In this cake, a delicious ricotta custard is poured over pumpkin cake batter and bakes into a delicious cheese layer within the cake. How much your custard layer "sinks" into the cake will depend upon the consistency of your pumpkin puree. Check recipe notes before beginning for best results.
Make the cake. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, all spice and nutmeg. Set aside.
*For an easy way to grease/flour your bundt pan, melt 1 Tablespoon of butter and mix with 1 Tablespoon of flour until combined into a paste. Use a pastry brush to apply paste to all the ridges, nooks and crannies of your pan making sure to coat all of the sides as well as the center tube.
*Cake should be stored in refrigerator. My family prefered it cold, but it gets too dense for me when it's cold. If it has been stored in the refrigerator, I would allow it to come to room temperature before serving, although my favorite way to eat it is heating up a slice for just a few seconds in the microwave. It becomes really soft and kind of fluffy when it's warm. Love it!
*If you want to add more spice, I would increase cinnamon to 2 teaspoons and add 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger and 1/8 teaspoon cloves. Love ginger? Don't increase cinnamon and add a full teaspoon of ginger instead. Or skip all of the spices and replace with 3 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice. I also think adding the zest of 1/2 an orange would taste amazing. My advice is to try it first as the recipe is written, so that you have an idea of how much you'd like to adjust. It's really wonderful as is, though.
*My bundt pan is about 10" across and about 3 3/4" tall. I've made the original recipe in a 13 x 9" pan, but I haven't tried this pumpkin version in that sized pan so I'm not sure if it works well or not. Sometimes recipes translate to other sized pans, sometimes they don't.
*If you want to try the original recipe, just prepare a boxed yellow cake mix as directed. Spread the batter in a bundt or 13 X 9 pan (well greased and floured) and pour custard mixture over the batter. Bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes. In this version, the custard will sink completely to the bottom instead of forming that "filling" effect that you see with the pumpkin version.
*UPDATE 9/23/18-Some readers have had issues with their cheese filling not properly sinking to the bottom of the cake while baking. I think this is due to different moisture levels in pumpkin puree which subsequently affects how thick the cake batter ends up. My puree had more water content and was more on the loose side, like very thick baby food, instead of very thick. If your puree is very thick, I would remove a Tablespoon of the puree and replace it with a Tablespoon of buttermilk to loosen it up just a little. Then check it for consistency. You can sub out another Tablespoon if you need to before you mix it into the batter. Results will vary on how much your cheese filling sinks, but regardless of what position it ends up in, the cake will still taste delicious.
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