Pumpkin Tres Leches

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Pumpkin tres leches cake is a fresh twist on a Cuban classic that is the perfect dessert for this Thanksgiving or holiday season. I have been bitten by the pumpkin bug, and I am relishing unabashedly in fall flavor goodness. I made this pumpkin tres leches cake last year for Thanksgiving on a whim- haphazardly dumping ingredients I had on hand together…and behold! My glorious creation entered into this world doused in tres leches and ready to be dressed with whipped cream and warm caramel.

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My recipe for pumpkin tres leches is semi-homemade, which means it is easier for you to make my friend. Make this dish a day in advance so you can relax and simply unleash the deliciousness on your family and friends stress free. I chose to serve this with whipped cream and pumpkin pie spice since it was the easiest option, but you can dress this pumpkin tres leches up with merengue or whipped cream and a caramel sauce.

Pumpkin Tres Leches

  • 1 box French vanilla Duncan Hines cake mix
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 15 oz can pureed pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • ½ cup milk

Preheat your oven to 350F, and grease a Pyrex dish well (I used a 9×9). Sift the cake mix into a large mixing bowl. Add eggs, melted butter, spices, and pumpkin puree. Mix well using a hand mixer or KitchenAid being sure to scrape along the sides of the bowl. Pour the batter into the greased Pyrex dish and smooth out evenly. Bake the pumpkin tres leches for 35-40 minutes or until the center is set.

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Pour the condensed milk, milk, and evaporated milk into a container and shake well. Poke 50-70 holes into the pumpkin tres leches using a toothpick or wooden skewer. Slowly pour nearly two-thirds of the tres leches over the entire cake so it can be gradually absorbed and does not pool. If there seems to be too much milk simply pour it off or wait a few minutes before adding more.

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Tightly cover the cake and place in the refrigerator overnight.  Reserve and refrigerate the final third to use as garnish for plating.Cut the pumpkin tres leches into even slices. Pour 1 ounce of the tres leches onto the serving plate and plate the slice.

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Add a dollop of whipped cream or alternatively top with a dollop of meringue and torch to a golden brown. I made the burnt sugar decor by heating sugar on the stove top till bubbling and golden. The directions can be found here in my Cuban flan recipe.

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Pumpkin Spice Syrup + Slushie

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Pumpkin reigns supreme this time of year, and pumpkin spice syrup will have pumpkin fanatics like myself jumping for joy. The pumpkin spice syrup from Starbucks ain’t got nothing on this recipe friends. This syrup is easy, delicious, stores for up to one month, and is guaranteed to fulfill all of your pumpkin dreams. This past weekend I went to NYC and was inundated with fabulous food options- and of course pumpkin galore.

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At Smorgasburg in Brooklyn, I nommed on THE ramen burger, to-die-for ice cream sandwiches from The Good Batch, and lastly, the delicious Pumpkin Pops from People’s Pops which had me lusting for a pumpkin slushie. People’s Pops was serving up slushies of different flavors- but alas not my beloved pumpkin. I returned home with a serious hankering for a pumpkin slushie, and the weather here in Miami is still a warm and muggy 80 degrees- perfect for an icy fall flavored treat.

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The instant I poured the pumpkin and spice blend into the hot simple syrup my entire apartment smelled wonderfully of sugar, spice, and everything nice. Homemade pumpkin spice syrup is perfectly spiced and tastes great on almost anything. I have already used my syrup in coffee and in a slushie. I cannot wait to pour it over some pancakes, fresh biscuits, on hot plain oatmeal, or over a scoop of vanilla ice cream- the possibilities are endless!

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Pumpkin Spice Syrup + Slushie

  • 1 cup Water
  • 1/3 cup Libby’s pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/4 cup each light brown and dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • dash of salt
  • 1 tablespoon Dominican Vanilla Extract

Mix the water and sugars in a saucepan on low heat with a whisk until the sugar is completely dissolved- this took about 3-4 minutes. Next add the pumpkin puree and spices mixing well. Allow the pumpkin spice syrup to cook for 7-8 minutes on low heat, do NOT boil or simmer.

