From scones at breakfast to pie for dessert, there are more pumpkin baked goods out there than you can shake a stick at – a cinnamon stick, that is. Though there are many of them out there, I feel that there is always room for something new in the pumpkin pantheon and this Pumpkin Pudding Cake uses pumpkin in a way that I haven’t seen before.
Like other pudding cakes, the batter separates into two layers as the cake bakes. The bottom layer is a creamy pumpkin custard, while the top is a moist, fluffy sponge cake. Both the top and the bottom layers have a good pumpkin flavor, with plenty of spice and just the right amount of sweetness. The pudding cake tastes like a much lighter version of pumpkin pie. Since it is served warm, it also allows you to dig into that pumpkin dessert much faster than you would be able to if you had baked a traditional pie!
This cake must be baked in a water bath, so be sure that you have a larger pan to set your baking dish in before you are ready to put the pudding cake in the oven. I used a roasting pan, which was large enough to fit my 8×8-inch baking dish easily. You will need to add enough water that it reaches halfway up the sides of the baking dish, as the cake will not bake properly without the insulation of the water bath.
The pudding layer of this cake isn’t quite as “saucy” as some pudding cakes are. It is actually more like a custardy version of a pumpkin pie filling. Like other pudding cakes, the pudding layer will set up more in the fridge. To return it to a pudding-like consistency before serving (if you have chilled your cake before serving), simply microwave each portion for a few seconds. It is best served slightly warm, whether you’re eating it fresh out of the oven or enjoying leftovers the next day. I like this cake just as it is, but it is excellent with a dollop of whipped cream on top and a dash of extra cinnamon.
Pumpkin Pudding Cake
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt
2 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup minus 2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour and spices.
In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, pumpkin puree, sugar, vanilla extract and milk. Add in flour mixture and whisk until combined.
In another medium bowl, beat egg whites to stiff peaks, approx 2-3 minutes. Gently whisk egg whites in to pumpkin mixture.
Pour batter into 8-inch square baking dish. Set baking dish inside of a larger pan (such as a 9×13-in. pan or a roasting pan) and fill with water until water reaches halfway up the side of the batter-filled baking dish (below the top of the batter)
Bake for 35-40 minutes, until cake is lightly browned on top and the cake springs back when gently pressed.