Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Grandmama's Pumpkin Fat Cake aka Pumpkin Chess Pie Cake aka Paula Deen's Pumpkin Gooey Cake

Grandmama calls it Chess Pie Cake.  Paula Deen calls it Gooey Cake.  The Fellows call it Fat Cake 'cause once you've started eating it you can't stop until it's all gone;  then you feel all fat.  I've grown partial to calling it Fat Cake.
It looks unassuming, crumbly, dense, perhaps even ordinary.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  It's rich - oh so rich - with a buttery crusty layer and a sweetened cream cheese filling with a hint of vanilla that will send blood sugar levels sky rocketing.  It's Biblically good.

For Thanksgiving, Grandmama often adds pumpkin to the filling for a holiday flair.  I called her last week to get the recipe.  We talked for a solid two hours, catching up on fambly news on either side.  We're careful not to pry where prying would be rudely invasive:  she's my son's other grandmother:  X's mom.  She's one massive blessing in my life, past and present, and I'm glad we remain friends.  She's the one that made the first Fat Cake I'd ever had the privilege of overindulging on.  It's at her house The Fellows started calling it Fat Cake.  The name and calories stuck.

I've been baking for other folks the last two weeks, continuing right through Friday evening with a groom's cake to be assembled this weekend.  One extended fambly member had ordered two cakes and something else -- whatever I wanted to bake.  I wanted Pumpkin Fat Cake.

I had baked this fambly member the best looking cream cheese pound cake ever.  It was cooling in the dining room on the table set up for cakes.

You know how I blame stuff on the dog sometimes? I caught him in the act of indulging his sweet tooth on a good chunk of that beautiful pound cake.  I seldom holler at him but I was so mad I fairly screamed at him.   He was still moping when I started assembling Fat Cake.

Annnnyways.  Fat Cake.  Pumpkin Fat Cake.

For the crust you'll need:
one box butter cake mix
one egg
one stick margarine butter

Y'all know I'm going to do this the easy way.  Break out the Cuisinart and put the crust ingredients in, pulsing until everything is mixed.  Somehow, all the butter was taken out of the refrigerator and had come to room temperature.  Actually, I know the somehow, distraction from all the do-overs this weekend (don't get me started on the chocolate sponge cake).  It's a small matter to be dealt with:  the crust mixture is sticky and gloopy.  IF you can remember to not take it out and the butter is cold, the mixture will be nice and crumbly and it can be pressed into the 9 x 13 pan very easily.

As it is, the mixture is gloopy (for lack of a better adjective)

and requires a bit of skill and finesse to spread non-stick cooking spray

generously applied to the hands

to press the gloopy crust mix evenly and into the corners of the pan.  I've pan-coated my pans but non-stick cooking spray, alone, will work fine for this recipe.

Tadadaaaaaaaa!  They multiplied!!!!

I don't clean the Cuisinart bowl.  It's not necessary.  Any small amount of the crust won't harm or alter the cream cheese filling flavor.  I'm all about saving the universe from entropy, being careful to conserve energy on every level -- even down to not expending energy on cleaning the Cuisinart when not needed!

I put all the filling ingredients in it at once.  Yep.  All of them:
three eggs
eight ounces cream cheese
16 ounces (one box) confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
nutmeg or any other pie spices desired, to taste
one can of pumpkin

Process until well blended and smooth.  It's a bowlful of filling so you'll want to be quick about getting it poured on top of the prepared crust.

Bake at 350 degrees an hour.  Or so.  Until set. My oven is slow so it takes almost two hours to bake until the filling is set.  Let cool, cut into squares, large or small, and enjoy!

Youngest Fellow describes them as pumpkin pie fat cake.  I suppose that'll work too!

The basic recipe and instructions for Grandmama's (plain) Fat Cake are:
1 box butter cake mix                                         8 oz. cream cheese
1 egg                                                                        16 oz. confectioner's sugar
1 stick butter                                                         1/2 teaspoon vanilla

3 eggs

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix and press in bottom of 9 x 13 pan the butter cake mix, one egg, and butter.  Set aside.  Mix 3 eggs, cream cheese, sugar and vanilla.  Pour over cake mixture in pan.  Bake 50 minutes to 1 hour until top layer is set.

Thank you, Ann McCoy, for the conversation and recipe.  Love you BIG!!!

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