Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pumpkin Cake with Cranberry Gelee

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
3 eggs
1.5 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
large pinch salt

Cranberry Gelée
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.



  1. Oh the texture of the pumpkin cake looks so amazing :)

  2. This cake sounds amazing and such a great mix up to the traditional pumpkin pie. YUM!

  3. Wow! The cranberry gelee sounds divine! I baked something like this earlier with toasted almonds on top, but the cranberry gelee is absolutely unique! Great stuff!

  4. This cake is beautiful! It looks almost silky like a cheesecake. The granberry gelee is a genious thing to top it with, the red of the cranberries is striking against the orange pumpkin cake.

  5. That is one perfectly pretty cake! Now, I'm not a huge cranberry fan (not having grown up with them), but this sounds like a nice accent, not an overwhelming main focus. :) Beautiful!

  6. This looks so delicious (and pretty!!)...it would be a perfect Thanksgiving dessert and could double as a centerpiece. I would skip the turkey and have two slices of cake ;)

  7. Wow - this is absolutely stunning! Not only does it look delicious, the texture is incredible! I love it! Happy Thanksgiving!

  8. Wonderful cake! This is a great alternative to pumpkin pie for the holiday. I bet the cranberry gelee gives it a nice tart twist too!

  9. Stunning cake! And the perfect mix of Thanksgiving flavors....mmmmmm. Hope you had a fabulous holiday~

  10. Wonderful recipe! I love the addition of fruit to rich cakes!

  11. At first glance I thought it was a cheesecake. The texture is amazing and I'm saving this one to try later. Beautiful cake!

  12. the texture of this looks luscious - going on my list of recipes to try (and add my own twist)

  13. It looks perfect! Super rich, moist, and flavorful, yup, that's anybody's kind of cake! And it's pumpkin which is even better :) Great recipe!

  14. Wow... it looks so wonderful and delicious.


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