From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Hints of fall are just starting to appear here. While the leaves have yet to drop, they are beginning to fade as the once emerald landscape moves towards shades of khaki and olive green. This morning, the mist which normally hovers over the ridgeline refused to lift and we spent most of the day under a cloud cover that never did burn off. Squash and wild mushrooms have edged out berries and tomatoes in our markets and while corn is still available, the fields still standing will soon be cut and sculpted for mazes that are a sure sign that Halloween is just around the bend. I love the kitchen at this time of year. There is something wonderfully comforting about the aromas that come from the fall kitchen and the smell of cinnamon dusted apples could put Proust's madeleines to shame. The early apples are not great for baking, so the first of the desserts to come from my kitchen at this time of year are usually made with pumpkin. This simple cake is one of my favorites. It is mildly spiced and made wonderfully moist by the pumpkin that is added to the cake batter. When I make this for my family, I like to serve it warm with a drizzle of butterscotch or caramel syrup. I have found, however, that this is also a wonderful cake to tote to meetings and church suppers where a sprinkling of powdered sugar is all that is needed to make it a standout. I know those of you who try this cake will be delighted. Here is how it is made.
Pumpkin-Gingerbread Cake with Streusel Topping...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Land O' Lakes Recipes
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
2 tablespoons cold butter Butter
1-1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup full flavor (dark) molasses
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup caramel ice cream topping, heated
1) Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 13 x 9-inch baking pan.
2) Combine all streusel ingredients except butter in small bowl; cut in 2 tablespoons butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.
3) Combine sugar and 1/2 cup butter in large bowl. Beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Reduce speed to low; add all remaining cake ingredients. Beat until well mixed.
4) Pour cake batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle evenly with streusel. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
5) Serve cake warm or cool with ice cream topping. Yield: 16 servings.
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