It's our favorite time of the year! Fall! I know it seems overdone lately, but I just can't help myself. The leaves changing colors, pumpkins in the front of every grocery store, frost in the mornings, pumpkin spice candles, candy on every aisle of the grocery store...the list could go on and on! So when I saw this Autumn Treats Pan by Nordic Ware, I added it to my list of Fall favorites! I mean really, just look at it. So cute. Click here to grab your own before Fall turns to Winter, and you blink and its Spring. Well, unless you live in Texas...then this pan is fun to use until...at least...February? I remember my first year in Texas. The leaves on our street didn't change color until late January. I promise I am telling the truth. I have never in my life waited and watched leaves so much as I did that year. "Will they ever fall?", "Do they not fall??", "Are they going to stay green FOREVER??", so on and so forth. I drove my family crazy.
But anyway, back to what's important; cake. We decided to make a very lightly spiced pumpkin cake in our Autumn Treats Pan and it just turned out so wonderfully. Since they are personally sized, its better to have a batter that is a bit heavier when you using the treats pan and this batter was just right. These little pumpkin cakes just fell right out of the pan once they were baked. The pan is cast aluminum and such a pretty color (yes, this is important), almost a copper color, which just rolls into the whole Fall motif so well. It's sturdy, smooth and made in the USA. Gotta love it.
What you will need:
yields approximately 12 mini cakes
For the cakes:
1/2 cup butter, room temp.
1 and 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
scant 1/2 teaspoon soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons molasses
For the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons milk
3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1/8 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon coffee
What you will do:
Preheat oven to 350f. Generously grease treat pan with softened butter and set aside.
In medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium until fluffy, around 2 minutes. Slowly beat in the eggs, one at a time.
Next, add the pumpkin puree, milk and molasses. This will look curdled, don't worry!
Set mixer speed to low and slowly add in the flour mixture. Whip until combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared Autumn Treat Pan, filling each leaf, pumpkin and acorn to 3/4 full. Gently tap pan on counter to knock out any air bubbles trapped in the batter and use your finger (or small spatula) to smooth out the tops of batter. *Note you will have enough batter to fill this pan twice. If you only have one pan just save the batter and refill it once the first batch comes out of the oven.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center of cakes comes out dry and clean. Allow cakes to cool in pan for 10 minutes and then carefully flip out onto wire rack to completely cool.
While cakes cool, whip up your glazes.
For the regular glaze:
In a small bowl whisk together the sifted powdered sugar, vanilla and milk until smooth. Pour glaze into a small Ziplock bag and set aside.
For the Coffee Glaze:
In another small bowl, whisk together the sifted powdered sugar, vanilla and cooled coffee until smooth. Pour into another small Ziplock bag.
Once cakes have cooled, carefully snip small (very, very small) holes off one end of each Ziplock bag of glaze. Decorate cakes as desired. We even threw in some pumpkin seeds on some of them for fun!