Monday, May 24, 2021

pumpkin-mocha swirl bundt cake from Zoë Bakes Cakes

I was ecstatic when Zoë Bakes Cakes was selected for May-June for the Rainy Day Bakes Cookbook Challenge, because I'd been taking notice of her in social media. It was the first book I bought out in the real world after my post-vaccination period was up. The first challenge was a loaf cake, but the loaf recipes make two and I have only ever had one loaf pan! So I made the pumpkin-mocha swirl bundt cake. It's been a bit rainy and cooler here so I just pretended it was fall. I mean, arguably we can have pumpkin year-round, but do we? Zoë makes a slightly different version on her website, leaving out the espresso and making her own pumpkin spice mix (and her own pumpkin!), and an even more different version with Andrew Zimmern where she makes the chocolate layer as a streusel, a much thinner ribbon between pumpkin layers.

overhead shot of bundt cake on a green and white checkerboard plate

I have a fancy new Bundt pan that I'm not used to yet (I was using a 50cent garage sale find from Indiana that looked like my Grandma's, that never released a cake cleanly anymore and my husband bought me a new one) so I set a timer for 45 minutes to check and rotate the cake. I was glad I did because it was almost done at that point (the recipe says 1 hour 15 minutes, a good reminder that all ovens are different, and the pan you use varies too. The picture in the cookbook and at her blog uses a kugelhopf pan for a more dramatic slice and that might also my require more baking time.) My swirl layers are not perfect like Zöe's, but it tasted good.

A slice of the swirl bundt cake with the cookbook in the background

pumpkin-mocha swirl bundt cake

Dutch-processed cocoa powder for dusting, plus 2 Tbsp
1 cup / 240 ml mild-flavored oil (such as vegetable oil)
1 cup / 200 g granulated sugar
1 cup / 200 g lightly packed brown sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
One 15-oz / 425 g can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup / 120 ml evaporated milk
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups / 270 g all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice, divided
1 tsp instant espresso
1/4 cup / 25 g confectioners' sugar

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F / 165 C. Generously grease a 12-cup/2.8 L Bundt pan and dust with cocoa powder. 
  2. In a large bowl, combine the oil, both sugars, and eggs and stir until well incorporated. Then stir in the pumpkin puree, evaporated milk, and vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and 2 tsp of the pumpkin pie spice. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix until it all comes together in a smooth batter.
  4. Divide the batter into two bowls and stir the espresso and 2 Tbsp cocoa powder into one of them.
  5. Pour one-fourth of the pumpkin batter into the prepared pan. Pour one-fourth of the cocoa batter evenly over the pumpkin. Repeat these layers, alternating the pumpkin and cocoa batters in the pan until they are both used up. Gently tap the pan on the counter several times to make sure the batter has fully settled into the nooks of the Bundt.
  6. Bake until a tester comes out clean, about 1 hour 15 minutes (or maybe 45-55!). Let the cake cook in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a serving dish.
  7. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar and remaining 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice and stir to mix. Sprinkle over the top of the cake before serving.

 See all the cookbooks featured in JennyBakes in 2021.

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