“I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.”
~Henry David Thoreau
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If you stop here often, you’ll probably notice a couple recurring themes.  They both happened to come together for this recipe.  One is that I hate to waste anything, the other is that I’m updating recipes to include more whole grains.  Last weekend, when I cleaned out the pantry and spice cupboards I found a can of pumpkin about to expire.  I left it out to remind myself to use it and handling all the spices brought this cake to mind.  My recipe is nearly 25 years old.  It’s a spoon cake that is so moist and delicious you can’t believe how easy it is.  At the bottom of this post, I’ll give you the circa 1987 recipe, but first I’ll give you the healthier version of it.  I added half wheat pastry flour and cut the white sugar by adding some honey and molasses, giving it a slight gingerbread undertone.
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White flour uses only the endosperm of the wheat grain, whereas whole wheat pastry flour uses the entire wheat grain, so you’re not exactly making it whole grain, but it does increase the nutritional value of the cake. It darkened up the crumb a little, but didn’t make it heavy or grainy.  Next time I’ll try it using all wheat pastry flour.  This cake is really packed with pumpkin and when you consider how rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals pumpkin is, you may want to have it as a snack more often.  After all, it’s almost guilt-free cake. It would be great with raisins and nuts, but I left them out, so Audrey would eat it.  You could omit the cream cheese frosting and simply give it a dusting of confectioner’s sugar.  That would make it easier to pack in lunches and more acceptable as breakfast treat too, although the frosting wouldn’t stop me at breakfast.  

Pumpkin Spice Cake, Made Healthier, a recipe by Margaret Murphy Tripp

1 large bundt cake or 13×9 inch pan

1 29-ounce can of plain pumpkin
1 cup oil
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons molasses
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups wheat pastry flour
1 1/4 cups white flour
1/4 cup crystalized ginger, chopped fine
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cloves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a large bundt pan, tube pan or 13×9 inch pan.  Set aside.  In a large bowl, add the first 8 ingredients and whisk together.  In a medium size bowl, add the remaining ingredients and stir together.  Add dry ingredients to wet and stir together just until combined.  Pour batter into prepared pan.  Make sure you have 1/2 inch room at top of pan.  If there is extra batter, use it for mini-loaf or a couple muffins.  Bake cake for 60-75 minutes or until a knife or cake tester comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes, then turn out of pan (if bundt cake).  Cool completely.  Dust with confectioner’s sugar or spread with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
3/4 of a one-pound box of confectioner’s sugar

In a medium bowl, cream together butter and cheese.  Beat in confectioner’s sugar.  

Original Pumpkin Spice Cake, circa 1987

3 cups pumpkin
3 cups sugar
1 cup oil
2/3 cup water
4 eggs
3 1/2 cups flour
1 cup walnuts
1 tablespoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl stir together first four ingredients.  In a medium bowl, stir together remaining dry ingredients.  Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, stir just until moistened.  Pour into prepared pan.  Bake for one hour and 15 minutes to one hour and 30 minutes or until a knife inserted into center comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes, turn out of pan (if bundt cake) and let cool completely.  Dust with confectioner’s sugar or frost with cream cheese frosting.

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