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Cinnamon Roll Pumpkin Sheet Cake

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I found this recipe on Picky Palate and saved it for Thanksgiving, but wanted to give it a trial run beforehand.  I do crazy things like enter pumpkin bread into state fair competitions without ever having made the recipe before or since, but I try not to pull surprises on my family.  I can deal with not winning a ribbon, but I have a reputation to uphold when it comes to loved ones! ;)

I ended up making this for the CFC bake sale at work and my co-workers raved!  After sampling a piece myself, I had decided it wasn’t that exciting and I wasn’t going to bring it to Thanksgiving dinner at my in-law’s, but after all the raving, I gave it a second chance and tried another piece.  Maybe it was the power of suggestion, or maybe my palate just wasn’t ready to handle cake for breakfast when I tried the first piece, but I enjoyed the second piece so well that I’m now reconsidering this for turkey day.

The cake is very, extremely, uber moist, and the swirls of cinnamon filling are very complimentary to the pure pumpkin flavor.  The color is a very nice orange, which I liked, and the simple glaze is a perfect compliment, really finishing off the “cinnamon roll” feel of the cake.  The size of the cake makes it great for a big family gathering because it can easily be cut into 24 slices or more, whereas a normal layer cake would only be 16 pieces at best.  It’s nice to have a “small dessert” option after filling up on turkey and stuffing!  Or, let’s be honest, so you can enjoy more than one dessert. :)

Cinnamon Roll Pumpkin Sheet Cake

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1 (18.25 oz) box yellow cake mix
4 eggs
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk or buttermilk (I used water)
1 (3.4 oz) box vanilla instant pudding mix
1/2 cup sour cream
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin

Cinnamon filling
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and spray a jelly roll pan with non stick cooking spray. Set aside.

Combine all cake ingredients in a large bowl and beat until well combined, about 2 minutes. Pour into prepared pan, spreading evenly.  Mix the filling ingredients together, then drizzle mixture evenly over cake.  Take a knife and run it through to swirl the filling into the batter.

Bake cake for 30-35 minutes, until cooked through and remove. Mix glaze ingredients until creamy and smooth. Drizzle over warm cake then let cool for 20 minutes before cutting into squares.  Store covered until ready to serve, refrigerating if not serving within the next day.

Recipe source: Picky Palate


Pumpkin Spice Bagels & Pumpkin Butter

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Dave from My Year on the Grill chose leftovers as this week’s “ingredient” for the Blogger Secret Ingredient contest (aka BSI).  Since I often make dishes with leftovers, I had a tough choice choosing which one I’ve made lately to post.  And since the things I made with 28 egg yolks leftover from my huge white birthday cake all included lemon, I chose to post something more season-appropriate.

Don’t you hate it when a recipe calls for 1/2 cup of pumpkin, or any other measurement other than the entire can?  Drives me crazy!  After using 1/2 cup for some yummy bagels, I decided to use the leftover to make pumpkin butter so I could smear that on the bagels with some cream cheese.  The bagels are good by themselves, but even better with the pumpkin butter!  And don’t worry,  your pumpkin bagels will not be as dark or flat because you will not mess up the recipe by adding so much water that you have to add in 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour to stiffen it back up, and you will not forget to put in half the yeast.  Although these mistakes made the bagels more dense than I would have liked, they were still quite tasty and I will definitely make them again.

Pumpkin Spice Bagels
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2/3 cup warm water 110°)
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
3 cups bread flour (I used all-purpose)
1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
1 egg white
1 tbsp cornmeal

In bread machine pan, place water, pumpkin, brown sugar, salt, spices, flour and yeast in order suggested by manufacturer. Select dough setting (check dough after 5 minutes of mixing; add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water or flour if needed). When cycle is completed, turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Shape into nine balls. Push thumb through centers to form a 1-in. hole. Stretch and shape dough to form an even ring. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Fill a Dutch oven two-thirds full with water; bring to a boil. Drop bagels, two at a time, into rapidly boiling water. Cook for 45 seconds; turn and cook 45 seconds longer. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Whisk egg white and remaining water; brush over bagels. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and sprinkle with cornmeal. Place bagels 2 in. apart on prepared pan. Bake at 400° for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Yield: 9 servings.

