Caramel-coated walnuts and cranberries top this tender cake. It's very easy to make. Prep and Cook Time: about 1 1/2 hours. Notes: This cake looks and tastes best the day it is made. To toast the walnuts, bake in a 350° oven until golden, 7 to 10 minutes. If using frozen cranberries, measure while frozen, then thaw before using.
1/4 cup butter, plus more for pans
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon dark or light rum
1 1/3 cups cranberries (see Notes)
2/3 cup toasted coarsely chopped walnuts (see Notes)
2 large eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/3 cup canola or other vegetable oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
Lightly sweetened softly whipped cream
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°. Butter a 9-in. square pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Whisk in brown sugar until blended. Remove from heat and whisk in rum. Pour mixture into prepared pan, evenly covering the bottom.
In a small bowl, combine cranberries and walnuts; arrange evenly over brown sugar mixture.
In a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed, beat eggs, pumpkin, oil, and granulated sugar until smooth. In another bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Stir flour mixture into pumpkin mixture. Spread batter evenly over cranberries and walnuts.
Bake until a skewer inserted in the center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool 10 minutes in pan. Run a thin-bladed knife between cake and sides of pan, then invert cake onto a serving platter. Remove pan and parchment, and let cool at least 20 minutes. Serve slightly warm or cool, with whipped cream.