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!

36 Responses to “Pumpkin & Maple Gingerbread Friendship Bundt”

  1. jksfam says:

    You both look SO great!!!

  2. ♥Mimi♥ says:

    Ohmygosh, that recipe is gorgeous! A gotta' make it!

  3. Lesley says:

    Oh man…I love AmosQ…and you for paying an amazing tribute to her…

  4. Sue Sparks says:

    This sounds amazing…two cakes in one!!! I'm GOING to try it! Your frosting looks so smooooth, soft and creamy-yum!

  5. Reenie says:

    OMG! I've got to know if your Ooga Boooga is like ours!

    Email me at reenielou@hotmail.com

    thanx, Lorena

  6. Anatomy of A Dinner Party says:

    What a lovely tribute to the power of friendship. Your post brought tears to my eyes.

  7. Jen says:

    this looks amazing and I totally want to try it but what do you mean by 1 cup pumpkin pie mix?

  8. ConversationsWithACupcake says:

    Jen- A GREAT question. THANK YOU for asking! The PUMPKIN PIE MIX stated in the recipe is the canned pumpkin found in the pie section. It's different from regular pumpkin in that it has added spices and a slightly different texture. Either the canned pumpkin or the canned pumpkin pie mix will work fine in this recipe.

    Happy Baking!

  9. Best Wishes, Marie says:

    yum is right

  10. The Speckledpup says:

    I know how to play ooga booga. We do it at camp every year. Anxiously awaiting instructions on the other two games.

  11. oneordinaryday says:

    What an awesome post. And that cake looks delicious too!

  12. Julie says:

    Oh, I loved your story! I have a friend like that…think I'll call her today…I WILL be making that recipe, anything pumpkin sounds so perfect right now, and I love the way you slathered the frosting on top in the photo–yum! I really think we need that sugar cookie recipe…..!

  13. ruth burton says:

    Hi, cute lady —

    This is Amy's mom. What a darling commentary on Amy and her family. You are a sweet, true friend. Everything you said is true. Is it my mom's sugar cookie recipe you're speaking of? If it is, I'm so thrilled. It may have been her mom's. That would make it a 19th Century recipe. Ooga Booga was taught to us by an Idahoan missionary on La Reunion Island; I'm glad Amy passed it on because it's so fun for any age. Also — the rhyming game … is that the one with "bug on rug" "fan in pan" sort of thing? I remember that. That's a good one 'cause it makes you think, and thinking is good. Games are so nice. By the way — Maddie and I got lost a couple of days ago in Maryland while trying to return to the Merrill home. I turned in a condominium parking lot and said, "Maddie, does any of this look familiar to you?" She began reading the "NO Loitering" sign and said, "No, Grandma, it doesn't, but we can't loiter here; (pause) "Grandma, what does loitering mean?" Cute girl.

    Much love to you and a special applaud for this clever blog. R.

  14. bakingsimplicity says:

    This looks absolutely delicious.
    I have a pot luck for work and now I know what I’m making!

  15. Phantomkid says:

    I love this mom! And the cake looks SO good!

  16. Shauna_Rae says:

    I wish that Amy would move back!!!

  17. Jamica says:

    Yumm-O! Thank you for finally posting this! I have been craving it for weeks now! I'm so glad Amy put on you this mission! It really is the perfect Autumn cake recipe… What a sweet, sweet tribute to Amy!

  18. Jamica says:

    PS- You both look beautiful in that picture!

  19. Eliana says:

    What a lovely tribute and amazing recipe.

  20. Ashley says:

    Oh my, delicious!!! I printed the recipe out and plan on making it with my best friend from high school when she flies into town this weekend.

    thanks for sharing!

  21. Anonymous says:

    What a beautiful post. It brought tears to my eyes. I always enjoy your posts, but this one was extra special. Thank you for sharing.

  22. Mrs. K says:

    Great post and great cake but I would really like is a show of hands to know how many people actually tried to tuck the top of their ear into the hole of their ear. Good. Now I would like a show of hands to know how many people would ever to think this was possible. I'll go first, I raised my hand to the first question but not to the second. How bored do you have to be to even contemplate doing this? How incredibly funny.

