Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Pumpkin Whipped Cream

Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Pumpkin Whipped Cream

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Good cake is simple and nourishes the soul. This pumpkin bundt cake with vitamin-rich pumpkin and topped with cream satisfies deeply at this time of year.

It's the end of October and the pumpkin patches near our home are strewn with plump pumpkins just asking to be carved, roasted, and enjoyed. For the last two weeks, my husband has regularly brought up pumpkins from our garden (of varying shapes and sizes) and we've made at least two forays to local pumpkin patches to support various farmers in our area. I love this time of year!

Thus, a cake is a great way to celebrate the season. This pumpkin cake comes from my friend, Tanja, whom I consider to be a resident cake expert and the queen of all baked goods. It was she who taught me that cake should be simple – the celebration of the everyday, a quotidian pleasure – and that sharing good cake can be nourishing to the soul.

More calm, less chaos.

Use our step-by-step method to take charge of your life so you have time for what *really* matters.

Since she published the recipe in a delightful little cake book more than a decade ago, it has topped the list of my favorite autumnal goodies. (Alas, the collection of cake recipes is no longer in print, but the recipes continue to make regular appearances in my kitchen.)

I'm publishing the recipe here nearly exactly as she prescribes, which produces a wonderfully tender crumb and luscious texture, but if you'd like to make substitutions with more traditional foods, I've included a few suggestions at the end.

Make your own pumpkin puree: even better than canned pumpkin!

Using purchased canned pumpkin is absolutely acceptable for this cake, but making your own homemade pumpkin puree is super-simple and a great way to make use of the bounty of the season. See our tutorial for DIY homemade pumpkin puree.

[And NO, you cannot substitute pumpkin pie filling for pumpkin pie purée. Canned pumpkin pie filling has all sorts of other ingredients and additives that make it perfect (albeit processed and preservative-laden) for simply dumping into a pre-made crust and creating an insta-pie. That's not what we're going for here – we want pumpkin and nothing but pumpkin, thanks be to God.

If you want pie, then you'll want the classic pumpkin pie recipe that's made from scratch and so incredibly delectable you'll hand it down to your grandchildren. Yes, it's that good.

But going back to the pumpkin pie filling…. while you CANNOT substitute pre-made pumpkin pie filling for the pumpkin, you CAN substitute in other squashes, such as butternut, kabocha, or delicata when making your own pumpkin/squash purée. Butternut is the sweetest and the most recommended if you don't have pumpkin on hand. But I digress…]

Also, if it's easier for you than what's written in the recipe, you can make your own pumpkin spice as well. Here's our tutorial for DIY homemade pumpkin pie spice.

Resources for a Joy-Filled Holiday


Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Pumpkin Whipped Cream
Print Recipe
5 from 5 votes

Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Pumpkin Whipped Cream

This lightly-spiced pumpkin cake is the perfect fall dessert or simple afternoon snack. The light touch of pumpkin whipped cream elevates the cake without the need for cloyingly sweet frostings, icings, or a glaze. The cake is simply delightful all on its own – exactly as good cake should be!
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 5 minutes
Cooling Time1 hour
Total Time2 hours 30 minutes
Course: Dessert, Snacks
Cuisine: American, Global
Servings: 12 servings

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups evaporated cane sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups avocado oil, or other expeller-pressed/minimally-refined vegetable oil
  • 2 cups pumpkin purée
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • teaspoon ground cloves
  • powdered sugar, optional, for dusting

For the pumpkin whipped cream:

  • 1 cup heavy cream, well chilled
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • ½ cup pumpkin purée

Instructions

For the pumpkin cake

  • Prepare. Butter and flour a bundt pan and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • Beat together eggs and sugar. In a large bowl, beat eggs well with a fork or whisk. Stir in the sugar.
  • Whisk in the oil, pumpkin, and vanilla. Continue whisking while slowly pouring in the oil. Beat until thick and smooth.
  • Add pumpkin and vanilla. Stir in pumpkin purée and vanilla until the entire mixture is homogeneous.
  • Sift dry ingredients and add to the batter. In a medium bowl or on a piece of parchment, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices. Pour into the batter in three additions, stirring after each addition. After final addition, stir just until blended. The final batter should be thick but pourable.
  • Bake the pumpkin bundt cake. Scrape batter into the prepared bundt pan. Bake until a skewer, knife, or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, approximately 60-70 minutes.
  • Let cake cool. Remove the cake from the oven and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely at room temperature before serving. Dust with powdered sugar just before cutting, if desired.

For the pumpkin whipped cream

  • Whip the cream and sugar. In an electric mixer, beat the chilled cream to soft peaks. Add the powdered sugar and continue beating until the cream holds stiff peaks. Fold in the pumpkin purée gently by hand with a spatula.
  • Serve. Serve each slice of cake with a dollop of pumpkin whipped cream, as desired.

Notes

Suggested Substitutions

While I am definitely an advocate of avoiding conventional vegetable oils, namely any oil that is hexane-expressed, hydrogenated, or genetically modified (which, unless it's marked otherwise, you can be assured nearly every vegetable oil on the market falls into one of those three categories), please note that switching from oil to butter in this recipe will most definitely change the crumb structure. Oil-based cakes tend to be moist and tender while butter-based cakes are slightly denser and richer.
Changing the sugar will also change the moisture content of the cake, so be prepared to adjust the dry ingredients accordingly. Your final batter should be thick but pourable.

