Pumpkin Crunch Cake

I am obsessed with all things pumpkin and that is one reason this summer girl does look forward to fall. I am always on a mission to find great pumpkin recipes. I had seen this Pumpkin Crunch Cake recipe on a couple other blogs and so I thought I would try it.

I used the recipe from the Picky Apple, but clearly I did not read her comments very well as she explains that the consistency is more like a custard than a cake. That is one thing I was a little disappointed about in this recipe because from the picture, I thought it would be more like the consistency of a blondie. At any rate, the recipe is tasty and I would definitely recommend trying it, but just be prepared that the pumpkin layer is sort of custardy.

One thing I really loved about this recipe, is it requires fairly simple ingredients that we almost always have in stock in our pantry.

The ingredients are:

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree
  • 1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans (the original recipe called for 1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup butter, melted

We didn’t have a yellow cake mix, but I did have a butter pecan cake mix and I thought that would be a yummy twist on this recipe!

Another reason I loved this recipe is it’s simple. I’m not big on those recipes that require you to fold in the eggs separately etc. Also, I confess, I’m bad to forget to pre-heat my oven, so do as I blog, not as I do and get to pre-heatin’ at 350 degrees. Also, you should grease your pan. I vote for the spray stuff! Then mix your pumpkin, milk, eggs and spices together.

Then put it in your pan.

Then sprinkle the cake mix on top.

Then top with your crushed pecans and melted butter! Yum!

I baked mine for close to an hour. I kept thinking it would become more firm, but the pumpkin layer pretty much stays the consistency of regular pumpkin pie. I think I had some sort of mental block against something that consistency being in a square. If I make this again I think I would go ahead and bake it a round pan and present it more like a double layer pumpkin pie. Some cool whip would be nice with it also!
If you know of any other pumpkin recipes I should try, please share!

Pumpkin Ale Cupcakes

I love summer best of all, but pumpkin anything and holiday treats help me make it through fall and winter. This fall I am on a mission to find THE perfect pumpkin cupcake. I found several on the internet this weekend, but when I stumbled on one that was chocolate I knew I had to try that one first!

Mamma graciously agreed to be my sous chef and even assisted in gathering the ingredients for a photo!

Pumpkin Ale Cupcake ingredients

I admit I was a little dubious about this recipe at first. I love pumpkin and I love chocolate, but I wasn’t sure how they would be together. As pumpkin was my primary flavor objective, I decided to up the pumpkin on this recipe. Instead of just using the pumpkin ale, I also added 3/4 cup of pumpkin. I cut down the amount of sour cream to about 3 tablespoons.

I found the original recipe here.
I’ve never understood exactly what adding one egg at a time really does to enhance the recipe, but nevertheless, I followed the instructions. (This time anyway.)
Yep, there’s pumpkin beer in there! Yum!
And now it’s getting chocolatey!

True to the recipe instructions, the batter is very runny, but don’t worry!

And in we go!

As the batter is fairly thin and runny it is easy to drip where you don’t want it to. No matter, just scrap that off with your fingers (feel free to take a little taste!)

And now we bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. I often find cooking times unreliable, but 25 minutes was right on the nose for this. The recipe does say this makes 24 cupcakes. Our batch actually made 30 cupcakes. I think the secret to pretty cupcakes is to not overfill each cupcake well. This also means more cupcakes, yah!

I think these cupcakes would be great with just a basic cream cheese icing, but the buttercream icing recipe is also quite yummy.

Pumpkin spice buttercream icing ingredients

We decided to cut the icing recipe in half and we had plenty to ice each yummy cuppycake!

Yum!!!

And now for the final touch.

Aren’t they beautiful?

This recipe turned out to be a lot of fun. The combination of rich dense chocolate flavor combined with the spicy pumpkin and pumpkin ale flavors was very unique. I would definitely make these again.

If you know of any pumpkin recipe I should try, please let me know!

Steak and pumpkin cake

Our annual Pumpkin Festival is this weekend and I volunteered to bake some pumpkin goodies for a charity bake sale. I really wanted to try to bake these pumpkin nutella muffins, but I decided instead on this pumpkin pound cake recipe.

Pumpkin Pound Cake

I thought the overall flavor of the cake was nice, although it could have been more pumpkiny (is that a word?) The cake called for a glaze, but frankly, I’m just not a glaze kinda girl. Since it was for a charity bake sale I also thought it would be less messy without any icing. If I make this recipe again, I would definitely ice it with a cream cheese frosting.

When fall arrives, I become a pumpkin junkie! If you know of any other great pumpkin recipes I should try, please let me know! And now on to my other culinary adventures of the evening. . .

Tonight for dinner we had one of my all time favorite meals ever, steak, baked potato and salad. Sadly, I have realized that I am actually quite content to just eat steak and potato and forget the salad. Oh, yes, and garlic bread. I do adore garlic bread! Yum!

Steak, Salad, Wine & Garlic Bread. Yum! Yum!

Since we are such good friends, I will share my secret steak recipe with you. If you are a steak purist, like my boyfriend, you may not care for this, but if you like a steak with a little kick, you will love it! I put a small splash of olive oil in a deep pan and a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce, then I lay the steak in the pan. I prefer a t-bone, preferably one with a large filet side! I sprinkle both sides of the steak with an unflavored meat tenderizer, white pepper (you know it’s my favorite!) and garlic powder. Then I coat the entire thing in Tony Cachere’s creole seasoning. I adore creole seasoning! I think I could actually just eat this stuff right out of the container. Ok, maybe not, but it is yummy! After I put the creole seasoning on the meat, I sprinkle a few more dashes of Worcestershire. I like to let this marinate for a few hours, but even if I don’t have time for all that, I still use this same method and it makes the steak very flavorful. A few minutes before putting on the steak on the grill, I add a sprinkle of kosher salt to the meat. This steak is so good I actually lick the bone when I’m through! YumEE!

I always like to serve a nice hearty red wine with steak. In the above photo is a bottle of Castle Rock Petit Verdot that I bought at the beach this summer. (I confess this was taking awhile back as I was too intent on chowing down to actually take any pictures tonight.) Tonight we had Cupcake Malbec, which was excellent!

Cheers!