Spiced Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Buffalo Berries
Why a bundt??? I think I love bundt cakes thanks to the scene in the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, where the future mother-in-law comes over and gifts the mother with a bundt cake. This lovely woman had no clue what a bundt was and promptly made a fool of herself, ending up putting a vase of flowers in the centre of the cake!
With the season of fall comes must-haves for your refrigerator, cellar, and oven. Pumpkin of course is one of those, and I had one last package of puree in the freezer from last year’s garden to use up before cutting into a fresh one. This year I have a new discovery that is plentiful in the bushes around our prairie yard. Buffalo berries (also known as bull berries) were deemed a super-food in 2014 and they grow in many parts of North America. Because we saw our first snowfall of the season this week and had a day of slightly below freezing temperatures, the time to harvest these tart but sweet, tiny berries has begun. I picked just enough to put into this cake, as the frozen berries were freezing my fingers!
3/4 cup unsalted butter, soft (or a dairy free alternative)
1 1/4 cup white sugar
3 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 cup buttermilk (I used dairy free coconut yogurt with 1 tsp lime juice)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (to make it Gluten Free, I used 1 cup sweet white sorghum flour, 1/2 cup tapioca starch, 1/2 cup gf oat flour, 1/4 cup sweet white rice flour and 2 tsp xanthan gum)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
3/4 cup fresh or frozen berries - cranberries, red currants, or buffalo berries
Directions for one 10-cup bundt cake:
1. Place butter and sugar into the bowl of your mixer and beat on medium speed for 3-5 minutes. While this is going, prepare your bundt pan. Using a pastry brush and softened butter, coat the crevasses of the pan well. Tap around a few tablespoons of white rice flour so that the greased pan gets nicely coated so that it will fully release the cake and the beautiful pattern of the pan is displayed after baking. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Crack and whisk the eggs, adding them in two additions to the creamed mixture, scraping the sides down between additions. Beat for 1 minute.
3. Whisk together the buttermilk (or dairy free alternative suggested) with pumpkin puree and vanilla extract. Set aside.
4. Place the dry ingredients into a bowl and dry-whisk them together. This removes lumps and prepares them to integrate evenly into the batter without over-mixing.
5. Add the flour mixture and the liquid mixture to the mixing bowl alternating between the two, beginning and ending with flour. Each addition can be about half of each mixture. Add the berries to the mixing bowl when the final addition of flour is placed in. This helps them stay suspended in the cake instead of sinking to the bottom.
6. Spoon the batter into your prepared pan and smooth the top. Place into the preheated oven for about one hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.
7. Remove the cake and let it rest in the pan for 5 minutes. Gently pull the edges away from the top sides and centre of the pan. Place a cooling rack on the bottom of the pan and flip it over. You should soon hear or feel the cake release. Lift the pan and admire your creation! Let it cool completely, or pour a simple glaze over it when it has cooled to warm.
8. Enjoy within three days if kept covered on the counter, or, up to 7 days if kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
NOTE: if your cake did not release from the pan fully, keep it upside down a few more minutes. Or, place it back in the oven for a bit longer. Having a high-quality non-stick pan such as the NordicWare brand is worth the price tag!
Serves 12-16 slices