Thursday, October 13, 2011

Experiments in Pumpkin Cake

I've been craving something seasonal for a while now, something warm and spicy to ward off the damp and cold. This recipe jumped out at me immediately, begging to be baked. The result is a remarkably light, soft, (albeit crumbly) cake with a sweet and slightly chewy crust. It's tastes and smells exactly like a pumpkin pie would, only it has the texture more of a banana bread. I can't help but smile when eating it!

I don't know if you've noticed it already, but if you take a closer look at the photo of my finished product you'll see that my pumpkin cake looks a bit like it exploded; I made the mistake of overloading my loaf tin. I should have opted for baking two smaller loaves instead, but I truly didn't anticipate it rising as much as it did, and boy did it ever! I've found that a lot of my vegan recipes result in cakes/cookies/breads -all yummy but - without much volume. All except this one, I guess. For some reason the sky was the limit for this one! It really erupted! So when in doubt opt for two, or reserve some of the batter to be baked at a later date (this may not be an issue at all if you're using the actual 8x8 baking sheet the recipe suggests).

I'll also admit that my dry ingredients could have been mixed better. I don't own a sifter (yet!), but if you do I strongly urge you to use it! I am going to get one before trying this recipe again because I got an unfortunate bite of too much nutmeg which I perceived as quite sour and unpleasant. Cinnamon really is the fairer sister, although that's just my opinion. Maybe you all like a mouthful of nutmeg - you're perfectly entitled.

Anyway, I did the best I could with what I had available, and I still consider it a big success. I've already eaten three pieces since I baked it this afternoon, and it also has my husband's stamp of approval, and that means a lot because he's fussy...


Brown Sugar, 1 cup
Vegetable Oil, 1/2 cup
Maple Syrup, 1/2 cup
(Real) Vanilla Extract, 1 tsp

Flour, 2 1/2 cups (I used All-Purpose)
Baking Soda, 1 tsp
Baking Powder, 1 tsp
Cinnamon, 1 tsp
Ground Cloves, 1 tsp
Ginger, 1/2 tsp
Nutmeg, 1/2 tsp
Salt, 1/2 tsp

1 (15 ounce) can Pumpkin Purée (or 2 cups fresh Pumpkin, cooked and mashed)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Grease 8x8 baking pan, line bottom with wax paper (I used a loaf pan but filled it too much, made enough batter for two loaf pans)
  3. Place sugar, oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl, whisk together until sugar is dissolved
  4. In a separate bowl SIFT (for the love of God! Sift!) together dry ingredients including spices
  5. In small alternating portions mix the pumpkin and dry mixture into the wet ingredients *beginning with flour and ending with flour (batter became very thick, I had to use a hand mixer to get it smooth)
  6. Spread the batter into prepared pan
  7. Bake 55 minutes to an hour until it passes the toothpick test (since I overloaded my loaf pan it actually took almost another 20 minutes to pass the test)
  8. Once it's cooled a little, turn out onto rack and allow to cool further. Sneak a piece of the heel while it's still warm and EAT IT!
You can see the original recipe HERE

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