Nutrition Information (provided by a Taste of Home): 1 bagel equals 180 calories, trace fat (trace saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 273 mg sodium, 40 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 6 g protein

Recipe source: Taste of Home Healthy Cooking, October/November 2010

You can see other spreads I made with leftovers in the background: lemon curd (made with leftover egg yolks) and apple butter (made with leftover applesauce)

Pumpkin Butter
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Leftover pumpkin (you should have a heaping cup)
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup apple cider
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Whisk together in small saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until reduced half.

Makes about 1 1/3 cups

Nutrition information per tablespoon (calculated on 19 calories, 0 g fat, 2.4 mg sodium, 36.8 mg potassium, 6 g carbohydrate, 5 g sugar, 0 protein

Recipe by Veronica Miller

Pumpkin Cheese Ball

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This isn’t a cheese ball containing pumpkin, but a cheese ball that is shaped like one, making it a great addition to your Halloween or Thanksgiving spread.  It’s a Taste of Home recipe that I adapted to be completely home-made since I didn’t feel like purchasing a pre-made cream cheese spread for it.   I discovered the recipe through Dennis’ cousin, who brought the adorable cheese ball to our Thanksgiving feast last year.  I ate more of it  than anything else, including dessert.  It was just so yummy!  I like my version just as well and it was a big hit during an event at my sister’s gift boutique where I recently served it.

I’m submitting this recipe to All Through The Year Cheer‘s Halloween recipe round-up for a chance to win some Madagascar vanilla beans.  If you would like to participate, check out the details here.  You have until October 27th to get your recipe in!

Note to parents: don’t worry about the cayenne pepper–it just gives a flavor boost with an extremely mild heat–mild enough for children.

Pumpkin Cheese Ball

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1 3/4 packages (14 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup (2 ounces) sour cream
1 tablespoon dried chives
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups (8 ounces) finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 celery rib or broccoli stalk
Assorted crackers

In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and sour cream until smooth. Beat in the chives, paprika, and cayenne until incorporated, then beat in the cheddar. Shape into a ball; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 4 hours or until firm. With a knife, add vertical lines to the cheese ball to resemble a pumpkin; insert a celery rib or broccoli stalk for the stem. Serve with crackers.

Yield: 2-1/2 cups.

Recipe source: adapted from Taste of Home

Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Vanilla-Rum Custard Sauce

I’ve previously mentioned my failed attempt at a brown butter pound cake.  Wonderful flavor, but overbaked to the point that it was almost too dry to choke down.  Well, after keeping it in the freezer for a month, I finally decided upon my method of recovery for the dried loaf (with some help from my friend, Laura).  And Redbook magazine helped me with the recipe.

Using pound cake rather than bread worked well here, giving an almost creamy texture to the pudding, but I think it would be just as good with the brioche or challah.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Vanilla-Rum Custard Sauce

from Redbook magazine, November 2009

1 T unsalted butter
1 lb brioche or challah loaf, cut into 1-inch cubes (I used about 1 1/2 loaves brown butter pound cake)
4 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups milk
1 (15-oz) can pumpkin puree
1 c packed light-brown sugar
1 T pumpkin-pie spice
2 t vanilla extract
1/4 c dark rum
1/4 t salt
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Vanilla-rum custard sauce (recipe below)

Heat oven to 350.  Grease a 13x9x2-inch baking dish with butter.

Bake bread cubes in a roasting pan, tossing several times, 15-20 minutes or until bread feels dry and slightly firm (I toasted mine 30 minutes–they were almost like croutons after cooling) .  Transfer cubes to a large bowl.  Turn off oven.

In another bowl, whisk eggs, cream, milk, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, pumpkin-pie spice, vanilla, rum, and salt.  Add bread cubes, tossing to coat.  Pour mixture into prepared baking dish.  Cover; chill overnight.

