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Friday, January 27, 2012

Caramel Pumpkin Bourbon Cake

  

Amazingly moist with just the right splash of bourbon for a cold or rainy January day.
Bottoms Up!

I found the basis for this recipe on My Mother's Apron Strings, a wonderful baking blog created by my friend, Susan.  I met Susan through her blog and the gift of her friendship has been one of the highlights of last year for me.  I used Susan's recipe for Caramel Pumpkin Pound Cake with Warm Caramel Sauce as my inspiration for this BIWB, bourbon-infused pound cake.   Friends in Baking: an amazing gift.

I changed Susan's recipe a bit and made a modification on the use of the sauce.  I decided that I wanted to make a bourbon-soaked cake, so I used the same recipe for soaking sauce as in my Almost Tortuga Rum Cake.  I also switched things up and used vanilla bean paste, again one of the BIWB secret ingredients.  I love this stuff! 
Thankfully, the Old Crow is almost gone...
On to the "real" stuff: Jim Beam!! 

Sharing this recipe over at Cake of the Week's Baking with Spirit Challenge for October: Autumnal!  Check out all the creative and boozy Baking with Spirit Challenges!





Step-by-Step
In the prepared pan, sprinkle the chopped pecans in the bottom.
Cream the butter and add the sugars and beat again until fluffy, about 2 minutes.  
Add the vanilla bean paste and eggs, one at a time, and beat after each addition.  This is the batter after the 5th egg.  Don't forget to scrape! 
Add the pumpkin puree and bourbon and mix well.  As Susan said in her recipe, “ the mixture should be light and airy looking.”

Slowly add the dry ingredients on low speed to just combined.  Stir in the caramel bits and do your final mixing by hand.  Okay, so I ate a few of these Kraft caramel bits...I couldn't help myself!
Your batter will be VERY thick. 
Spoon batter into the pan and smooth the top.  
Bake as directed  and remove the cake to a cooling rack while you make the Rum Soaking Sauce.  I poked holes in mine, you can do the same.
Start the Bourbon Soaking Sauce when the cake just comes out of the oven.  It’s important that this not be made too far ahead or that you let the cake cool too much.   I use the same method as the rum soaking sauce for my Almost Tortuga Rum Cake, so please follow that link for pictures and tips. 

Pour the sauce on the warm cake, a little bit at at time. It's important not to rush this process...Think: risotto.  It can take a few minutes, so please be patient.
My 24-hour-bourbon-soaked-darling all ready to be enjoyed
and shared with great friends!

Caramel Pumpkin Bourbon Cake

For the Cake
1 cup pecans, chopped
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice (I got mine at Trader Joes)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar (I used 1/4 cup dark and 1/2 cup light)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
5 large eggs
1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 cup bourbon (or similar whiskey)
3/4 cup caramel bits (Kraft or from King Arthur)

For the Bourbon Soaking Sauce
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/2 cup bourbon (or similar whiskey)

To Make the Cake
Preheat oven to 325F degrees.  Generously spray a 12-cup Bundt pan or tube pan with non-stick baking spray.  Sprinkle the chopped pecans in the bottom.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice.  Mix to combine and set aside.

In a bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter.  Add the sugars and beat again until fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add the vanilla bean paste.  Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat after each addition.  Scrape down the bowl between mixing.  Add the pumpkin puree and bourbon and mix well.  As Susan said in her recipe, “ the mixture should be light and airy looking.”

Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed to combine.  Beat on medium until just combined. Stir in the caramel bits.  Finish mixing the last bits of batter by hand. 

Spoon batter into the pan and smooth the top.  Your batter will be very thick.  Bake for 60-70 minutes or until a wooden skewer comes out clean.  Remove the cake to a cooling rack while you make the Rum Soaking Sauce.  I poked holes in mine, you can do the same.

To Make the Bourbon Soaking Sauce
Note: Start the Bourbon Soaking Sauce when the cake just comes out of the oven.  It’s important that this not be made too far ahead or that you let the cake cool too much.

Combine the butter, sugar, water, and vanilla bean paste in a medium saucepan.  Bring this to a boil carefully as the mixture will boil over very easily.  Reduce to a simmer and cook until the sugar dissolves and the syrup is well combined and a little bit thicker.  Remove from the heat and add the bourbon, mix to combine. 

Pour on the Sauce
While the cake is still very warm and cooling, pour some of the hot sauce on the top of the cake.  Let this soak in before adding more sauce.  Continue to add sauce in small amounts until all the sauce is used.  It can take a few minutes, but be patient.

Allow the cake to cool completely.  Yes, "completely" can mean 12 to 24 hours.  Did I say be patient?

Run a knife around the edge, carefully.  Turn out onto a fancy plate if you please!

The Next Day
I shared this with dear old friends from college this last weekend.  I bake so much for my friends these days, it's just amazing how much I have shared and discoverd in common with them and their sweet tooths.  I did have to sample a piece that morning for breakfast...Reminds me of another friend who shares the same love of breakfast cake, cookies, and pie.  Dessert for breakfast?  Can't think of anything better!

 Breakfast cake anyone?! 
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8 comments:

  1. Oh Ellen, this turned out so beautiful and I can just smell the aroma from here! Breakfast cake, indeed!!

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    1. Thanks, Susan! I owe this recipe to YOU and your mother's pound cake traditions of Southern cooks. :) Thank you so much for helping me create this cake and for sharing your wonderful recipe with us!! It turned out (literally) like a dream!

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  2. This cake sounds delicious...although you had my interest as soon as I saw "bourbon" in the title :)

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    Replies
    1. Hey Ally! Give it a try with your favorite bourbon. A very "adult" cake, so easy to make, and worth it! I am now a huge fan of this cake, although I didn't think the tortuga rum cake could be beat! And, bourbon has now surpassed brandy in my holiday egg nog. Bourbon egg nog cake? Hum...Don't know if I can wait 11 months for that one, though! Cheers!!!!

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  3. So, for those of you "watching," a woman in Georgia is hosting a Booze-Infused Dessert Party tonight! Amazing idea. She linked to our page for our drunkin' monkey bread (from PW) and away we go! Check out her page if you have time. It's a great concept and one we'll add to the "when we have more time" files here at BIWB.
    http://anyvite.com/events/home/ofmfp4ufrl

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  4. Oh my this looks good! I want a slice. Thanks for sharing on Crazy Sweet Tuesday!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Dorothy, for letting us share on Crazy Sweet Tuesday! We look forward every week. :)

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  5. Cake for breakfast is totally acceptable if it's not laden with icing, I think. The cake sounds deliciously moist! Thanks for entering Baking With Spirit :)

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