Here we are again. Autumn is slowly appearing, teasing its way into the muggy heat that still sticks like a blanket over everything.
Cool, crisp air greets me when I leave the house in the morning. Yesterday I wore a fleece jacket when the sun went down. Walking home today, I skirted an idling delivery truck outside the grocery store, unloading crates and crates of pumpkins in all shapes and sizes.
This is all good news, except for the rude awakening when your alarm goes off at 6 AM and you peer outside, realizing it's still pitch dark. I don't want to overdose on fall too quickly. There are months of holiday baking ahead of us: cinnamon rolls and spiced breads and cider-infused pies. I couldn't resist this pumpkin cake, but after this, I'll ease into it.
And you? Here are some things you should be doing now that it is officially October:
1. Make this pumpkin bread (hello, obviously, that is why you are here!)
2. Run don't walk to the drugstore to buy a bag of miniature Halloween candy. Listen, you have 31 days until the holiday itself, but I truly despise Halloween and miniature Twix is really its only redeeming feature. Go. Tell yourself you're sampling it for the kids.
3. Listen to the song "homecoming" by Josh Ritter which makes me simultaneously want to be 15 again and go to a football game on a cold autumn night.
4. Bookmark some soup recipes. This one is particularly fantastic.
5. Consider whether this year is the one in which you will finally wear a cape. I would buy this one. Still on the fence about whether it looks like a Halloween costume (see #2).
Pumpkin Bundt Cake
For the cake
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup canola oil
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
15 ounces canned pumpkin (1 can)
For the glaze
1 cup confectioner's sugar
4 tablespoons milk
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan.
In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, oil, and eggs.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and salt.
Add the dry ingredients and the pumpkin to the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 60-65 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and let the cake cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes before inverting it onto a cooling rack.
While the cake cools, make the glaze by whisking together the sugar and milk. You may need an extra tablespoon or two of milk. You want the glaze to be thick and just pourable.
Pour the glaze over the top of the cake, letting it drip slightly down the sides.