Pumpkin Season

Happy first day of October.  Happy first day of food blogs throwing more pumpkin in your face than you know what to do with.  I’m going to contribute to the problem, but first a disclaimer:

I’m actually not that crazy about pumpkin.  I enjoy it here and there.  But I don’t need to dedicate the month of October to it.  Nor does it need to invite itself into my beverage that comes in a little white cup with a little green circle on it each morning.  Pumpkins are for carving.  And the occasional muffin.

But, they are also, apparently for coffee cake.

Which I found out by way of a coworker whose baking skills put my own to shame.

The brilliant thing about this is that it’s not over-spiced.  So instead of screaming pumpkin it just whispers it.  Which is perfect for the first day of October.

To make a 9 x 13 coffee cake, you will need:

  • a yellow cake mix
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 C water
  • 1 T vanilla
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. each nutmeg and ginger, and 1/4 tsp. cloves)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 C brown sugar, divided
  • 1/2 C flour
  • 1/3 C walnuts, chopped (I left these out because I never bake with nuts, and I ended up regretting that choice)
  • 4 T butter, melted
  • 1/4 C granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 C heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and grease a 9 x 13 cake pan.  Mix first 7 ingredients thoroughly with whisk.  Pour cake batter into prepared pan.  In small bowl, combine 1/2 C brown sugar, flour, walnuts and melted butter.  Crumble this mixture over top of cake batter.  Bake 25-30 minutes, or until tester comes out clean.

While cake is baking, prepare glaze.  Combine remaining sugars, heavy cream, and vanilla in small saucepan.  Bring to simmer and stir, constantly until sugars dissolve.  Your biggest mistake is taking this off the burner too soon, as the glaze will be grainy.  No one likes a grainy glaze.

When cake is finished, use skewer, dry spaghetti, or fork to poke holes all over top.  Pour glaze on cake, and let it soak up all that syrupy goodness while it cools.  Cut into slices and embrace fall.

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