Spiced Pumpkin Cake

I made some Pumpkin Bread for Thanksgiving.  I looked online for some recipes and they all pretty much had the same ingredients, all with a lot of sugar and vegetable oil.  I varied the recipe a bit, and although tasty and moist (a bit heavy), I still wasn’t entirely happy with the outcome.  So I decided to vary the ingredients and this is what I came up with.  Enjoy!

Spiced Pumpkin Cake (for Christmas!)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup golden granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light or dark brown sugar (soft)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 100 g melted butter, lightly salted
  • 3 duck eggs (or 3 large hen eggs)
  • 1 16-ounce can solid pack pumpkin
  • 1 ½ cups white spelt flour
  • 1 ½ cups whole spelt flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon mace
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans (optional)
  • ½ cup raisins (optional)
  • some chopped crystallised ginger pieces (optional)

Topping

  • Glacé Cherries or Orange Slices, Nuts (Almonds, Pecans, Brazil), Crystallised Ginger, Stem Ginger in Syrup – whatever you want to decorate with
  • Clear Honey

Pre-heat oven to 350°F (180°C, gas mark 4).  Butter and flour (optional), or line bottom of two 16cm non-stick round cake tins with greaseproof paper (I used tins with removable base).  Beat sugar, eggs, butter and oil in large bowl to blend. Stir in pumpkin.  Sift flour, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, mace, baking soda, salt and baking powder into another large bowl. Stir into pumpkin mixture in several additions to avoid lumps. Stir in pecans, raisins and ginger pieces, if desired.

Divide batter equally between prepared pans. Bake until tester inserted into centre comes out clean, about 1 hour in a fan assisted oven.  Transfer to racks and cool 10 minutes. Using sharp knife, cut around edge of cakes (this wasn’t necessary with my non-stick tins).  Turn cakes out onto racks and cool completely.  When cakes are cool, brush tops of cakes with honey and decorate with fruit and nuts.   (Here is an interesting tidbit on Glacé Fruit!)

Your cake should look like these when done.  When they are cooled, it might be a good idea to slice the tops off a bit to make them more level for decorating.  However, being me, I thought of that at the last-minute, but carried on regardless.  I cut my Glacé Cherries in half, quartered some stem ginger in syrup, and used almonds and pecans.  It was what I had.  I put them all together in a bowl with a bit of the stem ginger syrup.  I took a whole piece of stem ginger and pushed it into the centre of the top of the cake.  Then I just put the fruit and nuts on top.  Ta da!

Because of the uneven surface of the cake, I had to poke some almonds into the cake to act as support for the fruit so they wouldn’t fall off.  I can’t guarantee that the whole thing won’t fall apart once I start slicing the cake, but by then who will care!   Once all of the fruit was on the cake, I used some more honey and ginger syrup as an extra glaze.

This is what it looks like when you cut the first slice…

Well, I did have to try it out to make sure my new-improved recipe was ok.  This is one spicy cake, not too sweet (except for the fruit on top), and very moist without being heavy!  I think I hit on a winner here.  If you want to tone down the spiciness, you can do it in the recipe and reduce the quantity of the spices – or you can do what they do here in England, serve with heavy cream!  Personally, I think it would go nicely with some vanilla ice-cream, but that is just me. 🙂

Note:  I used spelt flour because normal whole wheat no longer agrees with me.  You can use any baking flour that you wish.  If you don’t want to use butter, use one cup of light olive or vegetable oil instead.  It really isn’t too much.  Have fun with it.  Might be nice to add dried cranberries to it next time.  I just used what I had in the house.  I would be interested to know how this turned out for you if you try it!

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