Cake with Coffee Included: Pumpkin Espresso Bundt Cake

After baking a pumpkin skillet coffee cake, salted pumpkin caramels, and caramel apples, I decided to continue my fall baking binge by making a Pumpkin Espresso Bundt Cake from King Arthur Flour.

Making the cake batter could not be easier. You just combine pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and vanilla; and mix in white whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice (I subbed a mix of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves), cinnamon, and salt. You put a third of the cake batter in a well-greased Bundt pan, sprinkle on some espresso filling (brown sugar, instant espresso powder, and cinnamon), and follow up with more cake batter, more filling, and the remaining cake batter.

While the cake was in the oven I made the glaze. It's supposed to be a mixture of brewed coffee, sugar, and rum. I can't stand the taste of rum so I decided to use some Coureur des Bois crème d'érable that I brought back from a trip to Montreal in September. It's a maple cream liqueur that I kept seeing in Montreal and at first I assumed it was just a gimmick for tourists eager to buy maple-themed gifts. But I asked the bartender at our hotel about it and he poured me a sample. Even though I don't drink alcohol, the sweet aroma won me over immediately. It's like a maple version of Bailey's Irish Cream, with a smooth maple flavor that somehow isn't cloying or overpowering.
I brushed on the glaze while the cake was still warm but waited until it was completely cool to slice it. The cake was very moist when I cut into it, and the the top portion in particular was soaked through with glaze. I was a little surprised to see the neat and wide stripes of filling. When I sprinkled on the layers of dry filling, I tried really hard to keep the filling away from the sides of the pan, fearing that it might leak out and stick to the pan. I was pleased to see that the filling extended from edge to edge, and even happier that the cake released from the pan without any problems.

This overall flavor of this cake was equal parts pumpkin and coffee, which I liked. But I also wonder if perhaps I would have preferred a glaze made with coffee and powdered sugar that didn't soak into the cake, to have a cake that was primarily pumpkin flavored, with the coffee component being more of an accent. Either way, this was a tasty cake that was easy to make, and right on theme for fall.

Recipe: "Pumpkin Espresso Bundt Cake" from King Arthur Flour.