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IDEA ALLEY: Pumpkin, cherry, pineapple cakes bridge seasons

by Kelly Brant | September 7, 2022 at 1:51 a.m.
(Illustration by Kelly Brant)

If it's not too early for Starbucks to serve its PSL (pumpkin spice latte), it's not too early for Joe Riddle to share his PSC — Pumpkin Spice Cake.

(Full disclosure: Riddle actually made and shared this cake with the small crew working in the newsroom back in May, but I declared it too early to publish then.)

Pumpkin Spice Cake

  • 1 (15- to 17-ounce) box spice cake mix
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 13-by-9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine cake mix, pumpkin, eggs, ½ cup water and pie spice in a large bowl. Beat until well blended. Stir in white chocolate chips and pecans. Spread batter in prepared baking dish.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in baking dish at least 15 minutes before serving.

Makes 12 servings.

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If you're not quite ready for all things pumpkin spice, this one, also from Riddle, has a more summery flavor.

Cherry Pineapple Cake

  • 1 (21-ounce) can cherry pie filling
  • 1 (15-ounce) can crushed pineapple, with juice
  • 1 (15- to 18-ounce) box white or yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 12 tablespoons butter
  • Whipped cream, for topping

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Dump the cherry pie filling and crushed pineapple into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Stir together. Sprinkle the cake mix over the top of the fruit. Sprinkle chopped pecans over cake mix. Slice the butter into tablespoons and distribute evenly over the surface of the cake mix.

Bake until the top is brown and bubbly, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Serve with whipped cream.

Makes 12 servings.

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Love cherries, but hate pineapple? Here's another from Riddle adapted from Heloise.

Cherry Surprise Cake

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon PLUS 1 drop vanilla extract, divided use
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 pint sour cream
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup maraschino cherries, chopped, juice reserved for icing
  • 1 ½ cups nuts, chopped
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar

Heat oven to 325 degrees.

In medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar with electric mixer. Add the eggs and beat until incorporated. Mix in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, the almond extract and sour cream.

In an extra large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add the butter mixture; Mix well. Stir in cherries and nuts.

Bake in a greased and floured tube (or Bundt) pan for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a tester inserted near the thickest part of the cake comes out clean.

For the icing, combine the confectioners' sugar, half of the cherry juice and a drop of vanilla extract. Mix until you have a smooth, spreadable icing. If icing is too thick, adjust consistency with the remaining juice. Spread over a cooled cake.

■  ■  ■ REQUEST ■  ■  ■

◼️ Cinnamon Cream Pie like that served at Franke's Cafeteria for Audrey Aikman.

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