Monday, January 20, 2014

Pumpkin Loaf Cake with Spiced Pepitas

I tend to underestimate things.  I forgot how delicious a slice of moist, spicy cake can be on a cool day in January. I have made this cake three times already since the first time I made it, I think I underestimated how little self-control I'd have around it.

One of the habits I'm trying to break this year is having big, big plans for something and having only a small window of time to get it all done.  You see I need some of my free time back because I have lots of other pans on the fire.  Besides the regular hustle and bustle around here, my daughter is graduating from college in May and I'm planning a 50th anniversary party for my parents.  It's going to be an exciting year, I just want to make sure I spread out the work and don't get all stressed out.

I already underestimated how easy it would be to pick a venue.  I spent way too many hours on the phone, internet, and scouting locations and still have more to look at this week.  You see I was married back in prehistoric times and I am not too hip on that stuff anymore.

This weekend my dryer finally gave up its fight. I've only had it for 8 years, but had both units repaired multiple times.  (Please don't make me go into my "they just don't make things like they used to spiel", I already feel ancient enough.) After having a heated argument with the dryer over whether or not it wanted to go for a spin I finally decided it wasn't worth it.  I figured I'd just run down and pick out a new set, in and out.  Except for when I got to the appliance store they had dozens of them and I knew my plan for a quick stop just flew out the window. Luckily a couple of hours later I had a set picked out, so much for all the other things on my list.

I totally underestimated how fast my dogs can stink up the sheets if I let them in the bed like I did this morning. There was no school today and I thought I'll just stay in here a bit and it will be relaxing and I can get a little work done.  Wrong, I usually ignore my dogs cries to join me, but I caved and now I have to wash the sheets again and forgot I don't get the new dryer till Thursday.  See how easy it is for plans to fall to apart.

Making another Pumpkin Loaf Cake however turned out to be a brilliant use of my time and made it seem like all things worked themselves out in the wash.  (I couldn't help myself the washer left itself wide open for that one.)

Pumpkin Cake:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup milk
6 tablespoon coconut oil, melted (or vegetable or canola oil will work too)

1/2 cup powdered sugar 
2-3 teaspoons milk 

Cayenne spiced pepitas: 
1/3 cup Pepitas 
Coconut or No-stick spray 
Pinch ground cayenne pepper 
Pinch ground allspice 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

Combine flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves in a large bowl and whisk together to combine. Add pumpkin, eggs, milk, and coconut oil and stir until well combined. 

Pour mixture into a greased loaf pan. 

Bake in 350 degree F oven for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool.

Heat pepitas in a small skillet on medium heat, spray the pepitas with a little spray and sprinkle with ground allspice and cayenne pepper.  The nuts only need a few minutes.  Set aside.

Mix powdered sugar and milk and drizzle over bread with a spoon. Sprinkle the nuts all over the top.

p.s.a.  Be sure and wash your hands after handling the nuts, I don't want any of you to touch and burn your eyes like some lady over here did.




  1. Cake is just perfect for January afternoons and I love the spice pepitas!

    1. Thanks Laura, I do think cake and January were made for each other. Will be partaking more often this month.

  2. In my opinion, pumpkin cake is delicious no matter what time of year it is. And I am curious about using coconut oil in baked goods as I have yet to try it. I heard it makes for a moist cake. Hope you are doing well, Gina!

  3. January needs pumpkin cake, what with all the kale and quinoa recipes being pushed down our throats. And for what it's worth, I always underestimate the time and effort it takes to get things done so good for you for planning ahead!

  4. I love pumpkin ANYTHING! This is a stunner, Gina. The add of spiced pumpkin kernels sounds fantastic.

  5. Who doesn't like a bit of spice, I bet it was perfect in this pumpkin loaf which looks deliciously crumby :D


  6. I bet you do your best work under pressure haha....oy vei. Praying all falls into place with the venue and menu and all the little details for these wonderful parties....they will be milestone moments to remember!!! This cake looks amazing, I could so totally go for a piece right now, except I just gained back the 5 lbs I just lost...sigh. Time to get my butt in gear!

  7. Gina,
    Have a piece of your marvelous Pumpkin cake and relax, I planned a 50th wedding anniversary Party for my Mom and Dad back when, and It's like planning a small wedding. Good that you are starting to plan way ahead of time.
    You can do it:)

  8. I know all about that self-control thing. Or rather the lack of it. And I'd definitely lack it around this great cake! Love the idea of the pepitas. Lately when we've been buying major appliances we just go for the cheapest (or usually the 2nd to 3rd cheapest, because they have features the lowest priced one doesn't have). That way when they break, unless it's something minor, we just replace them. You're going to be paying big bucks for a service call anyway, and even though our method is incredibly wasteful in one sense (yes, we're throwing out good things that can be repaired), we figure we come out ahead in terms of cash -- we're actually spending less overall. Or maybe we've just been lucky that way. Anyway, good post -- thanks.

  9. Oh Gina, this cake sounds and looks delicious, moist and a touch of spice...yes, I would love to have a slice of this cake with a cup of tea...
    Thanks for the recipe and hope you are having a wonderful week :D

  10. Oh wow! That sounds amazing. I think this would go awesome for a brunch with some tea. Lovely!

  11. There is nothing like a good loaf of bread. I've been making a banana loaf about every week since the start of the new year. This must be added to the rotation! Thank you for sharing, Gina!