Sunday, November 9, 2008

Pumpkin blueberry disaster

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming for a special lesson on how to destroy a perfectly tasty cake. Or maybe a tale that will make you a better baker. A kind of don't-make-the-same-mistakes-I-did inspirational blog post.

I made one of our favorite desserts today: Blueberry Pumpkin Cake. It's a perfect fall dessert. It is willing to embrace the best of the fall and yet hints at an unwillingness to let go of the summer. It's like me, in cake form.

Anyway, I was all excited to share the recipe with you, so I was focused on the photography. And I started baking at 7am (never a good idea). And what happened? This:

Can you guess what I did wrong? Read the recipe for the answer!

From Cooking Light Magazine (No Idea about the date on this one, as I ripped the page out years ago)
3 c + 2 tsp all-purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
0.5 tsp ground nutmeg
0.25 tsp salt
0.25 tsp baking soda
0.25 tsp ground cloves
0.75 c butter, softened
1 c granulated sugar
0.75 c packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1.33 c canned pumpkin
0.33 c fat-free sour cream
0.5 c 1% low fat milk
2 c fresh or frozen wild blueberries (Cooking Light recommends Wyman's)
1 c sifted powdered sugar
1 tbsp canned pumpkin
2.25 tsp 1% low fat milk
0.25 tsp vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
2. To prepare cake, coat a 10-inch tube pan (Kathleen note: or bundt cake pan) with cooking spray; dust with 2 tsp flour. Set aside.
3. Lightly spoon 3 c flour into dry measuring cups and level with a knife. Combine 3 c flour and next 6 ingredients (through cloves), stirring with a whisk. Place butter in a large bowl; use the 0.75 c called for above instead of 1 c of butter; beat with a mixer at medium speed 1 minute or until fluffy. Gradually add granulated and brown sugars and 1 tsp vanilla, beating until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add pumpkin and sour cream, and beat well. Beating at low speed, add flour mixture and milk alternately to butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries.
4. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 15 minutes on a wire rack. Place wire rack upside down on top of cake; invert onto rack. Cool completely.
5. To prepare glaze, combine powdered sugar and remaining ingredients, stirring until well blended; drizzle over the cooled cake.
Yield: 16 servings.

Yeah, I blew it. And the bummer is that this cake is amazing. But when you put a bit too much butter in it, it gets too dense and does not cook right the whole way through (even if the toothpick comes out clean). Even worse, the cake collapsed on one side while it cooled! (Rendering it not-picture-worthy.)

I had made it to bring to a dinner party, and everyone was really polite and ate it and said it was tasty, but inside I was fuming with anger over my inability to follow directions at 7am on a Sunday. Grrrrr.

That being said, this cake is awesome. You should make it. Just follow the directions. :)

(Cue music)

1 comment:

  1. People are always very polite when your baking doesn't come out as expected, aren't they? Maybe it's because it really does taste good, just not as good as you know it could taste? I'm always disappointed when things don't turn out well in the kitchen. That did not stop me from eating an entire half of the too dry apple cake with the overly sweet frosting I made yesterday. :)