Just about every year, Nordic Ware releases a new pumpkin-themed pan for the fall baking season. Once the air starts to get a chill in it, people are much more likely to turn on their ovens and put them to work – and there are plenty of foodie holidays that provide occasions for all that baking, too. This new Pumpkin Loaf Pan features a trio of harvest-ready pumpkins still on the vine. It’s a simple design, though the vines add some nice detail to the pumpkins, and the image transfers over well to a loaf of pumpkin bread or pound cake. The heavy duty cast aluminum pan has a nonstick interior, too, though you’ll want to lightly grease and flour this pan to ensure that all of the details come out cleanly in your finished product.
Since I love pumpkin bread and make it often during the fall and winter (and have been known to make it once in a while during the summer, too), this type of pan is one that I can use again and again – especially because I bake a lot of loaf cakes and other baked goods for holiday gift giving! It also makes a nice gift if you happen to know someone who is a big pumpkin bread fan and will put it to work.
Fall holidays such as Halloween and Thanksgiving prompt the creation of all kinds of shaped baking pans. While there are all kinds of pans available during the rest of the year, the number of pumpkin and other fall themed pans reflects how closely we associate certain icons with the fall and that many of us do more entertaining – from small dinners to big parties, from just family to a big crowd of friends – than we do at other times of the year. I suspect that cakes baked in the Dimensions Mini Pumpkins Pan will be a hit wherever they’re served. This funky looking pan doesn’t waste any space on filler between the pumpkins, but instead looks like a pumpkin patch captured in heavy duty cast aluminum. The pan bakes eight half pumpkins for a total of four 3D miniature pumpkin cakes. You can use any cake flavor so long as you fill the cavities no more than two thirds full (to avoid having the cake overflow the molds during baking), though pumpkin cake seems like a natural choice for these. The pan gives them a well defined shape and even bakes the design of a stem surrounded by leaves on the “top” cakes.
After they have cooled the cakes can leveled with a sharp knife and can be sandwiched together with a small amount of icing or caramel sauce. Green icing could highlight the “leaves” on the pumpkins, or you can plate them as-is to create your own edible tabletop pumpkin patch.