For the record, I have always loved pumpkin even before it was A Thing, and I will continue to love it long after Something Else finally supplants this perennial fall flavor trend.
Each autumn I sample as many pumpkin dishes I can in Houston, focusing on those new on the scene but inevitably returning to some of my favorites, such as Dolce Vita’s pumpkin and goat cheese croquettes.
This year, my one-stop shop for pumpkin desserts is SusieCakes, which is offering some unbelievably moist pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, pumpkin bread pudding crowned with a dollop of cinnamon whipped cream, and a cinnamon-heavy pumpkin cheesecake.
But in God’s honest truth I could do without all the aforementioned, though they are delectable, because there’s another pumpkin dessert at SusieCakes that is vastly superior not just to its squash brethren in the bakery but also to all other pumpkin sweets in Houston: the pumpkin spice cake.
Its deceptively simple name suggests an equally pedestrian baked good: a loaf, perhaps, livened only by allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In reality, SusieCakes’ pumpkin spice cake is a terrific tetrad of tiers that towers literally and metaphorically over all other pumpkin treats in town.
The four layers of spongy, fragrant pumpkin cake interspersed with thick, tangy, never-cloying pumpkin cream cheese buttercream would be sufficient to justify its superiority; however, the addition of a slightly bitter dark chocolate ganache shell enveloping the exterior elevates this confection to another level I like call “silly delicious.” Why? Because with each bite I find myself increasingly giddy and giggly, such that by the time the slice is no more I have reverted back to my 6-year-old self in a state of sugar euphoria.
Those looking to similar sweet regression should shake a leg because the pumpkin spice cake is only available as a seasonal special.