Made this very good autumnal cake recently that I thought I'd pass on. I'm usually disappointed by most cakes, so it's surprising when I find something that's worth the calories and effort. Great texture and not too sweet. Photo and recipe linked below.
Served mine w/ homemade pumpkin ice cream, which matched well enough but not perfect IMO. Vanilla ice cream would be better. As suggested in the recipe, soft whipped cream would be good. Caramel would be overkill and too sweet IMO. Poached pieces of pear, apple, quince, or lemon (like a lemon confit) could be very good for an uplifting counterpoint.
I followed the recipe, for the most part. I don't like cinnamon much so only used 1 tsp. Also added about 2 more tsp. of ground ginger after tasting final batter. I wanted to use some fresh ginger but didn't have the time to peel and grate. I only had regular (dark) molasses on hand so used that instead. Would stick w/ the light (or reduce dark to 3/4 c.) since the full cup of dark was a bit overpowering and had an initial bitterness that mellowed after the first day. I used the requisite sour cream, but I don't see why buttermilk wouldn't work since it's just 1/4 c.
This recipe makes alot of batter so use a big bundt or tube pan. Mine was medium-sized so I poured the extra batter into 4 ramekins. Those got done around 30 min. while the bundt cake was done at nearly 45 min. The ones in the ramekins were very domed, so would make for great cupcakes w/ a vanilla or dulce de leche frosting.
Crumb of the cake was very tender and on the dense, tight side. Flavor was very deep and nicely-spiced. Left a gentle heat in the back of the throat and roof of the mouth, which I really liked. Got raves from all the adults, although the kids weren't as crazy about it which I half-expected. Mixed reviews on the pumpkin ice cream (mainly due to flavor), but I liked it! I'll do a separate report on that later.
PS. Make the cake one day in advance for best flavor. Also use butter (not oil spray) to grease pan since my canola oil spray left an icky residue after baking that I tried to brush off.