Pumpkin Spice Cake

This was one of our best-selling cakes at my restaurant. During fall and winter, just as soon as the temperatures dropped, we baked this cake daily. I'll share the recipe with you and give you a few of my restaurant tips that you can apply at home. For a printable recipe, click on this link.

Served as a parfait with layers of cake, brandy sauce and whipped cream.

One serving version.

This cake mirrors the flavor profile of Milomakarona, the Greek cookies traditionally baked for the Christmas holiday season. Melomakarona are typically made with oil instead of butter and flavored with oranges and cinnamon. They're dipped in honey syrup straight out of the oven and then topped with chopped walnuts.

Lots of serving options. My pumpkin spice cake is made with oil instead of butter and it's flavored with orange zest and cinnamon. There is an optional sauce prepared with honey, walnuts, orange zest and juice. The cake is fine just as it is, dusted only with powdered syrup, but you can turn it into a layer cake with whipped cream or with the sauce and cream. One of the easiest serving options is to turn it into a parfait, which is great when you're serving more than a few people. During the holidays, I find it helpful to plan ahead. This cake can be baked up to three days ahead and assembled a few hours ahead.

FOR RESTAURANT BAKING TIPS, scroll to the bottom.

Bake in a casserole pan when you don't have cake pans.

Even out the edges.

After trimming the edges, cut the cake in half
and each half into thirds, then into triangular
pieces. This will yield 12 generous slices.

BAKING TIPS from my restaurant years:

  1. Using baking spray and then flour in the pan ensures easy release of the cake.
  2. Baking in a casserole dish gives you flexibility with serving and assembly.
  3. Adding cream cheese to heavy whipping cream stabilizes the cream. Have you noticed how whipped cream at home tends to weep and deflate? There are many methods for stabilizing, but the easiest is to use room-temperature cream cheese.
  4. Once the cake is cooked, set the pan on a cooling rack. The air will circulate under as well as over the cake to help it cool faster and more evenly.
  5. Make sure you sift your dry ingredients. I took a shortcut, which is why my cake has a few air pockets--uneven distribution of the baking powder. Oops!
  6. Bake ahead. Up to three days. The cake will keep until you're ready to trim and assemble.
Use any kind of glass or punch cup. Even
small mason jars will do for your parfait.


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