  23. alanna says:

    Thanks for this. I'm making it for my husband's birthday tomorrow. We like to do something different than "birthday cake" and I think it's beautiful and festive.

    Love your site!

  24. Carey says:

    Oh my gosh…I have never, ever, made a cake with six eggs in it, but am SO looking forward to giving it a try this weekend!

  25. Olivia's Mommy says:

    Congratulations on the redesign…it's fantastic!! You are ever so busy, but I was wondering if you could please tell me how much pumpkin pie spice to add to my 1c pumpkin for this recipe? If you can believe this, my Albersons was completely out of their pumpkin pie mix and it's not even November yet!!

  26. Anonymous says:

    Beautiful site and beautiful tribute! You are blessed to have each other. ( : Have you ever posted the sugar cookie recipe you mentioned? Please do…I'll never tell!

  27. newbies says:

    I think Amy Merrill whould be a great kind of best friend to have! I miss that lady.

  28. anna says:

    I am making this tomorrow and am really excited to try it. I was just wondering how you think the addition of chocolate chips would be, only because I have a hard time with a dessert without chocolate (not because it won't be fabulous on its own).

  29. Olivia's Mommy says:

    Just wanted to leave a follow-up message to let you know that this recipe is fantastic. I had to replace the pumpkin pie mix with canned pumpkin and added 1/4tsp. pumpkin pie spice and it tasted delicious. In response to anna’s question, I think chocolate chips could be a yummy addition I would simply recommend using mini chocolate chips so they would distribute more evenly and don’t sink to the bottom of a bundt pan. Happy baking!!

  30. Anonymous says:

    If I use the smaller, personal sized bundt pans, how would I adjust the oven temp. and baking times? And what is meant by rotating layers? Can't wait to try it!

  31. Tongue-N-Cheeky says:

    Hi Anonymous!

    Thanks for your question!

    If you are using the personal sized bundts, I would plan on cooking them for about 18-20 minutes, then just gently (and VERRRY carefully) open the oven a crack and lightly touch the top of the cake to see if it's finished. If it springs back, it's done. If not, just cook it a few more minutes until it does bounce back to the touch. Sorry to go old-school on you, but since I haven't baked this recipe in those pans, it's all guesstimating from here.

    As for rotating layers, I mean simply: pour a thin layer of the punpkin cake around your bundt. Then, pour a thin layer of gingerbread atop that. Then pumpkin, then gingerbread, until your bundt is just over half-way filled with batter.

    Does that help? I hope so!

    Happiest Baking Wishes,

  32. Kristi says:

    i made the cake today. it tastes good but it is really heavy and not as fluffy as yours looks in the picture….any hints on what I might have done.

  33. Ashley says:

    I made this cake on Wednesday and it is an absolute hit! I used my grandmother's bundt pan and have come to determine that it's much smaller than ones made today! It overflowed! Regardless, I brought it to the office and its been devoured! So delicious. thanks for sharing!

  34. Tongue-N-Cheeky says:


    I'm so sorry for the late reply to your cake conundrum. Darn it! I wish the recipe would have worked for you. I'm so sorry it didn't. If you attempt a remake, why don't you throw in one less egg and add 2Tbsp. of milk? Maybe that would help. Eggs can be quite finicky when it comes to affecting the cake texture.

    Good luck!

  35. Carey says:

    Uh-oh! I forgot to ask if I needed to make any recipe modifications for my east-coast-sea-level-ness. Hope you see this comment before tomorrow morning around 7am when I start baking it for my daughter's Halloween party (at 10:30)! And yes, if I had made it three weeks ago when I intended to, I would have my own answer to the question, but unfortunately, life interrupted my grand baking plans (I think there could be a funny joke there about my half-baked idea or the best laid plans going a-RYE but I am too tired to try it!) Thanks much!

  36. Anonymous says:

    I made this cake this morning and it tastes more like a bland pumpkin bread and is not cake-like at all. I am hoping the frosting will make this taste more like a cake.

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