This year I hadn't planning on making anything pumpkin related. In fact, I had made a list of non-pumpkin fall desserts that I wanted to work on.. but then I opened a really really big can of pumpkin for an oatmeal recipe which only needed a little bit of pumpkin. From then on there was always pumpkin in my fridge because the recipes I would make would never use an entire can, or would require me to open up a new can to supplement the leftovers from the can before thus leaving me with fresh leftovers. It was a vicious, vicious pumpkin shaped, cinnamon scented cycle.
I'm not complaining though, there are worse fates than a kitchen full of pumpkin flavored desserts.
One of my favorites were these sweet, moist, pumpkin spice bites with buttered rum glaze.
I bought this mini-mini bunt pan by Nordic Ware a few years ago and have since used it only to make boozy jello shots. I figured it was high-time I made an honest pan out of it and used it for it's intended purpose: baking tiny cakes.
While searching for pumpkin bunt cakes I got sidetracked by some recipes for pumpkin doughnuts, and decided that a baked doughnut recipe would be perfect for the pan... they'd be like a fancy version of TimBits.
I read through a lot of recipes before settling on this one from The Cafe Sucre Farine which simply has you stir together a mixture of flour, baking soda, baking powder, and spices in one bowl.
Then the two mixtures are stirred together to create a pumpkin-y spicy batter..
..which I piped right into my mini-mini bunt pan.
It took a couple of batches to get the baking time down pat with each cake baked through. The pan is very sturdy and thick, and it takes a while to heat up to temperature and bake the little bites. I had assumed they would take less time than mini-muffins to bake, but due to the thickness they ended up needing anywhere from 9 -12 minutes.
To remove them from the pan, they cool slightly then the pan is turned on it's side and the cakes are gently pulled out, using gravity to help. Then they cool completely on a wire rack while the glaze is made.
I've been dying to make a buttered rum glaze ever since we bought a massive Costco sized bottle of spiced rum. We have some nicer rums, but I always felt guilty using them for recipe testing, especially if a batch didn't turn out. This glaze took a little tweaking to get the rum flavor right, but the result is sweet and buttery with a hint of spiced rum that still lets the pumpkin flavor shine through.
If buttered rum glaze isn't your cup of tea, then simply replace it with your favorite glaze recipe.. but don't skip glazing the little bites! They are super moist and tender the first day, and glazing them helps to keep them that way for a few days afterwards. Unglazed bites are only good on the same day they are baked.
I brought a batch of these itty bitty bites to a big (Canadian) Thanksgiving dinner over the weekend and they were perfect for munching on after the meal. After a feast of turkey, ham and countless sides, it can be a struggle to eat a whole slice of cake or pie. There was no need for dessert plates or forks because these babies are 100% finger food. I can't wait to make them again.
Pumpkin Spice Bites with Buttered Rum Glaze
(cake recipe based off of these baked pumpkin doughnuts)
1.5 cups flour
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp allspice
1/4 cup Stirling unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup canola oil
1/3 cup milk with 1/3 of a tsp of vinegar stirred in
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla
3 TBSP butter, melted
1 TBSP rum
1 1/4 cup icing/powdered sugar
milk - for thinning
1. Preheat the oven to 350 with the rack in the middle. Spray the mini bunt pan with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients : Flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the butter, oil, soured milk, egg, egg yolk, brown sugar, and pumpkin until smooth.
4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. Then fill a disposable piping bag, or a freezer bag with the batter and snip off the corner. Pipe the batter into the mini bunts until half-filled. Bake at 350 for 9-12 minutes until the pumpkin bites are puffed up and a tooth pick comes out clean. Allow to briefly cool in the pan before turning out onto a cooling rack. Repeat one - two more times until all of the batter is used up.
Alternatively: you can bake the batter in mini muffin pans for the same amount of time (the bunt pan is so thick that it takes a while for it to heat up and cook the bites, where as most mini muffin pans are thinner and will bake within 11 -12 minutes)
5. Make the glaze: Whisk together the melted butter and rum, then stir in the icing sugar. Add milk 1 - 2 tsp at a time until you reach your desired consistency. Alternatively: add extra rum to smooth out the glaze instead of the milk for a stronger rum flavor.
Full Disclosure: Stirling sent me butter, but I use it in my baking because I find the quality makes a difference. I did not receive payment for this post