Sure, you may be sick of the sticky sugar-loaded treats that have been absolutely unavoidable over the past month, but in an attempt to bake or create something classically Halloween-worthy, I ended up making a dessert that isn’t limited to October 31st. It is a dessert to make for the rest of the festive season. Or in my case, all year long. Unfortunately for me, I already envision my desperate cravings for these on many more occasions. Geez, thanks a lot, Paula.
Speaking of Paula Deen, our infamous Food Network Southern charm, I can’t help but to feel slightly conflicted. I realize there is a fair amount of controversy as to whether her recipes elicit unabashedly rich and delicious comfort foods or, well, heart attacks on a plate. Whenever we catch her on the television, Pat and I are unintentionally absorbed and captivated by her charisma, twang, and of course, food. We usually find ourselves at a loss for words. Do people really make things like that? It looks so good, but so bad. I want to eat it. NOW. Oh-em-gee, butter + mayo + sour cream + cheese and more butter?! I can’t bare to watch. Do you think she’s healthy? How on earth is she still alive?! How on earth are the people who make her food still alive?! One of us breaks the silence with such remarks or questions. Most times, we’re just silently appalled – absolutely shocked. Is this heavenly food or utter blasphemy? I find it amusing that despite being deeply flabbergasted, we both find her extremely endearing. Seriously. What can I say, she is the doting Southern grandma we never (but wish we always) had.
This is precisely why I feel attracted and compelled to re-create some of her authentic homemade recipes, albeit occasionally. Sadly, I’m forced (by Pat and the little voice in my head) to being subject to the torture and torment of the screen. I have the privilege of vicariously eating through her show instead of satisfying my insatiable appetite by making anything and everything she so casually creates. Although going all Paula each and every meal of each and every day may not be advised for anyone’s diet and lifestyle, someone will love you for doing so every now and then. “Hey y’all”, if someone doesn’t, send whatever you make my way! Don’t worry, I’ll love you.
Pumpkin Butter Cake
Adapted from Paula Deen
1 (18 1/4 oz) package yellow cake mix
8 tbspn (1 stick) butter, melted
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin (pure pumpkin puree)
1 tspn pure vanilla extract
8 tbspn (1 stick) butter, melted
1 (16 oz) box powdered (Confectioner’s) sugar
1 tspn cinnamon
1 tspn nutmeg
1 tspn ginger
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine the cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well. Pat the mixture evenly onto the bottom of a lightly greased 13 by 9-inch baking pan.
For the filling: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter, and beat together. Next, add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and mix well. Spread the pumpkin mixture over cake batter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes until set. Make sure not to overbake.
Serve with fresh whipped cream.
– For a Pineapple Butter Cake: Instead of the pumpkin, add a drained 20-ounce can of crushed pineapple to the cream cheese filling. Proceed as directed above.
– For a Banana Butter Cake: Prepare cream cheese filling as directed, beating in 2 ripe bananas instead of the pumpkin. Proceed as directed above.
– For a Peanut Butter Butter Cake: Use a chocolate cake mix. Add 1 cup creamy peanut butter to the cream cheese filling instead of the pumpkin. Proceed as directed above.