If you’re going to perfect one baking skill this fall, make it a from-scratch cake with this simple pumpkin spice cake recipe. I love this cake! Its the go-to kind of dessert to get you through an entire season of dinner parties and celebrations. Its orange color makes it our pick for a Halloween dessert.
Subtly pumpkin flavored, the pumpkin spice bundt cake makes a fine replacement for tired, old pumpkin pie at the Thanksgiving table and its comforting blend of baking spices will bring holiday cheer at Christmastime. Chrysta wrote the recipe for a standard bundt pan but the batter also works for making 24 pumpkin cupcakes or a pumpkin sheet cake.
Tips for making the best made-from-scratch cakes
With this cake recipe’s step-by-step instructions baking from scratch is easy, it really is! But Chrysta has a few key steps she recommend you follow every time you make a cake. First of all, sift your dry ingredients. Sifting flour helps incorporate air and creates a foundation for a light cake.
Then, make sure to scrape. Scraping the sides of the bowl as you mix is so important to Chrysta, she even wrote herself a scraping song, which she sings as she works. If you don’t scrape the bits of dough caught on the sides of the bowl and make sure they’re incorporated, your cake will not have the right consistency.
How do you know when your bundt cake is done?
Anyone who has ever tried baking a cake knows that one of the trickiest steps is recognizing when to take your cake out of the oven.
Because every oven is different (and some may have hot spots), Chrysta’s recommendation is to rotate your cake 180 degrees halfway through the approximate baking time. Then start checking your cake for doneness at the earliest time in the instructions, (for this spiced bundt cake, it would be 40 minutes). Use a cake tester or toothpick, (Chrysta uses coffee stirs) to check for doneness in the center of the cake. When the cake tester comes out clean, your cake is ready to come out of the oven. Be careful not to over bake.
Following these baker’s tips will help ensure that you produce a cake with the right consistency every time you bake, not just with this moist pumpkin cake recipe but with any made-from-scratch cake recipe you try.
Do not make this pumpkin cake with pumpkin pie filling
One more note to make this the most successful pumpkin cake possible, please do not use pumpkin pie filling.
This Thanksgiving bundt cake recipe calls for pumpkin puree. This canned product is made from pure cooked, mashed pumpkin or squash. (The USDA allows canners to mix other winter squashes with pumpkin to achieve the right puree consistency.)
Canned pumpkin pie filling is not the same as pumpkin puree. Pumpkin pie filling has added sweeteners and baking spices. If you’re following Chrysta’s recipe, these added flavorings will make your pumpkin spice bundt cake too sweet and overly spiced. (Here’s an article from Good Housekeeping with more information on the difference between pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie filling.)
Serving your homemade pumpkin cake
Because this cake recipe calls for pumpkin puree and brown sugar as well as pumpkin pie spice, it is moist and flavorful enough to serve on its own without any frosting. Alternatively, you could add chocolate chips to the batter if you like the combination of chocolate and pumpkin. This is a great way to get a frosting-like effect without having to make frosting. (And a chocolate pumpkin bundt cake can be hard to resist!)
But Chrysta likes to serve this pumpkin bundt cake with cream cheese frosting. You can also try serving this pumpkin bundt cake with glaze. Chrysta uses a cinnamon glaze, made from powdered sugar and milk, with vanilla extract and a touch of cinnamon.
This homemade pumpkin cake might be an aphrodisiac dessert
A harvest cake may not be the first food that comes to mind when you consider date night desserts but there are some interesting facts about this bundt cake recipe ingredients that may change the way you thing.
This pumpkin spice bundt cake recipe is loaded with the aphrodisiac ingredients. For starters, there’s pumpkin. You might be surprised to learn that pumpkin has an aphrodisiac history. But it’s history as a food of love stretches back for centuries. Not only that, but pumpkin is loaded with nutrients to get you in “the mood.” Learn more about the aphrodisiac side of pumpkin. It might surprise you!
But taking a closer look at this recipe’s ingredients, there’s actually more to this cake to spice up your love life. That’s my corny way of talking about pumpkin pie spice. You might be surprised to learn–I know I was– that this spice blend is linked with men’s libido. According to clinical studies performed by the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation, a combination of pumpkin spice and lavender proved to be arousing to men. Yes! Just the scent alone aroused men. If it’s a man you have your mind set on seducing, you wouldn’t even have to bake the cake to reap this benefit.
Get the Kiss My Bundt cookbook
This is one of my favorite recipes from Chrysta Wilson’ cookbook Kiss My Bundt. (See our review of the cookbook.) This is the book that taught me how to make successful, moist and fluffy cakes from scratch–and ones that turn out just right every time. In addition, the book teaches how to experiment with cake flavors. In fact, this book inspires me to try some innovative new ingredients each time I bake a homemade cake.
With this pumpkin spice cake recipe, for example, I sometimes add a streusel topping to have a pumpkin coffee cake instead of a cream cheese frosted pumpkin bundt cake. It’s a great variation. Give it a try and let us know what you think in the comments below.
Harvest Pumpkin Bundt Cake Recipe
- 3 cups flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 eggs room temperature
- 1 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cups brown sugar packed
- 15-16 oz can pumpkin purée not pumpkin pie filling,
- 1 cups vegetable oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, beat eggs on medium speed until frothy, 3-4 minutes.
- Turn mixer speed to low and slowly add sugars. Beat until very thick.
- At a medium speed, mix in pumpkin purée and oil, mixing until thoroughly incorporated.
- With the mixer on low, add dry ingredients to the wet 1/2 cup at a time. Do this slowly so that the batter doesn’t develop clumps.
- Transfer batter to a 12-14 cup bundt pan that has been coated with a baker’s cooking spray that includes flour (or greased and floured). (Alternatively, you can use the batter to make 24 cupcakes, 2 cake rounds or one loaf cake.)
- Bake cake until an inserted toothpick or cake tester comes out clean--about 40 minutes. (Cupcakes will cook in less than half the time.)
- Invert cake onto a cooling rack or serving plate. If cake resists, cool in the pan for 15 minutes before inverting. (If cake still resists, cool an additional 15 minutes in the pan.) Cool completely before frosting, at least 1 hour.
- Serve plain or top with cream cheese frosting or a vanilla or cinnamon glaze.
Like this recipe? Get a copy of Chrysta’s bestselling cookbook, Kiss My Bundt:
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