When the temperatures start to cool and the leaves begin to change, I crave anything pumpkin. I was even eyeballing the first pumpkin pie I saw in the grocery store. But one staple in my fall recipe arsenal is pumpkin bread. I have had this recipe since I was pregnant with my oldest son (who turns 13 in November), and it has never failed me.
So, this weekend, I made pumpkin bread, pumpkin mini-muffins and these fun punkalicious cakes. All from the same recipe, mind you.
I saw a similar look a couple of years ago when we were having a fall party and I had a fun recipe for a pumpkin shaped dessert. Unfortunately, I drove myself half-insane driving all over town looking for a mini-bundt cake pan. Much to my dismay, I never found one (I know, can you believe it?), so I never got to make them.
Lo and behold, one of my girlfriends bought me one for Christmas, so I pulled this bad boy out to try it with my pumpkin bread recipe. I think it turned out really cute, don't you? The trick of achieving the pumpkin shape here was trimming off the top of the mini bundt cake (which is actually the bundt cake "bottom" when you turn them out of the pan).
This is the type of pan that I used:
I "glued" them together with some Cool Whip, but using cream cheese frosting would be even more delicious. Then I topped it with some greenery (boxwood from the yard), but a piece of mint or something along those lines, would be even better.
So, here is the recipe for the basic pumpkin bread. I've even made it healthier by substituting the oil with natural applesauce. I swear, no one will know the difference. It's super-moist and delicious.
3 c. sugar
1 c. natural applesauce (or vegetable oil - trust me, you won't miss the oil!)
1 c. water
2 c. canned pumpkin
3 1/3 c. flour
1.5 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
Mix the wet ingredients in one bowl, mix the dry ingredients in another bowl. Slowly pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mixing the whole time.
Bake at 325 degrees:
For mini bundt cakes - 20-25 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.
For mini muffins - 15-20 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.
Loaf pans - ~1 hour, until center is set and doesn't "wiggle" anymore.
If making the pumpkin bundt cakes, let them cool and then remove them from the pan. Trim the "muffin top" off of them to create a flat surface. Take one cake and spread cream cheese frosting (for link to recipe, click here) or Cool Whip on flat part of the cake. Then, take a second cake and line it up, flat sides together to form a pumpkin shape. Top with mint or greenery for pumpkin "stem".
Enjoy! Now go get your pumpkin on!
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