October 21, 2012

Pumpkin Buttermilk Cake and A Birthday!

Pumpkins and birthdays, a match made in heaven. We celebrated Joe's fifth birthday yesterday, because Stephen will be out of town for his real birthday. (on Tuesday) So for all intents and purposes, my baby boy is 5 years old! Who would have thought. Five years ago this stubborn, driven, over-achieving, adorable, snuggly little boy decided he was sick of that whole womb thing and showed up two whole months early, then stunned his family and doctors by being in perfect health and trying to escape his incubator box!! He's been on the move ever since, trying to be older, stonger, smarter, faster, and sweeter than any little boy has any right to be. I'm so thankful for my miracle boy.
And HE is so thankful for PUMPKINS!!
We started a tradition last year that every time we see pumpkins outside a grocery store (or anywhere, really!) the boys get to stop and hug them.
Joe has been asking for his Halloween pumpkin since the first of October, so for his birthday activity we went to pick our family pumpkins! We were going to go to a huge pumpkin patch with a corn maze, petting zoo, hayrides, etc. but both boys have come down with horrible sore throats (though they are cheerful and sound adorable) so we'll do that later. We just picked out pumpkins at a small patch a few blocks away. I'll post a pumpkin family portrait tomorrow. :)
Joe drew a face on each and every one of his balloons. He is currently trying to decide if he wants to be an artist or a superhero when he grows up.

He also asked for a pumpkin birthday cake, so I got a chance to bake my FIRST bundt cake!! Yay!!
Pumpkin Buttermilk Cake (inspired by Never Enough Thyme, via Pinterest)
Printable Recipe

1 15-oz can pumpkin
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
½ cup butter (1 stick), softened
4 eggs, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tb cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
¾ cup buttermilk

1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 stick butter (1/4 cup)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cornstarch
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 Tb light corn syrup (or golden syrup, if you have it!!)
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour/spray a 10-inch tube or bundt pan and set aside.
Drain the pumpkin by spreading over two layers of paper towels. Cover with two additional layers of paper towels and let stand for about 10 minutes. (I laid them over a cookie sheet to avoid getting juice on my counter!) Scrape the drained pumpkin into a bowl.

Combine flour, spices, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk together and set aside.
Combine sugars and butter. Beat at medium speed until well-blended, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in the pumpkin and vanilla.

Add the flour mixture and buttermilk to the sugar mixture, alternating, beginning and ending with the flour.
Pour the batter into the prepared tube or bundt pan. Bake for 40 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove cake from the pan and cool completely on wire rack.

For the glaze, combine all ingredients except vanilla in a LARGE saucepan. Heat over medium heat until it starts to bubble. Stir continuously while bubbling for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Let cool mostly before drizzling over the cake
I LOVE bundt cakes. They're so effortlessly pretty!! Frosting cakes is hard. Drizzling bundts is easy as pie! Be careful with the glaze, if it boils too quickly, it curdles! Mine did a bit. But it was still yummy!! Sweet creamy vanilla with a hint of tang from the buttermilk... (Yours also won't be quite so white, I tweaked it)
This cake is deee-licious. It's soft, fluffy and buttery, and the flavors are lighter than I expected. Somehow the pumpkin tastes fresh-ish!!
I went a little crazy with the spices, but I'm glad I did. I love those classic pumpkin spices! They're my favorite part of Fall baking! They're so warm and homey. Yum.
Well, he may be picky about me baking fruit into things, but I sure am glad Joe picked such a winner for his cake! Happy Birthday JoJoBee! (Oh wait, I'm not supposed to call him that anymore. *hee hee*)


  1. Awwww! That last pic is the Joe I first met! (or maybe a little older) When did he become a big ol' five-year-old?! I miss you and your sweet little men. :)

  2. So adorable! And what a great birthday activity! (Hope the boys are feeling better now.) Your recipe looks great, yum.

    I found you through Mia at The Chronicles of Chaos and think your Nibbles and Novels blog hop sounds like great fun...I'm also your newest follower.

  3. Happiest birthday to a sweet looking fella.
    That cake looks amazing.
    Over from Stonegable.

  4. What a lil cutie pie! Happy Birthday to your Little Joe!! That cake looks the perfect way to celebrate! I am always on the lookout for a good pumpkin cake recipe that doesn't use a cake mix, as cake mixes are so hard to get over here. Yours looks fabulous darling! Wish I could share a slice with you, or two or three. Perhaps one day! xxoo

  5. I could just go on and on about that boy... So glad he is in our lives. My favorite is his very deliberate speech.
    and the cake! Just what I need for Dad's office! I love that it doesn't need a special trip to the grocery store. (except for buttermilk, shame on me!)

    1. I know, I NEVER get tired of listening to him talk. And you two definitely have a special bond. Always have! :)

  6. Happy birthday, big boy Joe! What a darling boy you have!
    Your pumpkin buttermilk cake looks scrumptious! This is a must try!!!
    I really love this wonderful post. It is a joy to see such a good mommy loving her family so much!
    Thank you for sharing at ON THE MENU MONDAY!

  7. Happy Birthday to your little guy. His birthday is 5 days earlier than Mary's. She will be 6 on Sunday. He is so cute I love that last picture. I do that with Mary too, look at pics when she was young to remember how little she was :)


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