This is a delicious cake that contains all of the autumn/winter flavors in one- nuts, spices, cranberries, pumpkins, and apples. It takes a bit of work preparing all the ingredients, but the batter itself comes together rather quickly, and you just have to leave it in the oven unattended for 60 minutes or so while you run other errands. The cake itself is not too sweet, so don't be afraid to drizzle on the maple icing generously!
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2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/4 sticks (10 Tablespoons) unsalted butter at room temperature (or softened in microwave for 30-40 seconds)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs at room temp (if you don't have the time to bring them to room temperature, leaving them in a bowl of warm water for 5-10 minutes will do the trick; use warm, not hot water, as hot water may cause the eggs to crack)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree
1 large apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
1 cup fresh cranberries, halved (can also use dry)
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Baking: from my home to yours
1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. Butter a standard size bundt pan (12 cups). An easy way to do this is to take some melted butter and butter the pan using a pastry brush, making sure every crevice is covered.
3. Toast the pecans (or walnuts) for 6-7 minutes.
4. Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and ground ginger in a bowl and whisk to combine.
5. Using a stand or hand mixer, beat both sugars and butter together in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, and beat for 1 minute after each one is added. Beat in the vanilla.
6. Chop the pecans, halve the cranberries, and peel, core, and chop the apple.
7. Reduce the mixer speed to low, and add the pumpkin and chopped apples.
8. With the mixer still on low speed, add the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, etc.) until just combined. Be careful not to over-mix.
9. Using a rubber spatula, mix in the cranberries and pecans.
10. Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan, and smooth out the top using a spatula. Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until a toothpick or thin knife comes out clean. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes before unmolding it from the pan.
1. Sift 6 Tablespoons of powdered sugar into a bowl.
2. Add 2 Tablespoons of maple syrup and whisk well. Add more syrup, little by little, until you obtain the desired consistency. You want a glaze that you can drizzle over the cake with a spoon.
3. Once the cake is completely cooled, dust with powdered sugar, and drizzle with the glaze.
The sweet glaze balances nicely with the cake, which is not overly sweet and has hints of tart cranberries and spices throughout. Be sure to cut big slices so that you get a nice blend of apples, cranberries, and nuts!