Of course Halloween cake has to contain pumpkin, and I love the texture and flavor of cornmeal, so I went for that too. This is based on a recipe from Epicurious, but as I found out when in a hurry, I was able to make it less fussy. The cake shouldn't take you more than a half hour to put together--and then forty minutes to bake, twenty minutes to cool, and whatever you need for decorating!
1/2 lb butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon orange zest
2/3 of a 15 oz can solid-pack pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
1 and 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup cornmeal (I used yellow)
Preheat the oven to 350 and use a tablespoon of butter to grease the bundt pan. (You can take it from the two sticks above.)
Grate the skin of an orange to make a tablespoon of zest. (I used my long cheese grater.) Combine the zest, the butter, and the sugar and beat well, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Then beat in the pumpkin and the vanilla.
Stir together flour, baking powder, and cornmeal, and beat this into the wet mixture in three parts. Go easy on the beating--just until ingredients are combined.
Scrape the batter into the buttered bundt pan and smooth the top. Bake about 40 minutes, until top springs back when touched and the cake is beginning to pull away from the pan. Cool for twenty minutes, then invert onto a plate. And decorate!
It could, of course, be served with ice cream but we didn't find that we needed it.
Lucy Burdette is the author of the Key West food critic mysteries, including AN APPETITE FOR MURDER and DEATH IN FOUR COURSES.
You can follow her on Twitter @lucyburdette, or like her on Facebook, or check out her website! You can also find her on Pinterest as her alter-ego, Roberta Isleib.