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The Great Pumpkin Cake

Gianduja is a hazelnut-flavored chocolate available at gourmet food stores.

  • servings: 16

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Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus 1 cup (2 sticks), melted, plus more for pans
  • 3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted, plus more for pans
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup nonfat buttermilk
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk
  • 3 ounces gianduja or milk chocolate
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 7 ounces heavy cream
  • A few drops of orange liquid-paste food coloring
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • Chocolate Leaves

Cook's Note

To make a stem, twist a brown-paper lunch bag into a stem shape, and wrap it tightly with green floral tape. Insert the stem into the center of the cake. Remove before serving.

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Heat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter the inside of two 8-inch Bundt pans; dust lightly with cocoa powder.

  2. Step 2

    In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine granulated sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, and set aside.

  3. Step 3

    In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, vanilla, canola oil, buttermilk, and 3/4 cup milk. Slowly add egg mixture to sugar mixture. Using the paddle attachment, mix batter on low speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Divide batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake cakes until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack, and cool for 20 minutes before removing from the pans.

  4. Step 4

    Place both chocolates, heavy cream, and 1 tablespoon butter in a medium heat-proof bowl over a pot of gently simmering water. Heat, stirring often, until chocolate is completely melted, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, and let cool to room temperature. Whisk chocolate until lightened; set aside.

  5. Step 5

    Using a serrated knife, trim the bottoms of both cakes so they are both flat. Spread chocolate evenly on the flat side of one of the cakes. Invert the remaining cake onto chocolate so that a pumpkin shape is formed. Place cake onto a wire rack.

  6. Step 6

    To make orange butter glaze, combine remaining 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon of milk and the food coloring until the mixture is a pumpkin color; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together confectioners' sugar and 1 cup melted butter. Add reserved milk mixture, and continue whisking until smooth. Working quickly, carefully pour orange butter glaze over the cake, tilting the cake as necessary to coat all sides of the cake. Let glaze set completely before garnishing with chocolate leaves. Serve.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, October 1999

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Reviews (8)

  • 21 Nov, 2010

    I am using chocolate licorice for the stem and making the cakes in mini bundt pans, about the size of a large muffin.

  • 19 Dec, 2009

    I made this cake for Thanksgiving and found that a carrot, covered in baker's chocolate made a perfect stem!

  • 25 Oct, 2008

    I have Martha's 1999 edition Halloween book right now (borrowed from the library), and it says the stem is made from a twisted up brown paper bag covered in green floral tape. My husband thought that idea was very unpractical and suggested I use something edible instead, like asparagus. =) I think I'll stick with the paper bag and floral tape!

  • 25 Oct, 2008

    I have Martha's 1999 edition Halloween book right now (borrowed from the library), and it says the stem is made from a twisted up brown paper bag covered in green floral tape. My husband thought that idea was very unpractical and suggested I use something edible instead, like asparagus. =) I think I'll stick with the paper bag and floral tape!

  • 18 Oct, 2008

    The stem on the pumpkin cake looks like one of the "Ladies Fingers" from the halloween recipes.

  • 16 Oct, 2008

    I was wondering the same thing. I''m planning to make this cake for a birthday party tonight and would really love to know what what used in the photo for the stem. It looks pretty realistic.
    Can someone help!?
    Thank you!

  • 15 Oct, 2008

    What do you use for the pumpkin stem?

  • 28 Dec, 2007

    I won first prize at our office holiday baking contest with this impressive cake. It did take an investment of time, patience and unusual ingredients, but the result was awe-inspiring. Note that if your Bundt pan is on the larger side, your cake will be more flat than round. Use a smaller pan.