This dense pumpkin cake combines the best of regular cake and pumpkin pie to create a moist, creamy consistency with a texture reminiscent of cheesecake or fudge. The cranberry gelée adds both a tart edge and a glossy, vibrant color to the cake. The optional toasted chopped pecans send this cake over the top with a rich, buttery flavor and a crunchy texture. This showstopper is deceptively simple to prepare and guaranteed to disappear quickly around your holiday table.
Pumpkin Cake with Cranberry Gelée ~ serves 8-10
2 cups AP flour
1.75 cups pumpkin puree (one 15 oz canned puree)
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1.5 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
large pinch salt
1 cup fresh cranberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 Tbs orange liqueur
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup chopped toasted pecans ~ optional
Notes before you start: Don't start to make the gelée until right before you're ready to pour it on the cake or it will set up on you before you're ready. If you don't have pumpkin pie spice you can definitely substitute 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder, 1/4 teaspoon each nutmeg and allspice.
Preheat oven to 350º F
Prepare a 9" springform pan with butter and flour or baking spray.
Cream together the butter and sugar. Add eggs, vanilla, heavy cream and pumpkin. Add pumpkin pie spice, salt, and baking powder. Sift the flour in in two-three additions. Pour into prepared pan and bake 30-35 minutes. Cake will sink a little - this is normal.
Let cake cool in pan 15-20 minutes before transferring to serving platter.
Toast the pecans and let cool slightly before finely chopping. Set aside. At this point you can make the gelée.
To make the gelée start by rinsing the cranberries and picking them over for stems and leaves. Combine them in a saucepan with the water, sugar, cinnamon stick and orange liqueur. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. As the cranberries heat up they will begin to hiss and pop. You can help them along by crushing them with the back of a spoon. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until all sugar is dissolved and the mixture has the appearance of a thin syrup. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a clean container, pressing the mixture through with a spoon. Immediately pour the strained liquid onto the cake and sprinkle with the chopped pecans.
Pop the cake in the fridge for 10 minutes to set the gelée. Serve as is or with whipped cream.