Pumpkin butter cake

I like to think of this recipe as a redneck twist on pumpkin pie. In truth, it’s a holiday twist on a popular redneck recipe, but let’s not split hairs. This decadent, gooey, decidedly bad-for-you dessert has become a holiday favorite among my friends and family, and it’s well on the way to becoming a tradition. Butter cake really isn’t a cake at all, more like a dense cake-pie hybrid; not even the most stoic pumpkin pie loyalists are immune to the allure of this stuff.

Skip to the short version

“Throw the box away, directions and all. Feels good, doesn’t it?”

Having been born and (mostly) raised in California, I had never heard of butter cake before a few years ago. All desserts in California are strictly forbidden by law to have flavor or calories, and they must also include organic agave syrup, Brussels sprouts, and lima bean flour. My spouse, a proud Texan, set me straight and introduced me to butter cake, and I have been a huge fan ever since. This particular recipe is essentially the same as Paula Deen’s, but with a couple of minor tweaks.


Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 box of regular old yellow cake mix
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (8 tbsp)
  • 1 egg

Filling

  • 1 can pumpkin (15 oz)
  • 1 package cream cheese (8 oz)
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (8 tbsp)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 box (or bag) powdered sugar (16 oz)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg


Other stuff you’ll need

  • an electric hand mixer
  • a large mixing bowl
  • a 13×9 baking dish
  • insulin


Directions

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Open up the box of yellow cake mix and dump the contents into the mixing bowl. Throw the box away, directions and all. Feels good, doesn’t it? It’s fun being a kitchen rebel. Melt the stick of butter (30 seconds in the microwave will do the job), pour it into the cake mix, and give it a quick spin with the mixer. Add the egg and mix well. On a quick aside, you need to be careful anytime you are mixing any hot ingredients with raw egg. If you add one directly to the other, you run the risk of partially cooking the egg before it can get properly mixed in. Anywho, when you’re done you should end up with a bowl of thick yellow stuff the consistency of cookie dough. Lightly grease the 13×9 baking dish and press the cake mixture into the bottom in an even layer. You don’t need to be gentle – just smash the hell out of it and make sure it gets all the way into the corners.

It looks like cake batter, but it's oh so much better.

It looks like cake batter, but it’s oh so much better.

Now it’s time to start working on the filling. It’s very important to make sure the cream cheese is room temperature at this point – it won’t mix right when it’s cold. You can attempt to carefully microwave it if you so desire, but I never like how it turns out. If you’re working with refrigerator temperature cream cheese, really your best bet is to just leave it out on the counter and go do something else for 45 minutes.

Mix the (now softened) cream cheese and the pumpkin until well blended and silky smooth. Melt the butter and add it to the mixture along with the vanilla and eggs. In a separate bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon – feel free to double up on the cinnamon if you like. I find that nutmeg tends to clump, so make extra sure there aren’t any nuggets of the stuff lurking around in the sugar mixture. Biting into a powdery pocket of nutmeg is similar to eating underarm deodorant; avoid this if you possibly can. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet, taking care not to fling powdered sugar into the farthest corners of your kitchen.

Pumpkin pie, eat your heart out.

Pumpkin pie, eat your heart out.

Pour the pumpkin mixture on top of the cake layer. Using the back of a spoon, “coax” the pumpkin mixture into the corners of the pan and make sure the whole thing is nice and level. Carefully place the pan in the oven and set the timer for 50 minutes.

When the timer goes off, take the cake out of the oven. Don’t think, just do it. The cake will appear to be very liquidy, but don’t panic. Trust me. The first time I made this I thought I had completely screwed it up, but this is how it’s supposed to be. If you are using a glass pan, you will be able to see that the cake is nice and toasty brown on the bottom – that means it’s done. Resist the urge to bake it for longer and just let it cool for a while. It will set up nicely over the next hour or so.

Nomming will happen very soon. Oh yes, very soon indeed.

Nomming will happen very soon. Oh yes, very soon indeed.

Slice it into squares, serve it with ice cream or Cool Whip or however you like it, and enjoy. You may never buy another pumpkin pie again.

I'm going to skip dinner and just have more of this.

