Thursday, October 11, 2012
This Pumpkin Cake is a lot like Gingerbread in texture - dense, moist, and best served in thick squares with a dollop of fresh whipped cream on top. I love to serve this with Sage Whipped Cream, which is simply regular whipped cream with a bit of finely ground sage mixed in. The flavor of the sage is very subtle, but it gives the whipped cream a unique, interesting flavor. Sage is a versatile herb that is used in every season, but in Autumn recipes it really shines. It goes really well with pumpkin, both in sweet and in savory dishes.
This pumpkin cake would also make a great pumpkin bread if you baked it in loaf pans (you would probably get one regular and one mini loaf out of this recipe). If you are looking for a frosted pumpkin layer cake, see Pumpkin Layer Cake with Maple Frosting in the recipe section.
For the Cake:
1 2/3 Cups All-purpose Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground Nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground Cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground Ginger
1/2 teaspoon Salt
3/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
2/3 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 1/4 Cups Packed Brown Sugar
1 Cup Cooked Pumpkin
Variation: If you wanted to make this into a "Pumpkin Gingerbread," you could increase the ginger to 1 whole teaspoon and add 1 Tablespoon of molasses.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease (or line with parchment) one 8x8" square baking pan.
Mix the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl and stir well.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, oil and sugar together. Add the pumpkin in and stir well. Add the Flour mixture to the wet mixture in three batches, stirring well after each addition. Pour into the baking pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. The cake is done when the center springs back when touched with your finger, or when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. This is a dense, moist cake and will take a while to be done in the center. Don't rush it or you will have a soggy undercooked middle. Let the cake cool until it is warm but not hot, then cut into squares and top with sage whipped cream.
For the Sage Whipped Cream:
1 Pint heavy cream, very cold
3 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
1/2 - 1 teaspoon ground Sage
Have your bowl and a wire whisk chilled before you make the cream. I stick mine in the freezer for twenty minutes. I also put the cream in the freezer for ten minutes or so, just to make sure everything is very cold.
You can use a KitchenAid mixer to whip cream, but whipping it by hand prevents over beating. If you do use an electric mixer, just watch it carefully. Whip the cold cream until it just begins to thicken before adding your sugar and sage.
If you have a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, grind the sage with the sugar a bit so that the sage gets even finer. If not, don't worry - It will still taste good.
Add in the sugar and sage, then whip again until it thickens to your desired consistency. For this dessert, I like the whipped cream to be just thick enough to not be called "liquid" anymore. I like it to kind of slump over the sides of the cake (see picture at top). But you may prefer a whipped cream that stands up stiffly like this:
Posted by Christa Dunn