Saturday, January 22, 2011

Week 3 – Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake

I don’t even know where to start with this one.  I guess the best place would be to tell you why I chose this cake and then describe the nightmare adventure I had baking it!  The choice was really quite simple.   
The recipe looked great and in the end – tasted pretty darn good too – but the “getting there” part – NOT SO FUN!

I’ve never had an issue with my Bundt pan before, however this time I probably should have taken notice of how large…or small for that matter, my pan really was.  This recipe required the use of a 14 cup Bundt pan.  Ok – sure – whatever.  (I'm sure you can see where this is heading...)

I mixed the batter as described and poured it into my pan.  It did occur to me that the pan was VERY full.  

Maybe a light bulb should have gone  off at that point.  I put it in the oven anyway.  Fast forward 15 minutes… I began to smell a not-so-pleasant burning scent permeating through the house.  I went in to check on things only to find out that the pan OVERFLOWED and the batter was all over the inside of my oven. I did try to salvage this creation by putting a piece of foil underneath the pan...but the damage had already been done. 

(This is embarrassing!)
Five more minutes passed.  Now all I wanted was to just open the oven, take out the pan and call it a night.  That would have been too easy.  The oven was so clearly full of smoke that had I opened it, I inevitably would have set off the fire alarm.  (At this point, my son was ready to run out the back door – because his mommy was about to set the alarm off…yet again!)  I slowly began the process of letting the smoke out of the oven every five minutes or so until the last bit of it was gone – smoke alarm free. (See – I’m learning!) I took out the pan and cleaned up my oven.  I really wasn’t sure what to do with my cake at this point.  It had baked for about 25 minutes but had another 30 to go.  I decided to clean up the sides of the pan, scoop a lot of the batter into another bowl and to give it a second chance…back into the oven it went. 
Once the cake cooled off I inverted it onto a wire rack.  I was a little apprehensive as to what I was going to find.  My luck must have changed because the end result looked pretty good.   

My friend Rachel was coming over for lunch the next day and I felt obliged to cut into it prior to her arrival.  If not for me telling you my messy secret – no one would have known what this poor cake had gone through.  It did turn out delicious…but I don’t necessarily trust that it would taste the same in the future!

Lesson learned: When a recipe specifically calls for a certain pan size, chances are that there’s a good reason!  As it turns out, my Bundt pan only holds 10 cups. Had I only known that in the beginning...


  1. well, you never would have known you had a little kitchen disaster just by looking at the finished product...looks delicious!
    i am a big fan of pumpkin anything, so i definitely will try this...of course now i will have to check to see what size bundt pan i actually have here :)

  2. Hi Robin, What a great blog! I am so proud of you and Emily for all of your interest in cooking. I know where Emily's love of cooking comes from; I hope she was an inspiration to you.
    Don't feel bad about the smoke in your oven. When I tried my first (and only) Baked Alaska almost 50 years ago, I didn't realize that "light" ice cream would melt faster than regular ice cream. When I browned my meringue. the ice cream underneath began to melt and you can probably imagine where it all ended up...the bottom of the oven. A learning experience! Keep up the great work!! Jane

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