Pumpkin & Maple Gingerbread Friendship Bundt

I hope you’ll indulge me.
No, not in the way I’m typically indulgent.
Not in two-stick-of-butter, two-cup-of-sugar sort of indulgence.
Rather, the type wherein you allow me a moment of joyful retrospection which means all the world to me.
Though, I suppose, very little to you because you don’t know AmosQ.
AmosQ knows this story (and is likely tired of me mentioning it)
But, she’ll have to be patient momentarily.
For, I feel it’s important that you know this story to fully understand who AmosQ is:
There was once a Tupperware Saleswoman who begged me hold a party in her name.
Being a yeller-blooded-ninny-pants, I couldn’t find the courage to tell her no, I didn’t want to buy her eight-dollar-plastic-cups when I could get some in the gocery clearance aisles for a shilling.
So, I said yes and invited only myself and AmosQ.
The two of us sat on cheap yellow chairs in my cubicle-shaped condominium kitchen,
we pacified our firstborns with the occasional passing of cheerios or a gentle bounce on our knees
while we listened to Tupperware Saleswoman give us her microwave cooking schpill.
I suppose, as a Tupperware Saleswoman, our party was a pathetic gig.
But sitting there, baby on knee, the sunny yellow aura of AmosQ at my side,
I couldn’t help but thoroughly enjoy myself.
I find this often to be the truth.
When AmosQ is at my side, or at my Tupperware parties, or joining me at my quirky shindigs, or very-random book editings, or when her voice comes through a landline some eight billion miles away, it’s always perfectly enjoyable.
Because, after all, AmosQ is the type of person who:
(1) Reads all the informative plaques out loud when we visit the zoo.
Once, her son even informed me that the anteaters I was excitedly pointing out were actually, techinically named Mountain Tapirs. Isn’t that just the darndest thing?!
(2) Likewise, AmosQ arrives at any and all public gatherings with a slew of the most fantastically clever games humankind has ever thought up.
Ask me sometime about OogaBooga and The Blanket Game and Beater on a Heater….
(3) Is the personal owner of a Sugar Cookie Recipe so good people have tried to steal it.
Of course, I would never, never, Never, NEVER claim the recipe to be mine, nor would I call it “Brooke’s Sugar Cookie Recipe,” sharing it with a crowd of sugar-cookie-adoring women. Never.
(4) Is the personal owner of a brood of children so belovedly bred that they answer the phone with proper ettiquette each time I ring them up. She has also taught them the unthinkable–to hang their backpacks in symmetrical ranks and line their shoes up likewise at the end of a schoolday. She will tell you I am exaggerating. Yet, I speak plainly. I have actually seen this with my bare eyes.
Perhaps I ought mention here that her wee son can also pull off the life-changing feat of tucking the top of his ear into to the little hole in his ear. Such a kid.

Now, back to Tupperware Saleswoman.
At some point she stopped her plastic-kitchen-goods presentation.
She may have realized we weren’t listening.
I don’t know, there were so many other people in the room. Who’s to say?
“Are you two best friends?” she asked.
AmosQ and I looked at each other and giggled nervously.
Such an odd question. So oddly timed.
“Well….um….we really like hanging out with each other….”
We bumbled polite answers, placed our orders, pushed Tupperware Saleswoman out the door, then got on with bouncing our babies and burbling about the things in our heads.
Since that day, we’ve moved homes, had more babies, cooked each other meals, thrown each other parties, moved across the nation from each other, visited Amish country side-by-side, and eaten Whoopie Pies. Stayed up late talking about the most important things in the world and nothing important at all. Called each other at the exact same second. Cried over heartwrenching sadness. Thrown our heads back with full-bellied laughter. Written emails. Sent packages. Embraced upon seeing each other again for the first time.
I hope AmosQ doesn’t mind.
I think I’ll call Tupperware Saleswoman tonight and finally, after all these years, answer her question.
Yes. Yes we are.

Pumpkin & Maple Gingerbread Friendship Bundt
Sometime ago, AmosQ mentioned a pumpkin posting was much needed within the bounds of my blog.
“Pumpkin What?” I asked.
“Ooooh, anything,” she replied, “Cookies or a pie or a cake. Yes, a cake sound perfect.”
Yes, indeed. A cake proved the perfect platform to combine the rich tastes and smells of friendhood. Two flavors, like two friends, representing the coziest of all seasons. Warm and spicy and full of vibrantly comforting flavor. You’ll need two bowls to mix it up, but will marble it together before baking. I baked mine in a bundt pan. It’s a lot of batter, so the bundt rises high. If you’d rather cook it in a 9×13 pan, feel welcome. It will work just at beautifully.
In One Bowl, Mix:—————–In Another Bowl, Mix:
3 eggs ———————————-3 eggs
1 c. pumpkin pie mix——————-1 1/2 c. brown sugar
1 c. sugar—————————-1/4 c. molasses
1/2 c. oil –—————————–1/2 c. oil
1 T. cinnamon—————————–1 T. ginger
1/2 tsp. baking powder——————–1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 c. milk———————————-1/2 c. milk
2 c. flour———————————-1 3/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt———————————-1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla——————————-1 tsp. maple extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat all ingredients together. Pour each batter in rotating layers into a well greased & floured bundt pan, or a greased 9×13 pan. Run a knife through the layers to marble the batters together. Bake bundts for 52-55 minutes. Bake 9×13 pans for 32-35 minutes, or until top of cake springs back when touched. Frost warm cake with Cream Cheese Buttercream.
Cream Cheese Buttercream
8 oz. cream cheese
1 lb. powdered sugar
1/4 c. milk
Beat all together with an electric mixer. Frost warm cake. Indulge.

Biggest Congrats
to {the adorable} TWO PARTS SUGAR
for winning the TwinStitchers Giveaway.
and biggest thanks to each of you for submitting a comment!