Well, here we go with the mini desserts again. But things are just better this way, I tell you. So much easier to share 😉
I have the perfect little elegant Autumn dessert for you:
BROWNED BUTTER CARAMEL PUMPKIN SPICE BUNDT CAKES
In mini form, of course.
Here’s the ever-necessary breakdown:
Little pumpkin spice cakes, full of fall flavors like pumpkin, cinnamon, and allspice. They are super tender and just the perfect size for an individual dessert. If you want your house to smell like fall, just bake a batch of these babies!
The topping? A homemade browned butter caramel made with buttermilk. I love this because I don’t always have cream on hand. I don’t have buttermilk on hand all the time either(actually, rarely) but all I did to make the buttermilk for this recipe was to pour 3/4 C. of milk into a bowl, stir 1 t. of lemon juice into it and let it sit for 5 minutes. Instant buttermilk. And who doesn’t have milk and lemon juice on hand?
For the caramel, that’s it. Sugar, browned butter, and buttermilk. Super simple and the browned butter in it is just killer.
I would suggest only pouring the caramel on top just before serving, unless you want caramel soaked cakes(which isn’t a bad thing). But if these sit with the caramel on top for longer than 5-10 minutes, the caramel will soak in. If that’s your thing, try refrigerating it. It firms up the caramel that has soaked into the cake and is SO. GOOD.
This caramel can also be made several days ahead of time, if you wish, and kept refrigerated. Just pop in the microwave for about 30 seconds and then giving it a good stir before using.
- For the Caramel:
- 1 C. Sugar
- ¼ C. Water
- 4 T. Butter
- ¾ C. Buttermilk
- For the Pumpkin Cakes:
- 1½ sticks (3/4 C.) Butter, softened
- 1¼ C. Sugar
- 3 Eggs
- 1 t. Vanilla
- 2¼ C. Flour
- 2 t. Baking Powder
- 1 t. Baking Soda
- 1½ t. Cinnamon
- 1 t. Allspice
- ½ t. Salt
- 1¼ C. canned solid-pack pumpkin (from a 15-ounce can; not pie filling)
- ¾ C. Buttermilk
- For the Browned Butter Caramel:
- Heat the butter in a small saute pan on medium/high heat. Melt butter and continue cooking. Butter will foam and after 30 seconds to a minute butter will start to brown. Cook until butter is a medium brown with a nutty aroma. Remove from heat.
- Place the sugar and water in a medium sized saute pan. Stir to wet the sugar thoroughly with the water. Place on the stove on medium heat and cook until the sugar has dissolved completely, swirling the pan on occasion but not stirring. Use a pastry brush dipped in water and run it along the sides of the pan to wash down any sugar crystals.
- Once the sugar has fully dissolved(if it is not fully dissolved it will crystallize past this point), turn the heat up to medium high. Cook for another minute or two, until the sugar starts to turn an amber brown. At this point, you can push the sugar around the pan with a very clean silicon spatula to help it caramelize evenly. Once it reaches a medium amber color, pour the buttermilk in. The mixture will bubble up furiously and parts of sugar may harden. Don't worry, keep letting it cook, stirring with the spatula, and it will melt back down(this should take about 30 seconds). Add the browned butter to the caramel and stir in as it bubbles. Once the mixture calms down a bit and is smooth, remove from heat. Transfer to an airtight container(I like to use a mason jar and let cool while you make the cakes.
- For the Pumpkin Spice Cakes:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease 2 non-stick mini bundt pans. If your pans are not non-stick, thoroughly grease and flour them.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the eggs in 1 at a time, scraping the bowl with each addition.
- Add the vanilla.
- In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and allspice.
- In another small bowl, mix together the pumpkin and buttermilk until smooth.
- Add half of the flour mixture to the stand mixer and mix in until just combined. Add half of the buttermilk mixture to the batter, mixing until just combined.
- Add the remaining dry and wet ingredients in the same manner, mixing only until combined.
- Spoon about ¼ C. of batter into each bundt well.
- Bake in preheated oven for 12-14 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges and firm on top.
- Remove from oven and immediately invert cakes(they come out easiest if this is done as soon as they are finished cooking). The easiest way to do this is to place a wire rack over the top of the cake pan, and then holding on to both sides, flip it over and remove the cake pan.
- Let cakes cool and then drizzle the tops with the browned butter caramel.
Cake recipe slightly adapted from Epicurious
More Fall Desserts? Sure!