I’m going to skip dinner and just have more of this.



tl;dr

Pumpkin butter cake

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 box of regular old yellow cake mix
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (8 tbsp)
  • 1 egg

Filling

  • 1 can pumpkin (15 oz)
  • 1 package cream cheese (8 oz)
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (8 tbsp)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 box (or bag) powdered sugar (16 oz)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg


Other stuff you’ll need

  • an electric hand mixer
  • a large mixing bowl
  • a 13×9 baking dish


Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine cake mix, 1 egg, and 1 stick of butter, melted. Press mixture into the bottom of lightly greased baking dish. Mix cream cheese and pumpkin until well blended. Melt remaining stick of butter and add to pumpkin mixture, along with vanilla, and 3 eggs. In a separate bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon. Slowly add the dry mixture to the wet, stir until evenly blended. Pour into baking dish on top of cake mixture. Bake for 50 minutes. Center will appear runny but will solidify as cake cools. Slice and serve once completely cooled.



See also


No-bake peanut butter bars

I have met people who claim that they don’t like peanut butter. Allergies are one thing, but simply not liking it? Ridiculous. I assume these same people enjoy pulling the wings off of butterflies and farting in elevators, and I want nothing to do with them. This recipe is not for those people, it’s for the rest of the normal humans in the world who love the bejeepers out of some PB.

Skip to the short version

” Nobody wants your fingers in their dessert. Focus.”

This is another one of those recipes of which there are a thousand slightly different versions, and nobody knows who came up with it first. The first time I came across this recipe was on this website; I have adjusted the preparation and some of the quantities slightly. The real beauty of this recipe is its simplicity, ease of preparation, and minimum number of ingredients. An added bonus is that the finished product is maddeningly delicious and will throw you into an immediate sugar-and-peanut-butter induced coma.


Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (about half a box of crackers)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup salted butter, melted
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 bag chocolate chips (11oz)


Directions

Take a bunch of graham crackers and smash the crap out of them. You can use a blender or a food processor, but I find that a plastic bag and a wooden spoon work just fine. Leave the peanut butter alone – don’t eat any of it. I know it’s tempting, but just put it somewhere out of sight for now. Where were we? Graham crackers. Once you have pounded two cups of crumbs into oblivion, dump them into a big bowl. Add the brown sugar and powdered sugar and whisk together thoroughly.

Stop eating the peanut butter. Stop it. You won’t have enough for the recipe if you’re going to be a little piggy.

Melt the butter and add it to the dry ingredients, and add the vanilla as well. Yes, you are allowed to touch the peanut butter now. Add a cup to… No. To the bowl, not your face. I’m serious. It goes in the bowl. There, I knew you could do it. Stir everything up until it’s an even consistency and scoop it into an ungreased 9×13 baking dish.

Oh sweet, sweet heavenly peanut butter mixture. You speak to me.

Oh sweet, sweet heavenly peanut butter mixture. You speak to me.

Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler. If you don’t have one of those then carefully CAREFULLY melt them in the microwave. It’s a surprisingly tricky business. Use half power and nuke for one to two minutes tops, monitoring closely. I recommend stopping every 20 seconds or so and giving the chips a stir to see how they’re doing. Once the chips are mostly melted (but there are still a few solid chunks) they are done. Just keep stirring until the remaining solid bits melt and you’re good to go.

Listen to me. Put the peanut butter jar down. No more for you. None. And stay out of the chocolate. Nobody wants your fingers in their dessert. Focus.

My chocolate senses are tingling.

My chocolate senses are tingling.

Using a rubber spatula-scraper-thingy, spread the ooey melted chocolate evenly on top of the layer of pure peanut buttery heaven. Go slowly and do your best not to get any peanut butter bits in the chocolate or else all your friends will know you’re incompetent, and they will point and laugh at you in mockery. (Note: If this situation occurs, tell your friends they can go get bent and that you’ll keep all the peanut butter bars for yourself.)

Refrigerate for at least an hour. Cut, serve, gloat, and enjoy the sugar coma.

Nobody cares if you cut them straight or not. They're just interested in the peanut butter.

Nobody cares if you cut them straight or not. They’re just interested in the peanut butter.



tl;dr

No-bake peanut butter bars

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (about half a box of crackers)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup salted butter, melted
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 bag chocolate chips (11oz)


Directions

Crush graham crackers to the consistency of coarse sand, whisk together with brown sugar and powdered sugar. Add melted butter, vanilla, and peanut butter and stir well. Spread in an even layer in the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Top with melted chocolate, refrigerate for at least one hour, slice and serve.



See also