Sunday, October 18, 2009

Pumpkin Cake with Broiled Coconut Topping

I heard there was a pumpkin shortage in the midwest and northeast because pumpkin fields got too much rain, the plants didn't pollinate, and the crop yield was low.  So I went to the store and bought 8 big cans of canned pumpkin puree.  I LOVE pumpkin bread, muffins, etc. and I wanted to be on the safe side. 

Well...I may have been overly cautious.  There seems to be no canned pumpkin shortage here in south Texas.  Nevertheless, it makes me downright giddy seeing the stash of pumpkin in my pantry.  Of course, besides the usual Pumpkin Bread I make every year, I want to try other pumpkin recipes.  This cake looked so good, and it got rave reviews.  I made it...and was instantly transported to pumpkin heaven.  David does not like winter squash...but he LOVED this cake-- and that says A LOT. 

I always read all the reviews for a person said the brown sugar in the cake wasn't necessary, someone else said to double the amount of topping, and one person said a carrot cake mix was also good.  I followed the first 2 suggestions, and those gals were right on.  I didn't double the amount of butter though...6 tablespoons is enough, don't you think? 

So here is the recipe, slightly tweeked, and ever so delicious.  Even if you're not a big fan of pumpkin, this cake is divine...a cloud of mild, super moist cake topped with melted mixture of sugar, pecans, and coconut.  I dare you to have just one piece!

Pumpkin Cake with Broiled Coconut Topping

1 box yellow cake or carrot cake mix
1 can (15 ounces) solid pack pumpkin (don't buy the pumpkin pie mix!)
4 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons ground cinammon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup whole milk or half-and-half

6 tablespoons buter, melted
2/3 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 bag (7 ounces) flaked, sweetened coconut
8 tablespoons cream, half-and-half, or evaporated milk

Grease and flour a 9x13 baking pan.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.   Combine all the cake ingredients in a large bowl. 

Using a hand held mixer or stand mixer and beat on low speed for 1 minute.  Increase to medium speed and continue to mix together for 2 minutes.  The batter should be a warm orange color. 

Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  (My cake was done in 38 minutes).  Now get your broiler heating (if you have a low versus high setting, use the low setting), and move an oven rack so the cake will be 4-6 inches under the heating element). 

I know it doesn't look like much, but just you wait folks.

In a medium bowl, combine all the topping ingredients. 

Mmmm....sugar, butter, pecans, and coconut.  What's not to love? 

Spread the love all over the top of the cake.  There should be plenty ;-). 

Place the cake under the broiler and broil for 5-6 minutes or until the sugar has melted and the coconut is golden brown.  Watch the cake very carefully, DO NOT LEAVE THE KITCHEN....or you'll have a burnt cake...and I'll be sad for you, believe me.  I only broiled my cake for 5 minutes, and it's not burnt, but you can see where there was a hot spot in the middle. 

Let cake cool completely before serving.

If you want to get all fancy, a dollop of whipped topping sprinkled with cinammon is the perfect garnish.  Otherwise, just dig right in.  We're pretty casual around here :-).

Joshua and Christina don't like this cake...I guess they don't care for coconut, but David, Rebecca, Gabriel LOVE it.  I think it would be a nice change from the traditional pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving (although I have nothing against pumpkin pie). 

Now I'll have to see what else I can make with the remaining 7 cans of pumpkin in the pantry ;-).

God bless your table tonight!

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