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Place baking dish in a roasting pan and pour enough boiling water into roasting pan to come halfway up sides of dish.  (I didn’t do the water bath and it turned out fine.) Bake 50-55 minutes or until a knife tests clean (Mine was not done until 65 minutes).  Let cool in pan on a wire rack until warm.  Dust with confectioners’ sugar; serve with vanilla-rum custard sauce.

Makes 12 servings.  Each serving: 401 calories, 22 g fat, 9 g protein, 43 g carb

Vanilla-Rum Custard Sauce
6 large egg yolks
6 T sugar
1 c heavy cream
1 c milk
1 T each vanilla extract and dark rum

In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar, about 3 minutes.

In a medium saucepan, heat cream and milk over medium heat until bubbles form around the edge.  Slowly whisk cream mixture into yolk mixture; pour back into saucepan.  Heat over medium-low, stirring constantly, until sauce coats back of a spoon, 3-4 minutes or to 170 degrees F.  Remove from heat; stir in vanilla and rum.  Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl.  Serve warm or cold.

Makes 2 1/2 cups.  Each (1 T) serving: 42 cal, 3 g fat, 1 g protein, 2 g carb

Turtle Pumpkin Pie

I don’t like pumpkin pie.  But I do like turtles.  And now that I’ve made this, I know that I love turtles enough to make me like pumpkin pie if their elements are a part of it.

As for all normal humans (you know, the ones who already like pumpkin pie), they will like this pie too.  It was a huge hit at my husband’s potluck at work.  It is sweet & creamy–more like a cream pie than your usual custard filling, but still with the pumpkin flavor (made more palatable enhanced by the caramel & pecans).

This is a very simple recipe, so of course I had to make it difficult and fussy by making my own caramel sauce and graham cracker crust.  I wouldn’t make my own breadcrumbs for a meatloaf , but I’ve spent up to an hour making huge amounts of frosting that requires boiling sugar & corn syrup, beating egg yolks to death…etc, etc, ad nausium.

I think I have a problem.

If you have similar problems, you can watch my step-by-step video at the end and prepare your own caramel sauce as well.

Turtle Pumpkin Pie
1 graham cracker pie crust
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. caramel syrup, divided
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. chopped pecans, divided
2 pkg.  (3.4 oz. each) vanilla instant pudding
1 cup cold milk (I used egg nog, which worked well)
1 cup  canned pumpkin
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp.  ground nutmeg
1 tub (8 oz.) whipped topping, thawed, divided
Pour 1/4 cup caramel topping into crust; sprinkle with 1/2 cup nuts.
Beat dry pudding mixes, milk, pumpkin and spices with whisk until well blended. Stir in 1-1/2 cups COOL WHIP; spoon into crust.
Refrigerate 1 hour. Top with remaining COOL WHIP, caramel topping and nuts just before serving.

Brown Butter Pumpkin Bread with Caramel Swirls

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I tried making brown butter pound cake a couple weeks ago and ruined it by overbaking it.  Despite the the need to drink an entire glass of milk with each bite, Dennis and I couldn’t resist having several slices because of the wonderful brown butter flavor.  (If you’ve ever had browned butter in a dessert, you know what I’m talking about.  If you haven’t–then you haven’t fully lived!)

While the remainder of the pound cake lies in the freezer, awaiting it’s transformation into a creative bread pudding, I found the link to a similar recipe waiting for me in my inbox yesterday, compliments of my good friend, Krista.  The recipe is, in fact, based upon that brown butter pound cake, but with the addition of pumpkin and dulce de leche.

Krista knows me too well.  Cake, brown butter, pumpkin and caramel?  Oh yeah, I’m there, baby!

After baking it and diving in (I only had a tiny slice…times five), I discovered that the texture isn’t dense like pound cake, but lighter like regular cake and very moist.  But since it doesn’t look like cake, I’m calling it bread.  Which kind of makes the name sound a little more wholesome, even with the mention of brown butter and caramel and the fact that the only wholesome thing in there makes up a very small part of the cake bread.

Whatever you want to call it, this stuff is awesome–bake a loaf and see for yourself!

