It’s October. The season of fall foliage, fall days of warm days and cool crisp nights, frost on the windshield and a goolish amount of Halloween candy and decorations taking up space in the stores. It’s also the time for fresh winter squash and pumpkins to find their way into the kitchen.
The first to land in my kitchen was a beautiful little pie pumpkin that I baked up without a thought of how I was going to use it. I just knew it was time to create with pumpkin. It made me about 4 cups of beautiful pumpkin purée, three of which I am still contemplating a use for.
Of course you can always buy your pumpkin purée in the can or these days, in a box, but it just really doesn’t have the same tastes and flavors that fresh pumpkin purée has. And making your own isn’t that hard to do either. While there are multiple ways of getting your pumpkin cooked, such as boiling and microwaving, I prefer the old-fashioned way of baking it on a baking sheet, halved, in the oven at 325° F until it’s soft. The slow baking helps to bring out more of the sugars for a better flavor.
It’s with the cooler fall days and nights that makes me think of hot chocolate and hot toddies with a fresh gingerbread cookie to eat alongside. It’s those thoughts that helped me develop the idea for the flavors of my Bourbon Pumpkin Gingerbread Bundt Cake with Goat Cheese Frosting. I knew the bourbon would compliment the molasses, ginger and pumpkin flavors and the goat cheese would bring the sharp little bite to help bring balance.
The cake came out wonderful. My hubby is wanting to know when he can take the rest of it to work to share with his coworkers but I’m still clinging to the rest of it because every bite reminds me of fall and October. It’s spicy and sweet with just enough bite to make me sigh as another bite wakes up my taste buds and leaves me wanting just one more.
Bourbon Pumpkin Gingerbread Bundt Cake
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp cardamom
3/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, finely grated
3/4 cup fat-free Greek yogurt
1/4 cup bourbon (the good stuff)
1 cup pumpkin purée
1/2 cup molasses
Goat Cheese Frosting
5 oz. goat cheese, room temperature (the soft kind)
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature (use the reduced-fat kind for less fat)
1 Tbsp. butter, room temperature
3/4 tsp. vanilla (use the real stuff)
1 to 1 1/2 cups of confectioner’s sugar (base on your levels of sweetness)
Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray your bundt pan with cooking spray (or wipe down with veggie oil) and dust lightly with some all-purpose flour. Set aside until needed.
In a medium-size bowl, add the flours, spices, baking powder and soda and salt and whisk together to combine. Set aside until needed.
Using a stand mixer or mix by hand in a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. The mix will look a little grainy because of the same amount of butter, no worries. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Add the fresh ginger, yogurt, bourbon, pumpkin purée and molasses, mixing well.
Slowly add the flour mix, scraping down the sides as needed, and beat until combined well. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven promptly to avoid drying out the cake.
Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
For the frosting: Beat the goat cheese, cream cheese and butter until well combined. Add confectioner’s’ sugar at about 1/2 cup a time and beat until incorporated, scraping the bowl sides as needed. After adding 1 cup, check the sweetness to see if you want more or stop here.
Frost the cooled cake with the frosting. I used the frosting slightly warm so that it slowly ran down the sides of the cake to frost but you can add it all on with a frosting knife or warm it even more to make a glaze by drizzling over the cake. I did have extra frosting left over. Top with nuts, dried fruit or the topping of your choice (Mine is topped with toasted walnuts).
Enjoy the cake!
More pumpkin inspiration: