Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Cheesecake Filled Pumpkin Cake

   I had a PTO meeting to go to a few weeks back and I asked my friends for suggestions (via Facebook) on what to make for the dessert. I got a lot of good suggestions - some that I've tucked away to make at a future time - but I ultimately decided to make a variation of the Betty Crocker Pumpkin Ring Cake. It was a pumpkin cake made in a bundt pan and drizzled with a powdered sugar glaze. I turned it up a couple notches and now it is one of my go-to pumpkin recipes. It was so tasty. It reminded me of eating pumpkin cheesecake, because my version has a tunnel of vanilla cheesecake baked in the center. I also added some applesauce to the batter, to make it even more moist. It was a terrific cake, and I wish I could say that everyone at the PTO meeting loved it . . . but I managed my time poorly and ended up not having this cake done in time. (Well, it was done, but not cool enough to turn out and then drizzle with the glaze). I ended up making a batch of  Soft & Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies from my freezer stash at the last minute. (Thank heaven I keep cookies ready to bake! They were done and in my car, from start to finish, in 10 minutes.) Everyone loved the cookies. They actually call me the school baker, because they thoroughly enjoy all the desserts I have ever brought in, whether they be simple or complex. I wish I could have impressed them all with this cake, but it was ready for me when I got home. . . and it impressed the guys at the fire station just fine. :)
   I had actually forgotten that I hadn't blogged this recipe yet. My friend Laura was being super generous and bringing us some groceries tonight (since we are without an income while the government decides when it will pay my husband and all the other wildland firefighters in the USFS). Well, Laura asked me if I tried the Bisquick/pumpkin cake and I had to think about it. . . This cake is so yummy, I forgot that it was a cinch to throw together because of the Bisquick. I told her that I did try it and it was delicious. It's tied for my favorite pumpkin cake, with my Pumpkin Cake With Chocolate Ganache. I wanted to get this blogged ASAP, so after an amazing homemade salad bar meal (courtesy of Laura and her groceries), I sat down to get this recipe to you. -At the dismay of my husband, but I'll deal with the crazy kids in a moment.- ;)  
*It turns out that my wonderful husband wasn't too bothered by the kids, he was just wanting me to get off the computer and put some cookies in the oven while he does the dishes. I love that man!*

Here's how it goes:

Butter, white and brown sugar go into a large mixing bowl.

Then, applesauce and pumpkin puree are mixed in.

Pumpkin pie spice is added,

as well as some cream (you could use milk if you wanted)

and 4 eggs

Last, but not least, the Bisquick is mixed in. A little at a time, and then continue mixing until the batter is smooth.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl, to make sure everything is thoroughly combined.

This is it:

Take a 12 cup bundt pan (or fluted cake pan of your choice), grease and flour it thoroughly. (I just sprayed mine really well, but the cake still stuck a little when I turned it out.) Scoop 1/2 of the batter into the prepared pan, and then make a little indentation for the cheesecake filling to go into.

Then slowly spoon the cheesecake filling only in the center of the cake (DO NOT touch the cheesecake filling to the pan).

Then cover the filling with the other 1/2 of the batter, and smooth out the top. Bake it on a cookie sheet, because if your cake pan is a full as mine is it will probably overflow a little in the oven.
Bake @ 325 for 55-60 minutes, or until the cake is no longer gooey inside (a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean).

Cool it in the pan for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a heat-safe dish. (See my cake stuck just a little, but it's not bad.)

Last step is to let the cake cool and then drizzle it all over with the Vanilla Glaze.

Isn't it pretty? I'm still not sure why it had an air pocket in the middle of the cheesecake filling, but it tasted amazing anyway.

Here's the recipe:
adapted from Betty Crocker Pumpkin Ring Cake

Cheesecake Filled Pumpkin Cake

3 cups Original Bisquick mix 
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar 
1/4 cup salted butter, softened  
2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (I like Trader Joe's) 
1/4 cup cream (or milk)  
4 large eggs 
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree  
1/2 cup natural apple sauce   
Grease and flour a 12 cup bundt or fluted cake pan. Beat granulated sugar, brown sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl. Mix in applesauce and pumpkin puree. Continue mixing and add in the pumpkin pie spice, 1/4 cream, and eggs. Slowly add in the Bisquick. Beat on medium speed until smooth. Spread 1/2 the batter in the pan. Spoon the Cheesecake Filling on top of the cake batter, making sure to keep the filling in the center (not touching the pan anywhere). Cover the filling with the other half of the cake batter. Place the filled pan onto a baking sheet, to catch any spill-over in the oven. Bake @ 350F (325F for a dark pan like mine) for about 55-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; turn upside down onto heatproof plate or wire cooling rack. Remove pan; cool cake completely. Drizzle with the Vanilla Glaze.
Cheesecake Filling (AKA Cream Cheese Filling)
8oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt (optional)
1 egg yolk
Whisk cheese, vanilla, sugar and salt until smooth. Taste to see if you want any more sugar. Add egg yolk and whisk to combine thoroughly.
Vanilla Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar 
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Mix all ingredients until smooth. Drizzle over cooled cake. (If the cake is too warm, the glaze will just melt down the cake and end up all on the plate.)