Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake with Buttermilk Icing

 - by Elizabeth

One day last month when I was trolling through my Google Reader, link led to link led to a site where a librarian for the Los Angeles Library System had determined to make better use of her bundt pan, and so was posting a bundt cake a day.  I found her early in the cycle and never returned, but did harvest this recipe, orginally published in November 2005 in Gourmet Magazine (may it Rest In Peace–and I was just about to subscribe to it, too!).

The other night we had three guests for dinner and I needed a quick dessert.  I whipped this up (yes, it’s really easy, though the mixing of the pumpkin with the buttermilk is unconventional), drizzled the frosting over the top and it was a hit at dinner.  I cut up the extra pieces, gave some away and Dave’s been taking a slice in his lunch all week.

yield: Makes 12 servings

For cake

1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened, plus additional for greasing bundt pan
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for dusting pan
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin (from a 15-ounce can; not pie filling)
3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
For icing
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons well-shaken buttermilk
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar

Special equipment: a 10-inch nonstick bundt pan (3 quart)

Preparation

Make cake:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Grease bundt pan generously, then dust with flour, knocking out excess.

Whisk together flour (2 1/4 cups), baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, and salt in a bowl. Whisk together pumpkin, 3/4 cup buttermilk, and vanilla in another bowl.

Beat butter (1 1/2 sticks) and granulated sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes, then add eggs and beat 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and add flour and pumpkin mixtures alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture and mixing until batter is just smooth.

Spoon batter into pan, smoothing top, then bake until a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack 15 minutes, then invert rack over cake and reinvert cake onto rack. Cool 10 minutes more.

Make icing:
While cake is cooling, whisk together buttermilk and confectioners sugar until smooth. Drizzle icing over warm cake, then cool cake completely. Icing will harden slightly.

Cooks’ note: Cake can be made 3 days ahead and kept in an airtight container at room temperature.

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