightly one more time.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, nutmeg, and cloves. In a measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, bourbon, and vanilla.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed for 5 minutes. Slowly and gradually add the oil, beating until combined. Add the brown sugar. Increase the mixer speed to high and beat, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well on medium-high speed after each addition. Beat in the pumpkin.
- Slowly pour in the buttermilk mixture, and mix until combined. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the batter, mixing just until combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and tap the pan on the counter once or twice to settle the batter.
- Bake until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it, 45 to 60 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes, invert the cake onto a rack, removing the pan, and cool completely, at least 2 hours.
- For the icing, combine the sugar, butter, milk and salt in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and cook for 3 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and add vanilla extract. (At this point, the icing will be the consistency of thick syrup.) Use an electric mixer on medium speed and beat for about 1 minute.
- Add powdered sugar and beat again till smooth. If needed, add more milk to make an icing that can easily be drizzled.
- When cake is cooled, slowly spoon icing over cake and allow to drip down the sides, pooling a bit on your cake plate.
- Top with walnuts, if desired, before icing hardens.
Adapted from Fine Cooking
* The alcohol is baked off, but does give delicious flavor. However, if you don't have any on hand, no worries! Your cake will be delicious without it. Just skip the alcohol and add an extra ½ teaspoon vanilla.
You can make the walnuts up to 1 week ahead and store in an airtight container.
For the best flavor and texture, the cake should be baked at least 1 day before serving, and it can be stored (un-iced) at room temperature for up to 2 days: set the completely cooled cake on a plate, wrap tightly in 2 layers of plastic wrap.
The cake can be frozen iced or un-iced for 3-4 weeks: freeze unwrapped for 1-2 hours then wrap tightly in plastic wrap, then in foil. Return to freezer.
Plain toasted walnuts or pecans can be substituted for the walnuts if desired.