Pumpkin-Ginger Bundt Cakes with Brown Butter Glaze

October 2, 2012

pumpkin ginger bundt cakes with brown butter glaze | une gamine dans la cuisine

I officially addicted to making wood backgrounds for food photos. *help*

The first background took an unnecessarily long time to construct. I bought bead board, clumsily glued things together and waited 24 hours before painting...only to have it fall apart as soon as I moved it from the floor.

I've since found an easier method which involves wandering snooping around the attics and garages of friends anyone, looking for planks of wood (preferably thin and at least 2' by 2'). If the piece of wood is just the right width and height, I don't have to saw, or glue, or hammer. I've never been so ridiculously excited about Not having to do something.

Without the hassle of putting stuff together, I can just focus on the best part, the painting and crackling! My current favourite background is the one that I used in this post. The colour was called "stormy sea." How could I resist? 

pumpkin ginger bundt cakes with brown butter glaze | une gamine dans la cuisine

Now, lets talk cake!

From the pumpkin pureé, to the spicy mix of ginger and cinnamon, to the intoxicating brown butter glaze - these jaunty bundt cakes speak with a fluent autumn accent. And, best of all, they are unbelievably moist, especially for bundt cakes (which tend to stray to the dry side). I'm not a fan of pumpkin and yet I couldn't resist enjoying a second serving with my morning coffee.

My only tip is to generously grease and flour the wells of the bundtlette pan. I lost two cakes to a clingy pan (I think I was too frugal with the flour?).

I hope that everyone is enjoying the new season and month so far. I can't wait to share more autumn-themed recipes (and new backgrounds!).

pumpkin ginger bundt cakes with brown butter glaze | une gamine dans la cuisine

Pumpkin-Ginger Bundt Cakes with Brown Butter Glaze
makes 6 mini bundt cakes Plus about 9 regular-size muffins (or one large bundt cake)

for the cakes
1 cup (that's 2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 
1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
4 eggs, separate the yolks and the whites
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups brown sugar (I used dark)
1 cup unsweetened pumpkin purée
1/4 cup of canola oil

for the glaze
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup confectioners' sugar
pinch of salt
2 Tablespoons whole milk (or half & half cream)

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease and flour a 6-well bundtlette pan, and line about 9 muffin wells of a standard-size muffin tin. {Note: I had a difficult time removing my cakes from the pan, so be sure to flour the wells generously.}

In a large mixing bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg; Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitter with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy (about 3 minutes). Slowly, in 1/2 cup increments, add the brown sugar, beating well after each addition and scrapping down the bowl as necessary. Once all the sugar has been added, beat everything together on medium speed for 3-4 minutes.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg yolks and beat on low until incorporated. Add the pumpkin purée and oil, beat until smooth.

Remove the stand mixer's paddle attachment and switch over to a large rubber spatula...it's all by hand from here. Fold in about 1/3 of the flour mixture. Keep folding until the flour has disappeared. Repeat with the remaining flour. {Note: If the folding technique isn't incorporating the flour thoroughly, it's okay to use a few gentle mixing strokes. Just try not to overwork the batter.}

In a separate medium bowl (make sure it's clean and dry!); Beat the egg whites on med-high speed until soft peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter.

Spoon the batter into the prepared cake pan. {Note: My oven is tiny. I baked the bundt cakes and reserved muffins separately.} Bake the bundt cakes for 20-23 minutes, or until the tops spring back when lightly pressed and a thin knife inserted into the center comes out with only a few sparse crumbs. Remove the cake pan from the oven and place onto a cooling rack. Allow the cakes to sit in the pan for about 15 minutes before inverting the pan and removing. {If the cakes are being stubborn, run a butter knife around the edges...just to help loosen them up a bit.} Cool completely before adding the glaze. Bake the muffins for about 15-20 minutes, using the same test for doneness that you used for the cakes.

Prepare the glaze: In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Once melted, increase the heat to med-high and cook until the butter turns brown (about 5-8 minutes). You will know when the butter is ready by it's nutty fragrance and brown-tinged bubbles. Strain the butter through a sieve and into a mixing bowl. {Note: The sieve will catch any burnt bits.} Add the confectioners' sugar, salt, and milk. Stir until blended and smooth. Immediately drizzle the glaze over the cakes and muffins. The glaze hardens fast, so use it as soon as soon as possible.

Adapted from Fine Cooking


  1. Love the background and you know I love the mini bundts! Please pass a spoon and the bowl of glaze :).

  2. maybe you should do a tutorial on all the background wood painting you've been doing? i've been meaning to do it & i just don't know where to start.

    loving these little beauties, so perfect for autumn. happy october!

  3. @Lan, A lot of tutorials involve buying pieces of wood and gluing them together. This look way too long, and my boards kept falling apart. It's much easier to find a solid wood plank (wide and tall enough to suit your liking), and just paint it and distress it as much as you want. If it's one solid piece, it won't break apart as easily. :)

  4. Lovely Bundt cakes! Ginger pairs wonderfully well with pumpkin.



  5. Just beautiful, Valerie! The brown butter glaze looks like the perfect finishing touch!

  6. love the background! and love these cakes, i just adore bundt cakes and pumpkin and ginger and brown butter, so these sound like perfection to me :)

  7. love the pumpkin bundt! I made one yesterday and love that browned butter icing on yours!

  8. In a truly eerie coincidence, I also baked pumpkin cake with brown butter frosting today - even though I don't really like pumpkin either (outside of pumpkin pie). It was terrific - and yours looks great too!

  9. Love the back ground and the little cakes, so sweet and that glaze looks yummy!

  10. That looks delicious. I am totally fascinated by this idea of painting different wooden "tables." I HATE my counters-when we built the house, we decided that if we could not afford the absolute kitchen of my dreams, we would do most. We decided counters would be easiest to upgrade some day in the future. I never really considered how icky that dumb counter would look in photos. I might have to give this a try--feel free to share more tips! :)

  11. What a perfect treat to celebrate Fall! These would be just perfect for one of my upcoming dinner parties! Pinning now. :)

  12. Well, you are preaching to a food blogger, so rest assured, most of us are VERY into making wood backgrounds! You can not bore us with that kind of talk! By the way, nice background! I'm excited to see the others!

    Back to the bundt cake...oh yeah, that one's looking delicious (against that rich background, of course)! I'm back from being sick for a long time...this will be a good cake to celebrate being back from the flu-from-hell!

  13. Love that background, awesome colour! And that pumpkin cake looks amazing!

  14. One of my weekend projects this past weekend was to buy more 2x2 boards at Home Depot. I also bought 4 more sample-size paint colors and they're been sitting on my patio. I keep changing the colors around. I'm addicted, too. :)

    The mini bundt's are so cute and I love the pumpkin-ginger combination. The glaze that makes it even better!

  15. You've reminded me I'm due to make some more backgrounds :)

    This cake is stunning!

  16. I am so impressed that you make your own boards, I am WAY too lazy for that!

    Love these adorable bundts!

  17. I just made new boards too - I have 3 new choices, and it is so much more fun to take pictures. But now I want more!!
    Love these cute little cakes, I am all about pumpkin right now!

  18. I love the board backgrounds...not boring at all...and these cakes? These look delicious! Thank you for sharing such a lovely recipe. A much needed jump start to a slow and dreary morning. I hope you have a beautiful day!

  19. These are gorgeous. Love the lighting on your photos!!


Thanks for visiting, and for taking the time to read through my ramblings!
If you have a recipe comment or question, I'd love to hear from you.

Happy Baking!
♥ Valerie


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