Difficulty Rating: Medium
When I was making this cake for the photo, it filled the house with an ultra-seductive cinnamon-chocolate scent. It smelled so good when it came out of the oven I had to give some to Mr. Smith (my husband) with vanilla ice cream in order to have a small spoonful myself. Omigoodness, it was almost as good as falling in love! Later, I found Mr. Smith, bent over the kitchen counter, rear end wagging slightly, sneaking another piece! Is there no honor among men? Actually, I don't blame him. It really is irresistible. Warning: if you are making this for company, make a double batch and make cupcakes, 2 bread pans or another bundt for your family. At the very least, make a cupcake out of some of the batter, because YOU will want some as soon as it leaves the oven!
This cake is stunningly beautiful! I put it on a plate made by "Annie Glass" --a local artisan glass company. Serve it and just look at it a while. Or take it to a pot-luck and wow the crowd. Originally published in Sunset Magazine, this makes one large bundt cake (12-16 servings).
Note: Be sure and take a little batter and make yourself a cupcake--because once it's out of the oven you will not be able to hold yourself back from tasting it!
1 1/2 C butter, at room temperature
3 C sugar
6 large eggs
2 t vanilla
1 1/4 C canned pumpkin
2 3/4 C flour
2 t baking powder
1 t salt
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t ground nutmeg
1/8 t ground cloves
3/4 C Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa ( I use Droste)
2/3 C buttermilk
Chocolate glaze (see ingredients below)
In large bowl, with a mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugar until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Scrape half the mixture into another bowl.
To make pumpkin batter; Beat pumpkin into half the butter mixture until well blended. In another bowl, stir together 1 3/4 C flour, 1 t baking powder, 1/2 t salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and beat on low speed. or fold in with a rubber spatula just until blended.
To make chocolate batter: In another bowl, mix remaining 1 C flour, 1 t baking powder, 1/2 t salt, and the cocoa. Add flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk to the other half of the butter mixture (start and end with flour), beating after each addition just until blended.
Spoon half the pumpkin batter into a buttered and floured 12-cup bundt pan. Note: A Bundt cake that won't come out of the pan is doomed! Be sure and get the butter (or Crisco) in all the nooks and crannys. I have also found putting pieces of torn baking parchment at the bottom of the pan to be effective along with buttering it. After spooning in pumpkin batter, drop in half the chocolate batter on top--almost but not entirely covering the pumpkin. Repeat with the rest of the batters, ending with pumpkin. Gently run a butter knife around the center of the pan several times. the draw the knife across the width of the pan in 10 to 12 places to swirl batter.
Bake in a 350 degree oven or 325 degree convection oven until a wood skewer or piece of dried spaghetti comes out with a just few moist crumbs attached or clean, 55-60 minutes. Let cake cool 10 minutes in pan, then loosen edges with a knife, invert on a rack, lift off pan and cool cake completely.
Pour warm chocolate glaze over top of cake, letting it drip down the sides. Let stand until glaze is set, about 2 hours, or chill 30 minutes.
Chocolate Glaze: In a double boiler, melt 4 oz. semisweet chocolate chips, 2 T butter and 1 T corn syrup in a 1 qt. saucepan over low heat, until chocolate is melted. Cool slightly and drizzle over cake.