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The pumpkin spice bandwagon was in full swing in the year 2015, and they had pumpkin spice flavor in every snack food you could think of. (I passed up on the pumpkin spice potato chips and didn't try them.) That's because when it's done right, it's delicious. This is a chocolate chip pumpkin spice cake, coated with a sugar and pumpkin spice glaze. It was baked in a cast iron bundt pan, using this recipe:
I've become very fond of a method for baking cakes in a heavy metal bundt pan, such as cast iron or thick aluminum (bare aluminum, not non-stick). If you have one of these heavy bundt pans, don't grease it in advance – place the dry cake pan in the oven and preheat the oven and the cake pan to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. If you're using a thin bundt cake pan or a non-stick cake pan, grease and flour it as always, and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Mix dry ingredients together (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt), using a whisk. Using the whisk is important, as this will help to incorporate air into the batter. Add spices (cinnamon, ground ginger, cardamom, nutmeg), and whisk them again. Add all remaining ingredients in order, except the chocolate chips. After the batter is mixed together, stir in the chocolate chips.
When I bake in cast iron, I like to preheat the bundt pan to 425 degrees F, then coat the inside of the pan with Crisco. This melts immediately in the hot pan. Pour the batter into the hot pan, place the pan in the oven, and immediately turn the temperature down to 325 degrees F. The oven will cool as the cake bakes. If you're not using this method, simply add the batter to your prepared (grease and flour) cake pan, and place it in the preheated oven at 325 degrees F.
Bake for 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes), as the pumpkin needs all of that time to bake. Remove from oven, and cool the iron pan for 20 minutes before flipping.
I wanted a shiny clear glaze on this cake, so this was my glaze attempt: Boil 1/2 cup water, stir in 1/2 cup sugar, stir to dissolve. Add 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon cardamom, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg. Add 1 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar, Stirring constantly to mix it all together into a clear liquid. When the glaze is clear and there are no more clumps of sugar, turn off the stovetop heat. Pour the glaze over the cake and let it thicken.
Let the cake cool after flipping, before adding the glaze. Top with crystal baking sugar.
Add milk to a saucepan and turn to medium-low heat. Sift in the powdered sugar, stirring as you sift. This will let the sugar blend in with no lumps. When it's entirely encorporated, stir in 1 tablespoon molasses. This will turn the sugar glaze into a brown sugar glaze. Stir constantly for ten to fifteen minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and thick. Turn off the heat, and continue stirring for another five minutes. Add vanilla extract and butter, and stir until butter is melted. Add cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg. Keep stirring as the glaze thickens, 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture reaches a pudding-like thickness. Remove from heat and let cool. Drizzle cooled glaze over cake.