Magic Pumpkin Spice Cake

This magic pumpkin spice cake is everything.  Literally.  This may end up being one of my new traditions.  Keep reading to see how to make this magical pumpkin spice cake.

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Magic Pumpkin Spice Cake

I'll go ahead and admit it.  I'm a sucker for Southern Living magazine.  I've been getting the magazine for a few years now and I love looking at the gorgeous Southern style homes, vacations and recipes.

This past month though, my favorite edition came- the November edition with all of the Thanksgiving recipes.  Ya'll. I can't even tell you how excited I get for this edition.

It always has recipes for traditional favorites and recipes that take a spin on traditional favorites and make something magical.  As I was thumbing through this year's edition, I found this recipe.

I love anything pumpkin or pumpkin pie spice.  But this cake not only has pumpkin cake, but one of my all time favorite desserts also... flan.  and caramel. and all baked nice and gorgeous in a bundt pan.  I literally can't even.

​I knew I had to make it. Like yesterday.  I had most of what I needed thanks to some early Thanksgiving shopping, so I got busy.

This pumpkin spice cake requires two basic batters to be made- the pumpkin spice cake batter and the flan batter.

So I've listed out the ingredients needed for each batter.

Pumpkin Spice Cake Ingredients

 1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg (at room temperature)
2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
3/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/3 cup whole buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup caramel sauce

Flan Ingredients

1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
4 ounces cream cheese (softened)
3 large eggs
​1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

Making the Pumpkin Spice Cake

The first thing you'll want to do is get the oven and pans ready.  You're going to need a large roasting pan that you can put in the oven and fill with water to a depth of two inches.

This is going to make your flan part of the magic pumpkin spice cake set properly.  It's a custard, so it needs a water bath.  Go ahead and fill your roasting pan up and put it in the bottom third of the oven.  I recommend setting the bundt pan in the water and pressing down to make sure that the water doesn't overflow out of your roasting pan into the bottom of the oven.

​Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat the inside of the bundt pan with a generous amount of nonstick cooking spray.

To make the pumpkin spice cake batter-

In a stand up mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat together the butter, white sugar and brown sugar.  You'll want to beat it on medium speed for about 3 minutes.  The mixture should be light and fluffy.

Add the egg and beat just until blended.  Turn the mixer off and move to the side.

In another bowl, sift together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Take another bowl (bowl #3) and mix together the pumpkin, buttermilk and vanilla.  If you don't have buttermilk (I never do!) you can make an easy substitute.  Simply take regular milk and add about a tablespoon of lemon juice to it.  Don't mix it, just let it sit for about 10 minutes.  It will start to thicken and then you can use it in place of your buttermilk.

Now that you've got your three mixtures, you can start to combine them.  Start by adding some of the dry flour mix to the sugar and butter mixture.  Turn the mixer on low and let it start combining the two.

Next, add some of the pumpkin mixture to the mixer.

Alternate between the wet and dry mixes, making sure that you start and end with dry mix.  The pumpkin spice cake mix will be pretty thick, so keep the mixer on low.

Once the mixtures have all been combined, turn the mixer off.

Putting the pumpkin spice cake into the pan-

Start by pouring your caramel sauce into the bottom of the greased bundt pan.  You can make caramel sauce or you can buy the jarred stuff.  I used Hershey's caramel sauce and it was delicious.  I'm pretty sure it was intended for ice cream but it was even better on this cake!

Start spooning the thick cake batter on top of the caramel sauce.  Smooth it out as best as you can without mixing it into the caramel sauce. Set it aside.

Making the flan batter-

This step is extremely easy.  You'll need a blender and a silicone knife or spoon to clean the sides of the blender.

Put the condensed milk, evaporated milk, cream cheese, eggs and vanilla in the blender.  Put that puppy on high for about 30 seconds.

Turn the blender off, and using the silicone knife or spoon, scrape down the sides of the blender to make sure everything gets mixed in.

Turn the blender back on high for another 30 seconds.

Pour the flan mixture over the top of the pumpkin spice cake batter slowly so that you don't create holes in the cake batter.

​Be careful with this step.  My bundt cake pan didn't quite hold all of the flan mix.  I had about an eight of a cup that didn't go in.  It was threatening to overflow my pan.  Your pan might be slightly bigger than mine though and if it will all fit, use it all up.

Getting the cake into the oven

Make sure that the roasting pan and water are already heated in the oven before you try to put the bundt pan in.  The water should be steaming.

I chose to remove the top rack of my oven before I heated it up.  Removing the top rack made it so much easier to get my bundt cake pan into the water without spilling anything.

The bundt cake pan will be super full, so you may want to have someone open the oven for you.

Once it's in the oven, cover it loosely with foil.  You can do this step before you put it in the oven but I waited until I had gotten it in. I didn't want to risk spilling any of the mix into the water pan.

The pumpkin spice cake needs to bake at 350 degrees for about an hour and a half.  Once it's been in for an hour and a half, use a tooth pick in the center of the cake to make sure that it's bake.

You'll notice that the cake has magically flipped and that the cake batter is now on the top and the flan batter has moved to the bottom!

​If the toothpick comes out clean, then the cake is ready to come out.  If it doesn't come out clean, put it back in the oven.  I wouldn't go over an hour and 45 minutes though.  Keep an eye on it if it isn't done.

Pulling the cake out of the oven

When you remove the pumpkin spice cake from the oven, gently set the bundt cake where it can cool.  Let the cake cool for about 45 minutes.

Once it has cooled some, you can carefully put it onto a serving dish. Make sure the serving dish has a lip to it since the caramel will be runny. The cake doesn't need to be at room temperature, so don't be worried if it is still warm.

To invert a bundt cake, I put the serving dish on top of the cake in the cake pan. Then I flip the bundt pan and serving dish together.

Don't ever put the serving dish on a counter and try to flip the cake quickly onto it.  It won't end well!

​You can serve the pumpkin spice cake as soon as you put it on the serving plate.  And I'm sure you'll want to after smelling it for a few hours!

Magic Pumpkin Spice Cake

Serve this cake in small sections as it's pretty heavy! You can serve it with extra caramel sauce and pecans if you want to.  Serving it with a big glass of milk is probably a good idea, too!

This has become an instant hit with my family.  My kids love the custard top and moist, dense cake on the bottom.  I love that two of my favorite desserts are all in one in this dish!

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​What do you think about this magic pumpkin spice cake? What is a dish that you love that is a twist on a traditional favorite? Let me know!

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Hey, I'm Shelby!

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I'm a multigenerational homesteader, former high school and college agriculture teacher, and your guide for embracing a simpler, more traditional lifestyle. Come along as I teach you how to grow your best garden, raise chickens and other livestock, learn traditional skills and create the homesteading haven of your dreams.

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