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Autumn Pumpkin Bundt Cake

Nov 10, 2011

Now that the weather has started to turn chilly, I’ve been thinking about the most important meal of the day. No, not breakfast. I’m talking about afternoon coffee.  Even those of you who didn’t grow up on the Scandinavian five-meal-a-day plan can appreciate the pleasures of a hot cup of coffee, a nibble of sugary something, and most important of all, a good conversation. This mid-afternoon ritual was always observed at my grandmother’s house, but was especially important on those gray fall and winter days when we needed the extra caffeine, the warmth of the oven and a bit of bustling around the kitchen to perk us up. Each step of the process was its own pleasure, part of a work routine that dated as far back as I could remember: going through the recipe box and discussing the origins and merits of each dessert option, sharing the work of collecting ingredients, mixing and pouring, and waiting patiently as the kitchen filled with the delicious aroma of homemade dessert. Once the cake had cooled off enough to handle a bit of glaze, Grandma would fuss with the coffee pot while I got out the dishes, and we would settle in at the battered old kitchen table together to enjoy the results of our labors. 

One of our fall favorites was Autumn Pumpkin Bundt Cake, a moist treat rich with the warming flavors of pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger and clove. Bernie, our publisher, says it might be better than pumpkin pie, but you can judge for yourself.

Autumn Pumpkin Bundt Cake

1 box spice cake mix
1 pkg instant vanilla pudding
1 c pumpkin
1/2 c oil
1/2 c water
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
1/2 c chopped pecans or walnuts
1/2 c powdered sugar for glaze 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix cake mix, pudding, pumpkin, salad oil, water, cinnamon, vanilla and eggs in mixer for 5 minutes. Stir in nuts and pour into very well sprayed bundt pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes. Let stand 10-15 minutes before removing from pan. When cake has cooled, mix powdered sugar with 1 tbsp hot water and a drop of vanilla and pour this glaze over cake.


07:06 am - Thu, November 10 2011
Heidi said:
Laura, thanks for the glimpse into your neat relationship with your grandma (she sounds like a wonderful woman) and for the delicious cake. Although, I did eat it for breakfast :)
07:31 am - Thu, November 10 2011
Rebecca said:
My Scandinavian grandparents did the five meal a day plan when they were on the farm, too. Thanks for reminding me of grandma's kitchen and grandpa coming in from the field for coffee.
07:54 am - Thu, November 10 2011
John Andrews said:
The coffee was always on at my Norwegian grandma's. The first thing she did upon returning to the farm from the hospital following a heart scare was brew a fresh pot. She was a youthful 99 at the time. She always had cookies to go with the coffee. If it was winter, there was certainly krumkake or rosettes, too.
09:07 am - Thu, November 10 2011
Laura said:
Heidi - This does make an excellent breakfast. It's got eggs and a vegetable in it, so it couldn't be more nutritious. All it's missing is bacon.

Rebecca - It is a lovely custom. Best of all was when a neighbor happened to stop by around coffee time. Then you'd get in on some REAL visiting.

John - Sure, you can't have coffee without something to snack on. My grandma always apologized if all we had for coffee was homemade cookies.

I ran into an elderly Norwegian friend of mine recently. She told me her doctor told her to stop drinking coffee. I almost cried for her. A coffeeless Norwegian is a tragic sight indeed.

01:51 pm - Thu, November 10 2011
Bernie Hunhoff said:
Yes, I love pumpkin pie. And this is better. And working here, I know my pies and cakes.
08:01 pm - Thu, November 10 2011
Julie Scheel said:
Loved reading this, Laura. It is nice to share the story with the receipe--they all go together!
01:48 am - Sat, November 12 2011
kevin said:
Wow, that picture of the cake is sooooo inviting. Great article.
06:06 pm - Tue, November 22 2011
Nancy Heege said:
My friends at work and my family loved this cake, even though I made it with Banana Cream instant pudding instead of Vanilla. Don't ask; it's a long story!
06:11 am - Wed, November 23 2011
Laura said:
Glad it worked out for you, Nancy!

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