So I wanted an alternative to pumpkin or pecan pie this Thanksgiving. Really, only for myself. I'm picky like that--everyone else at our table would be just fine with the pies. But I've never been into pumpkin pie, and pecan pie is so rich I can only do a sliver of a slice maybe every other year or so... (Side note: I feel like my sweet tooth has seriously diminished the past year or so. Is this a sign of old age? I mean, I can still polish off a bag of carmel corn or a box of Junior Mints with popcorn at the movies every once in awhile, but when faced with a number of dessert options, I don't get nearly as excited as, say, I did in my 20s. So what's up with that? I'd say it would be a good thing for my jeans, but alas my fat tooth and my salty tooth have not diminished at all, so things are what they always are...)
OK, back to regularly scheduled programming... dessert. Usually by the time I'm done with my fixation on the Perfect Bite, and have sufficiently carved a dent in the Thanksgiving feast, dessert is something I think about an hour or two later... but still, when I get there, I want something I really want. So what was it going to be? I got quite a few suggestions from various peanut galleries, but when push came to shove, I still wanted a bit of a pumpkin fix, and seeing as how this Thanksgiving happened out of a less-outfitted kitchen than home, I wanted something I could throw together pretty easily. Yeah, that's my excuse for fiddling with a cake mix, right? Well, truth be told I'm not really a cake snob that way anyway. I get the concept of homemade cakes and all, but really? Betty figured out how to make a cake years ago, and I don't mind using her expertise to guide me along the way, not one bit.
So here's how it fell out: These little babies smelled so good, right out of the oven in the morning. They were of immediate interest to the whole household, and other than one little sliver of pumpkin and pecan pies that Pa had during the evening round of Mexican train dominoes, they were the dessert of choice for our turkey-coma crowd. The little acorn ones were especially popable.
Pumpkin spice cake
1 package spice cake
1 can pumpkin (28 oz.)
1/2 cup oil
1 package vanilla instant pudding
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients at medium speed for 5 minutes. Pour into greased and floured pan (recipe calls for bundt pan, but I used one of Williams-Sonoma's mini pumpkin pans, and one of the acorn cakelet pans as well). Bake 45 minutes (check after 35 minutes): this instruction is for the bundt pan--my mini pans took 15 minutes, tops. Let cool 10 minutes in pan. Cool completely. Frost as you will!
OK, not the best frosting job I've done, but quite yummy. Very. I will haul out this cake recipe again soon.