Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pumpkin Cornmeal Halloween Cake by Lucy Burdette

LUCY BURDETTE: It's the week for Halloween recipes and I know my other cooking pals will come up with adorable dishes that kids will love like brains, and worms, and poisoned apples. So I thought it might be nice to serve up a recipe for adults--something you can enjoy while the kids are bobbing for apples or have passed out from trick or treating. I have to mention that my husband is such a good sport. When I told him I needed help with photography and would he prefer to wear the Kermit costume and hold the cake or take the picture, he didn't blink an eye! (He chose to take the picture...)

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
3 eggs
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.


  1. Oh wow - this looks like my kind of cake. I love cornmeal (actually, corn in all its many forms), and this sounds so hearty and comforting!

  2. Lucy, I am so impressed by how beautifully this turned out of the Bundt pan. How did you manage that? Seems like no matter how well I butter the pan, there's always a spot that clings to it.

    Beautiful cake that would be great after Halloween, too. Maybe for Thanksgiving guests!

    ~ Krista

  3. This cake looks soooo moist! I love Kermit! Tell him I'm a big fan!

  4. Great costume, Lucy, and fun recipe post: a wonderful breakfast cake to pop in the oven for chilly fall mornings. Happy Halloween!

    ~ Cleo

  5. Lucy, love the costume. Love your husband for being a sport and manning the camera! LOL. And the cake sounds delicious. Yum!

    ~Avery aka Daryl