Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake with Bourbon Cream Cheese Glaze

Last year I just barely held out until September before the pumpkin baking started. It was an entirely different story this year; I cracked open my first can only two days ago. It always feels like an admission that summer is over when I cave on the pumpkin (yes, I know it’s technically been fall for over a week) so this was my attempt to extend it for a few more weeks because, seriously, the end came way too fast for me.

Besides, unlike apples which are at their peak for another month or two at most and therefore demand immediate attention, I can keep the pumpkin goodness going throughout the entire winter. And I fully intend to :)

Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake with Bourbon Cream Cheese Glaze

The first of October seemed like just the right time to finally share the first pumpkin treat, and though I may have kept you waiting, we’re coming out of the gate with a bang! A moist, lightly spiced pumpkin bundt cake with a sweet cream cheese glaze that’s infused with bourbon – oh yes. The combination of pumpkin and cream cheese wasn’t new to me, but I had never considered that it might be improved by adding a little bourbon to the equation. Luckily, someone else had. And here’s the thing – you would never catch me drinking bourbon, but it’s oh so good here. You definitely taste it, but it complements the other flavors nicely. If you’re still not sold on the bourbon, no worries – you can just sub milk and maybe a little vanilla extract instead.

This is one of those cakes that just gets better on the second day so go right ahead and make it in advance for your fall parties, get-togethers and yes, maybe even Thanksgiving.

Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake with Bourbon Cream Cheese Glaze
cake from Gourmet, November 2005 (via Epicurious), glaze adapted from A Communal Table

{A few notes: This is the full recipe, but I halved it and baked in my 6-cup pan, which worked perfectly. Many reviewers of this recipe suggested doubling the spices. I didn’t and liked it as is, but if you really want the flavor of the cinnamon and allspice to shine, go for it. Also, if you like a ton of glaze on your cake, you might want to double the recipe below. I had a ton leftover after making my cake, so I scaled it back below.}

Cake
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin puree
3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature

Glaze
3 oz cream cheese, at room temperature (I used reduced fat)
4 teaspoons bourbon
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

chopped and toasted pecans (optional garnish)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 12-cup bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray with flour.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, and salt. Whisk the pumpkin, buttermilk and vanilla together in a large measuring cup. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs, and beat until combined, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients and pumpkin mixture alternately, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, just until combined.

Transfer the batter to the prepared bundt pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes (closer to 30 if you’re doing a mini in a 6-cup pan), or until a thin knife inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool for 15 minutes, then turn the cake out and allow to cool completely on the rack.

To make the glaze: Beat the cream cheese and bourbon on medium speed until smooth and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar until completely incorporated. The glaze should be thick, but you can adjust the consistency as desired – thin with milk or more bourbon and thicken by adding additional sugar. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cake, allowing it to drip down the sides. Garnish with chopped pecans, if using. Let the glaze set before serving the cake.