This was supposed to be a blog post about molasses oatmeal rye rolls, but instead you're getting a recipe for a pumpkin spice bundt cake with maple glaze. It couldn't be easier to make, is just as suitable on a holiday dessert table as it is served for weekend tea, and is both classic and completely comforting. I dare say we’ve never needed comfort food more than we have in the past four weeks, and at a time that’s filled with plenty of challenging days, the silver lining is that this is the right season for such meals.
Rob’s dad has been in the ICU for 31 days, and while he’s made several steps forward in the right direction, there have also been a few setbacks that left us wondering what the next day would bring. We honestly weren't sure which direction things were going to go, and while we've tried to keep some sense of normalcy at home for the past month for the kids, with daily trips to the hospital and the heavy hearts we were carrying, it’s certainly hasn't been easy.
I put a system in place over the past few weeks to make getting meals on the table a little easier. I relied on my slow cooker a lot. I picked a recipe that would yield enough food for dinner as well as the next day’s lunches – ideally something that will feed about 10 - and used that to keep us nourished throughout the week. On Fridays – three of the past four have been real doozies, the kind that bring urgent phone calls from the hospital – we crashed on the sofa at 9pm with a bottle of red wine, a bag of chips and some store-bought guacamole. Fortunately, the boys are often out with friends this night so we don’t need to worry about feeding them and Matthew is generally happy with scrambled eggs, toast and a smoothie.
On Saturdays, we plan for pizza. If I’m around during the day I make it, thankful for the distracting task of lining rimmed sheet pans with rolled balls of homemade or bakery-bought dough, ensuring there’s enough to feed anyone who’s been at the hospital that afternoon. If I’m also at the hospital, we grab a few pizzas on the way home.
We’ve made a point to be home on Sundays and have been cooking a big meal with and for the boys. Pasta with Bolognese, salad and bread; aromatic curies; beef stroganoff and homemade rolls. And while we've tried to commit to eating healthier in the weeks leading up to Christmas, there's also been cake. Specifically this simple bundt cake that first appeared at Thanksgiving for the pie-haters in the crowd, and is now a staple fall dessert in our house.
I know half the world seems to have their holiday decorations in place already, but we're a little behind on life these days, so I'm still eating like it's fall. We’re not sure what the next few days, weeks or months will bring, but keeping everyone well fed remains top of mind, especially those incredible ICU nurses. Matthew and I have big plans to bake a few batches of cookies this week in attempt to say thank you for taking care of Poppa.
Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake with Maple Glaze
Serves 10 to 12
- 2 1/2 cups cane or granulated sugar
- 1 cup canola oil
- 3 large eggs
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for pan
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 3/4 cups pumpkin purée
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven 350°F. Generously grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan; set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and oil until blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
3. In a second bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and cinnamon; add to egg mixture alternately with pumpkin, and beating well after each addition.
4. Scrape batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 60 to 65 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
5. While the cake is baking, prepare the glaze by beat glaze ingredients with a whisk until smooth. Add more powdered sugar or maple syrup, if necessary, for desired consistency.
6. Remove cake from oven and cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack. Remove pan and cool completely. Place cooled cake on a serving platter or cake stand and spoon glaze over top, letting it drip down sides. Let glaze set at least 15 minutes before serving.