Pumpkin, Apple Cider, and Maple Syrup … Oh My!

As I'm writing this snow is falling, though it seems to be melting on the ground. That might imply that winter-themed food should be on the menu today, but this is just part of the autumn season in Wisconsin. Some days, it seems like putting away the shorts and T-shirts was a bad idea and other days, it seems like boots and snow pants aren't far away. The key is to go with the flow and enjoy what Mother Nature sends our way.

And this year, Mother Nature has been kind enough to help make a good pumpkin harvest a reality. So I'm finding great ways to use them. I've already shared a pumpkin-filled curry recipe and promise my vegetarian chili recipe later, but I didn't want to ignore the wonderful sweet options out there. This time around, it's a beautiful bundt cake. It would make a fantastic end to your Thanksgiving feast, but there's no reason to wait until the end of the month to enjoy it. Of course, you can use canned pumpkin for it, but I've been making my own pureed pumpkin from scratch thus far this season. I bet this cake would be lovely ringed with sugar-frosted currants for a special occasion.

However you choose to enjoy it, it really does showcase many of the flavors that have come to be associated with the fall season and that's all kinds of wonderful at my home. What's more, you end up with a toasty kitchen and a fantastic dose of aromatherapy! Now, it's time to share the recipe and enjoy watching the snow fall.

Maple-Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Maple-Cider Caramel Sauce

For cake:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For sauce:
  • 3/4 cup apple cider
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour a 12-cup bundt pan. (I am very fond of my silicone bundt pan, as I've never had a cake that didn't turn out perfectly in it.)

Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl. Beat the 2 cups of granulated sugar and butter in large mixer bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the pumpkin, sour cream, tablespoon of maple syrup, and vanilla extract; mix well. Gradually beat in the flour mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan.

Bake the cake for 60-75 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake for 30 minutes in the pan on a wire rack. Invert onto a serving plate to cool completely. Drizzle with the sauce before serving. Serve with any additional sauce.

While the cake is baking, combine the apple cider, 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, and 1/4 cup of maple syrup in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring often, until a thick consistency is obtained. Cool and drizzle over the baked cake before serving.

  • Yields: 12-16 servings
  • Preparation Time: 90 minutes

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