How much Fall can you squeeze into a cake?

Yes, of course I realize baseball season’s behind us by several weeks now—unless you’re in Philadelphia or Chicago, in which case you abandoned hope in, oh, late July.

Nevertheless, my resistance to fall flavors (and to puns) is equally futile. This supermoist and only lightly sweet ring cake is so packed with pumpkin, apples, cranberries, nuts, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg, it’s hard to imagine squeezing any other ingredients in there. So Squeeze-Bundt Cake it is.

Fall
CSA apples and cranberries, ginger, pecans (I liked walnuts even better), and pumpkin purée.
Squeeze-Bundt Cake

Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s All-in-One Holiday Bundt Cake in Baking: From My Home to Yours. I was fairly faithful, just altering the flours (I swapped in about a half cup of whole wheat), upping the cranberries, adding a scrape of citrus zest, and subbing walnuts for pecans. For the next one, I may try pistachios.

Serves 12.

  • 1-1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat all-purpose flour (you can certainly use all white if you’d rather)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1-1/2 tsp freshly ground ginger root (or 1 tsp ground ginger)
  • 10 tbs unsalted butter (1-1/4 sticks), softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-1/4 cups pumpkin or butternut squash purée
  • 1 large apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
  • zest of half a small orange
  • 1-1/4 cups fresh (or thawed) cranberries, halved or chunkily chopped
  • 1 cup walnuts (or pecans), coarsely chopped
Chop, chop.
I wanted big pieces, so I chopped by hand. The fruit chunks bake down into a nice gooey gel, and the nuts provide a nice, al dente counterpoint.

Position your oven’s racks so that a bundt pan will fit near the center. Preheat to 350º.

Butter or spray a 9- to 10-cup Bundt pan.

Whisk or sift together the flour, baking powder, soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg. If you’re using ground ginger, toss that in now, too, but if you’ve grated fresh ginger root, save that till when you add the wet ingredients later on.

Use a mixer to cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and the first egg; beat for a minute. Crack in the other egg; beat another minute.

Adjust to the mixer to low speed, and add in the pumpkin, apple, grated ginger, and orange zest. Once they’re well mixed in, slowly add the dry ingredients, just until everything’s incorporated.

Curdled
When you add the pumpkin, the batter will look weird—even a little curdled. That’s okay.

With a wooden spoon or sturdy spatula, stir in the cranberries and nut pieces. Scrape the batter into the Bundt pan, spreading and smoothing as you go so that all the nooks and crannies of the pan are filled evenly.

Last mix-in
To keep the fragile berries and nuts from breaking down too much, stir them in by hand at the very end.

Bake for about an hour, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Move the cake (still in the pan) to a rack to cool for 10-15 minutes.

Fully baked.
I tested this one after 50 minutes and ended up letting it go for another 10.

Run a thin knife or offset spatula along any sticky spots between the cake and the side of the pan. Put a rack on top (across the face of the pan), and, pinching the pan and rack together, flip both upside-down in one smooth motion to unmold the cake to let it cool completely.

Naked cake.
It may not be beautiful on the outside, but it’s perfectly moist and absolutely gorgeous within.

Serve plain, with a drizzle of quick icing, or a sift of powdered sugar. That’s how we had it Saturday night.

And Sunday morning, I toasted a couple slices on a dry, non-stick griddle, topping them with a glaze of 1/3 cup powdered sugar and a tablespoon or so each of maple syrup and apple cider.

Leftovers
Leftovers again? Yes, please.

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