Brown Butter Pumpkin Bread with Caramel Swirls

Slightly adapted from “Pumpkin Pound Cake with Dulce de Leche Swirls” at, which was adapted from the Brown Butter Pound Cake in Gourmet, October 2009

1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp rum (optional)
about 1/2 – 3/4 cup dulce de leche (recipe here)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter and lightly flour an 8 1/2 by 4 1/2-inch (or 9 by 5-inch) loaf pan.

Heat the butter in a 10-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until the milk solids on the bottom are a dark chocolate brown. Transfer to a pie plate or shallow bowl and put it in the freezer just until it congealed, about 15 minutes.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice in a medium bowl. Cream the brown butter with the sugars with mixer until it is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at time, beating well after each addition. Beat in pumpkin, vanilla & rum. On a low speed, mix in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Transfer about half of the batter to the loaf pan and smooth it around so that it covers the bottom of the pan and forms an even layer. Place small grape-sized dollops of dulce de leche on the surface. Swirl by running the tip of a knife through one or two times to create a swirly pattern. Cover with the rest of the batter, smooth the surface. Use the rest of the dulce de leche on top, also in small grape-sized dollops and swirled with the tip of a knife.

Bake 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours (75 to 90 minutes). Cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then invert onto a rack (right side up) to cool completely, about one hour.

 Veronica’s Notes: If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, use a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves & ginger. I used 1/4 t cinnamon, 1/8 t nutmeg, a couple sprinkles of cloves and the rest ginger.

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake

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I have been making this dessert every fall for about five years because not only is it my favorite fall dessert, but it is usually requested at our Thanksgiving gathering.  Although “Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake” is the official name, I feel that “Pumpkin Bars” is more apt and usually refer to them that way.  The bottom layer is like a cross between cookie and cake and the pumpkin filling is sweet, perfectly spiced and ultra creamy (not what I would call gooey, though it does jiggle when you take it out of the oven).

If you want to know how this recipe rates, here’s is the list of my top five favorite desserts (that I make):
1. Laura’s Cherry Crumble Bars
2. Laura’s Chocolate Chip Cookies
3. Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake
4. Dark chocolate Raspberry Cake
5. Zesty Lemon Pound Cakes

And if you still don’t believe me, here’s further proof that this is a must-try.  I brought this to the charity bake sale at work last week and it sold out faster than anything else.  I watched one woman scrape her container of every crumb after finishing the slice she bought, then go back to buy another only to find they’d all sold in the time it took her to eat it.  When she found out I’d made it, she made me promise to bring more next week!

She is not the first to catch the butter cake fever and won’t be the last.

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake

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1 (18 1/4-ounce) package yellow cake mix
1 egg
1 stick butter, melted

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 stick butter, melted
1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well with an electric mixer. Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 13 by 9-inch baking pan.

To make the filling: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter, and beat together. Next, add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mix well. Spread pumpkin mixture over cake batter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes (I usually do 45 minutes). Make sure not to overbake as the center should be a little gooey.

Serve with fresh whipped cream.

From Paula Deen’s Lady & Sons Savannah Country Cookbook

Quick & Easy Pumpkin Cupcakes

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These aren’t your typical pumpkin muffins disguised as cupcakes with a swirl of frosting.  Using a cake mix not only makes these a cinch to throw together, but gives the desired light texture of a cupcake.
Libby’s Quick & Easy Pumpkin Cupcakes
1 (18.25 oz) spice cake mix
1 can (15 oz) Libby’s 100% pure pumpkin
3 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup water
1 container (16 oz) prepared cream cheese or vanilla frosting (I made my own with this recipe)

PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Paper-line or grease 24 muffin cups.

BLEND cake mix, pumpkin, eggs, oil and water in large mixer bowl until moistened. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour batter into prepared muffin cups, filling 3/4 full.

BAKE for 18 to 23 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean (mine were done in 17 minutes). Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Spread cupcakes with frosting. Decorate with assorted sprinkles, if desired.


I used pumpkin spice icecream topping to drizzle over the top of those in the photo before the recipe.  It’s a seasonal item and if you can’t find it, you could use caramel topping and mix in some pumpkin butter & spices.

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