The original recipe calls for baking these decadent cakes in two loaf pans as glazed pumpkin breads. My dear friend Kerri made them often in LA sans glaze, but when I moved back to NY and began using their house as my Cali base, she confided that her husband (and our best friend...as well as Godfather of our children) has minor fits that I show up at their front door late at night fresh off a cross-country flight, let myself in (I have my keys, which is his first mistake) and then proceed to eat it all of Kerri's freshly baked pumpkin bread myself, saving him a pretty cake plate of crumbs come morning. (I also drink all of their wine, but apparently the pumpkin bread is sacred.) In fairness, it's ridiculously sweet, the pumpkin simply elevating the decadence without overpowering, and while the top becomes golden, the center is incredibly moist. While Kerri shares all of her recipes, she may have sent this one quickly so the locks aren't changed on me.
I adapted the recipe just slightly and began baking the pumpkin bread in a large bundt pan as more of a cake. Because I behave more appropriately as a houseguest in most other situations (ie. where I don't know the alarm code) this is my go-to recipe to bring as a fall/winter treat. Not only does it go fast, but lifelong pumpkin resisters - from granddads to picky kids - become fast converts.
Knowing that we have a lot of Halloween, Thanksgiving and fall season holiday parties coming up, I decided to try out the recipe as mini-bundt cakes to wrap up and deliver as homemade treats.
The notes below will detail the simple ways to bake the cake as two loaves, a single large bundt or as mini favors.
Adapted from my dear friend Kerri who adapted it from somewhere on Pinterest ;)
*The recipe has never been in proper format and since the only steps are to dump everything in a bowl, I have left it that way.
PUMPKIN SPICE CAKE(S)
1 (15 ounce) can unsweetened pumpkin puree
1 cup vegetable oil
3 cups sugar
3 large eggs
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chunks (milk chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips will work just fine)
Grease with butter 2 (9 X 5 inch) loaf pans OR one standard size bundt pan OR approximately 24 small bundts on a sheet (I prefer never to use cooking spray, but especially with this recipe). Place rack at center of oven and pre-heat at 350 degrees.
Add each of the ingredients (excluding chocolate) to the bowl of a standing mixer. Beat at low speed until well blended, but take care not to overdo it. Fold in chocolate chunks. Pour batter evenly into the loaf pans, bundt mold or mini bundts (*For mini-bundts, you do not need to fill the batter to the top as the cakes will rise slightly).
Bake according to times below. When the wooden pick comes out clean, remove the pan(s) from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack. Do give in to temptation and turn the pans over to release the cakes until they have completely cooled. They will fall apart (I know from experience).
Regardless of the pan, bake until the tops are golden and a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remember, every oven is a little bit different and this is one of those recipes that may require a little extra time in either direction, especially since bundt pans can vary, so stay vigilant with that wooden pick.
-2 LOAF PANS - The original recipe calls for 55 minutes. Kerri and I agree that we begin checking at this point, but we find that it typically takes about 1 hr and 5 min.
-STANDARD BUNDT PAN - The Barnhouse oven can be a bit slower, so I begin checking on this at about 1 hr 5 min, it typically takes another 5 to 10 (1 hr 10-15 minutes) for that pick to come out clean.
-MINI BUNDTS - My sheet has 24 cavities that are about 3 inches wide. It takes between 25 - 30 min for that pick to come out clean.