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Pour the pumpkin spice syrup through a fine mesh strain. Once the syrup is cooled add the Dominican vanilla extract. This yields 2 cups of pumpkin spice syrup. The syrup will store for a month and maybe even a tad bit longer!

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To make a slushie use shaved or very fine crushed ice. I used 7 ice cubes in a blender with a tablespoon of the pumpkin spice syrup. I added another tablespoon of the syrup on top when the ice was finely ground. Garnish wish a cinnamon stick and enjoy!

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Bourbon Pumpkin Bread Pudding

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Fall has finally arrived, and in celebration I made a bourbon pumpkin bread pudding with butterscotch bourbon glaze. Bourbon pumpkin bread pudding comes together in blissful union as Maker’s Mark takes canned pumpkin to be his happily ever after.  There is something magical about the onset of fall. It is at this point in the year where everyone begins to question how time flew by so quickly as the memory of New Year’s, spring, and summer seem so fresh and recent.

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Although those of us in Miami won’t be able to enjoy the changing seasons, pumpkin patches, and chilly air that inspires giddy anticipation for the holiday season, I will be celebrating fall in spirit with the rest of you. While you can always count on retail giants to remind you of each and every upcoming season, there is a palpable change in the air and mood. In Miami we vainly hope for chilly days below 70F where we bundle ourselves in boots, scarves, and hooded sweaters. Alas, I am but reduced to enjoying a pumpkin spice latte with blasting AC in 90 degree weather, but we can all dream right?

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The bourbon pumpkin bread pudding is doused in a wonderful butterscotch bourbon glaze that crystallizes and hugs every spiced nook and cranny. If you would like to serve this hot I would recommend a scoop of vanilla ice cream sprinkled with pumpkin pie spice instead of the whipped cream, but the fresh whipped cream was equally decadent. Bourbon pumpkin bread pudding will put a smile on your face and remind you of all the goodness that is yet to come in these final months of this year. This is a keeper for Thanksgiving, so bookmark this recipe to treat your family and friends!

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Bourbon Pumpkin Bread Pudding

  •  4-5 cups diced bread
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup Maker’s Mark Bourbon
  • ¾ cup canned pumpkin
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Dash of salt

 For the Glaze:

  •  ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • 2 tablespoons whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons Maker’s Mark Bourbon

 For the Whipped Cream:

  •  1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Garnish with a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice

Preheat your oven to 350F. Dice the stale bread into evenly sized cubes and set aside. I used about half of a loaf of stale French bread and 3 stale Martin’s potato rolls (I know this is random, but it’s what I had on hand!). Like I have said before bread pudding is made of simple ingredients! Next mix all of the rest of the listed ingredients together. I mixed these together using my KitchenAid but a hand mixer or simply whisking the pumpkin custard ingredients together will also work.

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Place the diced bread into a greased Pyrex baking dish. Pour the pumpkin custard over the diced bread and gently toss the ingredients together until all the bread is saturated. Now press the soaked bread into the dish evenly. Bake the bourbon pumpkin bread pudding for 40-45 minutes or until firm and set. I allowed this to completely cool before pouring the butterscotch bourbon glaze on top.

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For the glaze I placed a ¼ cup of sugar and the tablespoon of butter in a saucepan. I allowed these to melt and brown together until wonderfully toasty and a light caramel color. This involved stirring over low to medium heat for 7-9 minutes. Next slowly add the whipping cream while constantly stirring. The butterscotch will immediately begin to bubble and change color. When fully incorporated pour in the bourbon and whisk until you no longer smell the sting of the alcohol in the air.

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Pour the butterscotch bourbon glaze on top of the entire bourbon pumpkin bread pudding and allow it to cool in the refrigerator. I personally prefer my bourbon pumpkin bread pudding cold, but this will taste amazing on the spot or heated up to serve. Prepare the whipped cream right before serving by putting 1 cup of cold whipping cream with 2 tablespoons into the KitchenAid and beating until beautiful whipped peaks form. Top the bourbon pumpkin bread pudding with fresh whipped cream and sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice for garnish. Fall has arrived!

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