Thursday, October 13, 2011

Caramel Pumpkin Pound Cake with Warm Caramel Pecan Sauce

Did you think I'd get through the month without featuring a pound cake with pumpkin!  It's one of my favorite things to bake and I have to blame it on being born in the South (Tennessee), where they are known for their fabulous pound cakes. 

The name pound cake comes from the original recipe of using a pound each of butter, sugar, flour, and eggs which was an easy recipe to remember with so many people unable to read.  The earliest pound cakes, dating back to the beginning of the 1700s in England, had no leavening agents and relied strictly on incorporating air to lighten the batter.  It wouldn't be until the 1900s when baking powder and/or baking soda were added to produce a lighter cake.

My mother made wonderful pound cakes--traditional, lemon, brown sugar, and chocolate that I can remember vividly.  The incredible texture that allowed the knife to cut a slice, satisfied my sweet tooth so completely with or without a glaze.  Pound cake was the choice to bake for my grandparent's 50th wedding anniversary cake and even for my wedding cake.  So, why wouldn't I create a pumpkin pound cake for this month of memories?

Caramel Pumpkin Pound Cake
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
5 large eggs
1-15oz  (1 3/4 cups) Pumpkin puree
1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract
1 T Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/2 tsp. ground Cardamon
3 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup Caramel bits
1 cup pecans, chopped
Preheat oven to 325F-degrees.  Spray a 12-cup bundt pan with a non-stick baking spray.
In a bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter completely.  Add the sugars and beat again until fluffy.  Add the Vanilla extract, and spices and mix on medium.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition and scraping down the bowl between mixing.  Add the pumpkin puree--the mixture should be light and airy looking.
 Add the dry ingredients and mix on medium speed to combine.  Beat on high for 1 minute.  Stir in the caramel bits (if using) and pecans.
Spoon batter into the 12-cup bundt pan, smoothing the top.  Place in the oven for 50-55 minutes or until a wooden skewer, stuck into the cake, comes out cleanly.

Can you tell the little bits of caramel have melted
Let cake cool about 10 minutes before turning it out onto a serving plate.  Make glaze while cake is cooling completely.
Caramel/Pecan Sauce:
4 T unsalted butter
1/2 cup whole pecans
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup heavy cream

In a small sauce pan, melt the butter, then add the pecans.  Cool over med/high heat until butter turns a golden brown. Lower heat to medium and add the brown sugar and cream, stirring to incorporate completely.  Continue to cook until the sauce turns a dark golden brown.  Remove from the heat.  The sauce will thicken as it cools.  Spoon or pour over a slice of pound cake.
 I discovered the caramel bits in the King Arthur catalogue and was delighted with the little bites of caramel I got in each bite.  (Alternatively, you could cut Kraft caramels into bits and add to the batter.) The addition of the caramel with the pumpkin is so Fall-like and on a cool day as we've had here today, most welcomed.  Enjoy!


  1. All your pumpkin recipes sound delious. I have to remember to write them down to try them out.
    stamping sue

  2. I love Pound Cake!!! And this one looks very, very good. Now, how about a pumpkin cheesecake? Hugs, Barb

  3. Sounds divine.... Two of my favorites: pumpkin and caramel! I'm going to have to try this!

  4. OH ME OH MY...and carmel bits to boot...YOU ROCK.

  5. Yowza! I've seen these little caramel bits and now I nkow what to do. :)

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