Optional Oil Substitutions

Butter + Coconut Oil: Replace the 1 1/4 cup avocado oil with 1 cup clarified butter (at room temperature) + 1/4 cup coconut oil (softened). Beat with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, then add the sweetener and beat again. Reduce speed to medium-low and add eggs one at a time. Continue with recipe as directed.

Optional Sugar Substitutions

Maple Syrup: Substitute 1 cup maple syrup for the 2 cups sugar in the cake and 2 tablespoons maple syrup for the 3 tablespoons of sugar in the whipped cream. Pumpkin and maple syrup are a match made in heaven, but it will bring a different flavor to the cake and a distinct change in the moisture content. Be ready to adjust your dry ingredients accordingly – again, the final batter should be thick but pourable.
Other Minimally-Refined Granulated Sugars: Try sucanat, rapadura, evaporated cane juice, or any other minimally processed granulated sweetener at a 1:1 ratio for the sugar.

Optional Flour Substitutions

Soak the Flour: Soak your flour first (see why you might want to soak your flours when baking), then continue with the recipe.
To soak, place all the flour, the pumpkin purée, the sweetener, and the oil in a large bowl. Mix everything together thoroughly, cover and let sit at room temperature for 8 hours or overnight. Incorporate the rest of the ingredients, increasing the baking powder to 2 1/2 teaspoons.
Use Sourdough: Use 1 cup fed sourdough starter and 1 3/4 cups of either all-purpose or spelt flour. To use this method, combine the starter, the flour, and 3/4 cup of milk; mixture will be extremely thick. Let sit for 6-8 hours at room temperature.  Make recipe as directed, adding the starter mixture when the flour is called for; reduce the oil to 1 cup and reduce the eggs to 3 eggs unless the mixture is exceedingly thick. And no, you won't taste the sourdough. It will heighten the other flavors, though, so even more pumpkin-y goodness!
If these substitutions don't work for you, please write me to let me know! I live at sea level in a moderately humid climate, so what has worked for me may not work for you and I'd like to know if my suggestions don't work where you live.

Pumpkin Bundt Cake Recipe: Suggested Substitutions

While I am definitely an advocate of avoiding conventional vegetable oils, namely any oil that is hexane-expressed, hydrogenated, or genetically modified (which, unless it's marked otherwise, you can be assured nearly every vegetable oil on the market falls into one of those three categories), please note that switching from oil to butter in this recipe will most definitely change the crumb structure. Oil-based cakes tend to be moist and tender while butter-based cakes are slightly denser and richer.

Changing the sugar will also change the moisture content of the cake, so be prepared to adjust the dry ingredients accordingly. Your final batter should be thick but pourable.

Optional Oil Substitutions

Butter + Coconut Oil: Replace the 1 1/4 cup avocado oil with 1 cup clarified butter (at room temperature) + 1/4 cup coconut oil (softened). Beat with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, then add the sweetener and beat again. Reduce speed to medium-low and add eggs one at a time. Continue with recipe as directed.

Optional Sugar Substitutions

Maple Syrup: Substitute 1 cup maple syrup for the 2 cups sugar in the cake and 2 tablespoons maple syrup for the 3 tablespoons of sugar in the whipped cream. Pumpkin and maple syrup are a match made in heaven, but it will bring a different flavor to the cake and a distinct change in the moisture content. Be ready to adjust your dry ingredients accordingly – again, the final batter should be thick but pourable.

Other Minimally-Refined Granulated Sugars: Try sucanat, rapadura, evaporated cane juice, or any other minimally processed granulated sweetener at a 1:1 ratio for the sugar.

Optional Flour Substitutions

Soak the Flour: Soak your flour first (see why you might want to soak your flours when baking), then continue with the recipe.

To soak, place all the flour, the pumpkin purée, the sweetener, and the oil in a large bowl. Mix everything together thoroughly, cover and let sit at room temperature for 8 hours or overnight. Incorporate the rest of the ingredients, increasing the baking powder to 2 1/2 teaspoons.

Use Sourdough: Use 1 cup fed sourdough starter and 1 3/4 cups of either all-purpose or spelt flour. To use this method, combine the starter, the flour, and 3/4 cup of milk; mixture will be extremely thick. Let sit for 6-8 hours at room temperature.  Make recipe as directed, adding the starter mixture when the flour is called for; reduce the oil to 1 cup and reduce the eggs to 3 eggs unless the mixture is exceedingly thick. And no, you won't taste the sourdough. It will heighten the other flavors, though, so even more pumpkin-y goodness!

If these substitutions don't work for you, please write me to let me know! I live at sea level in a moderately humid climate, so what has worked for me may not work for you and I'd like to know if my suggestions don't work where you live.

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11 Comments

  1. Pingback: 90 Pumpkin Recipes - Hilary Bernstein
  2. 5 stars
    could you send me a pumpkin bread reciepe using something other then white flour that I don’t have to soak and would like to use ,maple syrup instead of sugar thanks and that taste good that would be great haha I know not easy I have been looking for this with all quick breads which I love for a quick breakfast. also something crunchy for mourning that’s healthy without nuts and good flour

  3. 5 stars
    Oh my goodness! I served this today when a friend from church came over and it was sooooooo delicious! It turned out so perfectly that we could just eat it with our hands. I’m making another one for Thanksgiving, for sure!

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