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Harvest cakes a sweet use for pumpkin

Thursday, October 11, 2001

By Arlene Burnett, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

What's a celebration without a cake? We celebrate birthdays with a birthday cake. We celebrate anniversaries, graduations and weddings with cakes. So it's not surprising that we celebrate the harvest season with a cake.

Our cakes today and next week are called Harvest Cakes. Although all recipes share the same name, they all call for different ingredients.

As we passed out cake to coworkers, friends and family, we received many compliments. Kitchen Mailbox passes along these compliments to the readers who sent in these delectable recipes.

Donna Bernazzoli of Penn Hills sent in our first test recipe.

Harvest Pumpkin Cake

1 package yellow cake mix
3 eggs
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons baking soda
15-ounce can pure pumpkin (about 1 3/4 cups)
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, pecans or raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt pan or a 13-by-9-inch pan (we used the bundt pan).

Combine cake mix, eggs, water, baking soda, pumpkin and spice, plus nuts or raisins, if using. Mix for 3 to 4 minutes.

Pour batter into pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool fully before serving. Dust with powdered sugar.

Kathy Moser of Bloomfield sent this from-scratch cake recipe.

Harvest Cake

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sug- ar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup canola oil
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 eggs
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups flour
16 ounce can pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup raisins

Combine first 10 ingredients. Add flour 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Add pumpkin and mix. Stir in the apple, pecans and raisins.

Pour into a greased and floured bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 70 minutes or until tested done.

Cool in pan 20 minutes -- invert onto wire rack and cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 cup softened butter
8 ounces softened cream cheese
2 teaspoons pure vanilla ex- tract

Cream together butter, cream cheese and vanilla. By hand, stir in 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar. Beat till light and fluffy.

Next week: Two more harvest cakes!

If you want to answer a recipe request from a reader or are looking for a recipe yourself, please write to Kitchen Mailbox, c/o Arlene Burnett, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh 15222, or e-mail to aburnett@post-gazette.com Please include a name, neighborhood and a daytime phone number on all correspondence.

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