If you love fall spices, this Spicy Pumpkin Bundt Cake is the cake for you! Warming ginger, sweet cinnamon, pungent cloves and aromatic nutmeg all combine to make this cake taste so good! It also makes the house smell amazing while it is baking.
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Fall is not welcomed quite as enthusiastically here in the UK as it is in North America. Although dark, wet, rainy fall days are more common here than bright, cool and crisp ones, I am convinced this lack of seasonal enthusiasm has less to do with the weather and more to do with a distinct lack of a certain important ingredient – pumpkin.
An Ode to Pumpkin
I adore desserts like this Spicy Pumpkin Bundt Cake, but they are still catching on here in the UK. From a culinary standpoint, pumpkin has caught on in savoury dishes, but there is still a marked hesitation amongst many native Brits to embrace pumpkin pies and cakes.
Fortunately this is beginning to change thanks to cooks like Nigella Lawson, magazines such as BBC Good Food and the influence of ex-pats and dual citizens like myself. I personally am convinced that if Brits could just discover the joys of pumpkin they might enjoy fall more.
I’m risking being roasted by the British language police, but I also yearn for the embrace of the term ‘fall’. Autumn sounds so formal and ‘autumnal’ is downright funereal. Incidentally, did you know that the words Autumn and fall both originated in Britain?
If one was making a first attempt to embrace the joys of pumpkin and indeed of fall – or Autumn if you insist – this delicious Spicy Pumpkin Bundt Cake would be a wonderful place to start.
The Origins of Spicy Pumpkin Bundt Cake
This Spicy Pumpkin Bundt Cake recipe is from the inimitable Martha Stewart. I’ve made some minor adjustments, like using plain flour instead of cake flour (not easily available in the UK), reducing the salt, and offering the option of using pourable plain yogurt instead of buttermilk. Instead of simply dusting the cake with icing sugar, as Martha does, I use a simple glaze studded with bits of crystallised ginger to decorate it. I also like to switch up the glaze, using lemon juice instead of water from time to time. Lemon, pumpkin and ginger make a delicious flavour combination!
This recipe does make a very big cake so do check your Bundt pan first. If you don’t have a 14 cup Bundt pan, you could perhaps make some muffins or a couple of mini loaf cakes with the extra batter. If you don’t your cake will have a very puffy bottom! Don’t panic if that happens though. Simply trim the bottom, flip the cake over and no one will be any the wiser. The trimmings are delicious on their own or crumble them to make toppings for puddings or other creamy desserts.
Warm Fall Spices
Lovely with a side of ice cream or a bit of whipped cream on top, Spicy Pumpkin Bundt Cake goes incredibly well with seasonal blackberries. It also keeps for days at covered room temperature. The flavour deepens and mellows as time wears on.
I just love having a Spicy Pumpkin Bundt Cake ready on the sideboard, ready for slices to be cut at a moment’s notice. However, if you find you have any leftovers after about 5 days, they make an amazing bread pudding. Or cut the pieces of cake in small squares to make individual trifles. Drizzle with sherry, port or rum and layer with a bit of custard, fruit and cream for a Pumpkin Trifle you will dream of for days.
Spicy Pumpkin Bundt Cake is my go-to fall cake. Try it, and I’m sure it will be yours too!
Spicy Pumpkin Bundt Cake – Printable Recipe
Spicy Pumpkin Bundt Cake
- 4 cups flour, plus more for dusting the pan
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated if possible
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 cup unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan
- 2½ cups packed light brown sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk or plain pouring yogurt
- 1½ cups canned pumpkin puree
- For the glaze:
- 1 cup icing sugar icing sugar is also known as confectioner's sugar
- 3 to 4 tablespoons cold water or fresh lemon juice
- crystallised ginger, chopped, for garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C, 170° for fan ovens).
- Grease a 14 cup Bundt pan with a little butter. Sprinkle with flour. Tap out excess flour. Set aside.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves into a large bowl. Set aside.
- Using medium speed, beat the butter and brown sugar together in the large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. This will take 2 or 3 minutes.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Don't forget to scrape down the bowl from time to time.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low.
- Add the flour alternately with the buttermilk (2 additions of each, starting with the flour), beating until just combined.
- Beat in the pumpkin puree.
- Pour the batter into the Bundt pan you prepared earlier.
- Bake the cake for about 55 minutes. The outside should be beginning to turn a light golden brown colour, and a skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean.
- Remove the Bundt pan from the oven and set it on a wire rack to cool.
- After half an hour, carefully turn the cake out of the Bundt pan and on to the wire rack to cool completely.
- For the glaze, mix the icing sugar gradually with the water or lemon juice, until a smooth, drizzle-able consistency is reached. (Go carefully, as you may need more or less liquid.)
- Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cake.
- Sprinkle with the chopped crystallised ginger, if using.
- Allow the glaze to dry before slicing and serving.