Finally, here in Tucson, the first hint of fall has arrived.
We can tell it's coming, not by the changing of leaves or the still-useless fall fashion, but by the drop of temperatures... from the 100s to the low 90s.
Finally, the forcast for the week holds not a single 100 degree day!
Fall is by far my favorite time of year, and I'll really take whatever it gives me. Cooler nights, an excuse to put out the pumpkin-scented soaps and fake fall leaves, harvest celebrations; a taste for everything with pumpkin or cinnamon; these are a few of my favorite things.
However, with bikini competition prep well under way, I've found it much harder to incorporate the pumpkin baking so far this year. My diet has had to become more restrictive so that I am only eating what my muscles can put to good use. Which is really just a shame, because I think I could practically put out a new pumpkin recipe every day - like I almost did last year - but then I'd have a lot more I'd want to eat!
So far, I have been able to keep up with some baking knowing that most of it would go to friends and events. These lovely gluten-free spiced pumpkin cookies went to a big spaghetti dinner for one of my college groups, so I was able to (barely) avoid eating any!
At the same time, many of the recipes that I've been serving up to you have been able to fit into my diet by being small (PBJ PinkyPrint Cookies) and/or low carb (Pumpkin Cheesecake). And that is a joyous, joyous thing!
But this cake recipe - well I really really liked it. I let a couple friends in on tasting it, but the one who gobbled up most of it was... me.
Well, yes, now four weeks away from my competition date and counting, I'm even cutting down on lovely things like this. A couple weeks ago when I made this, though, these low-carb danties fit in perfectly every evening. And oh, are they fluffy and decadent!
You can always make these with real sugar, of course, if you need a gluten-free and not a sugar-free recipe, but I do highly recommend keeping in the protein powder for both flavor and the extra nutrition it adds! After all, this is a FitCake!
Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake
1/4 c. (31 g) whole raw cashews
1/3 c. (42 g) tapioca flour
1/3 c. (40 g) almond flour
1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 c. packed pumpkin puree (no additives or sugar)
1/2 c. melted butter (organic grassfed) or coconut oil (organic unrefined)
2/3 c. Stevia in the Raw, or sweetener of choice
3 T. (21 g) flaxseed meal
35 g or one scoop of your favorite vanilla (or pumpkin, cinnamon, or maple-flavored) protein powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting
50 g pumpkin puree at room temperature or (slightly) warmed
30 g protein powder (vanilla or a cinnamon-spice flavor would work best)
4 oz cream cheese frosting at room temperature or (slightly) warmed
20 drops stevia
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Makes 12 slices.
Nutrition for one frosted slice: 196 calories; 15.1 g fat; 7.3 g carb; 2 g fiber (5.3 net carbs); 8.2 g protein
1/12 batch frosting: 34 calories; 2.2 g fat; 0.7 g carbs; 0.2 g fiber; 2.5 g protein
1/12 entire cake recipe: 162 calories; 12.9g fiber; 6.6 g carbs; 1.7 g fiber; 5.7 g protein
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prep two 9" cake pans by greasing with coconut oil or spraying with baking spray.
Process the cashews in a food processor until it resembles a coarse meal. Then add in and blend all ingredients for the cake together in a food processor (or stand mixer.)
Divide the cake batter evenly between the two cake pans and bake 30-35 minutes on the center rack until springy in the center and slightly browned. Place the pans on wire racks to cool for about 10 minutes before gently removing to fully cool on the rack.
Thoroughly combine all ingredients for the cream cheese frosting in a blender or food processor.
If the cake is cooled completely and the frosting is at room temperature, you can frost the tops of the cakes right away, and layer one on top of the other.
Serve immediately or cover well and store in the refrigerator up to a week. Best served at room temperature or slightly warm.