Do I sense a wee bit of confusion about what pumpkin pie is doing in a cake? Perhaps that is to be expected.
Yes, what is pie doing in a cake recipe anyway? Aren’t the two supposed to be age-old rivals or something? Has there been a truce? Dare I say, an alliance?
The more I make this cake, as it naturally progresses, the more times I eat it. And the more I eat it, the more I love it. And because I love it for its particular taste and texture, I believe that such an alliance has, indeed, been made. There are significantly more pie-like qualities in this cake than are found in your average cake.
To illustrate, this cake is very dense and very moist. When baked just right, it has a velvety-smooth texture that comes through the soft crumb. The spices do the talking while the flour does the walking in this recipe; the pumpkin pie-like flavor is what you notice, and the whole-wheat base is there to convey it.
My personal opinion? I think cake is great in general – but with pie’s influence is just a lot more fun to eat. I can’t stay away from it!
This cake was my main squeeze last holiday season – accompanying me to parties, flying across the country to family on my behalf, cozying up my kitchen, and even spreading the love through my Etsy page.
Now, for your own holiday-baking pleasure, I sincerely hope you enjoy this Pumpkin “Pie” Loaf-Cake. It has become my little darling of the season!
Pumpkin Pie Loaf-Cake
Makes two 8 X 5” loaves
1 pound (2 cups or one 16-oz can) pumpkin puree
4 eggs (I often replace with 1 cup liquid eggbeaters to reduce calories and fat)
½ c. canola oil
½ c. unsweetened applesauce
½ c. water
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. white sugar
3 cups whole wheat pastry flour (regular will work as well, but I prefer the pastry flour for texture)
½ c. oat flour (you can make your own by grinding rolled oats up in a food processor)
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. ground allspice
About 1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg (½ tsp. if using regular ground)
Pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries for topping, optional
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray two 8 X 5” loaf pans with cooking spray.
Combine pumpkin puree through sugar in one bowl, the flour through nutmeg in another, then combine the flour and pumpkin puree by mixing until the flour is completely moistened, but do not overmix.
Pour half the batter into each of the two loaf pans. Dip a butter knife in oil and cut a line lengthwise down the middle.
Sprinkle the top with seeds and cranberries, and bake in the center of the oven for 65-70 minutes, until the center is baked all the way through but still moist. The cake should be starting to pull away from the sides of the pan. If the top begins to brown too much before the center is done, you can cover the top with foil.
Allow the cake to cool 20 minutes, and then run a knife around the edges before gently lifting out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Of course, if you are like me, and you couldn’t possibly wait… you eat it as soon as you can handle it. And you love it, every little pie-cakey bite… even if it is still too hot and burns your mouth a little.