I feel like I am among friends here and that I can make a confession…one that may change the way you think about me forever…I don’t like pumpkin pie. I love the way it looks, I love the way it smells in the oven…but I just can’t get past the mouth feel of it. I won’t get into what it reminds me of, because this is a food blog after all, but suffice it to say it’s not something pleasant. Okay…so I said it. Are you still there? Yay – you still love me!
I do like pumpkin though. Being that I have a severe, yet very public, roasting fetish…I love roasted pumpkin as a side dish or as part of my main course (like in this whole wheat pasta with roasted pumpkin). But tradition demands that fall dining must include a pumpkin dessert. There’s quite a few choices for the pumpkin dessert but my favorite is a pumpkin spice cake. Of course, I can’t let tradition go on as usual. I need to tug and tweak and turn that canned pumpkin into something just a bit more. So I make a malted pumpkin spice cake with a crunchy pecan streusel topping. And just to show everyone I mean business, I drizzle a sweet confectioners’ sugar glaze on top.
One of the great things about this malted pumpkin spice cake, aside from it’s great flavors, is that it’s really quite user friendly. What I mean by that is you can cook this in a sheet pan, a loaf pan, a bundt cake pan, mini loaf pan or in a cupcake pan. Since we seem to go and visit a lot of people this time of year, I like to bake up loafs of this pumpkin spice cake and give it as a hostess gift. Everyone loves to get this because they usually end up eating it for breakfast the morning after they’ve thrown a party. And who wants to deal with making breakfast after doing all of that work the night before? The other reason why it makes such a great hostess gift is because it’s something that is homemade and isn’t going to sit around collecting dust. I know I don’t have room for any more dust collectors, so I try to use that same rule of thumb when giving gifts.
I made the mistake of telling Craig that I was making him a pumpkin dessert, before I made this the other day. Poor guy! He got all excited thinking that I was finally breaking down and making him a pumpkin pie. I tried to let him down easy by telling him that I was making something just as delicious. As I watched him pout around with his bottom lip sticking out, I felt like I was dealing with a 4 year old (and people think I don’t have kids…I’ve got twins dammit! My husband and the dog. Most days I can only tell the 2 of them apart because one has a big curly tail). I listed all the yummy things that would be in the pumpkin dessert like canned pumpkin (that’s in pumpkin pies), the very same pumpkin pie spices, a crunchy streusel topping and a nice and sweet sugar glaze. He started to warm up a bit and then I hit him with the malt. He squinched up his nose and I let out a groan and headed into the kitchen.
Later that day, as the pumpkin spice cake sat out on the counter I watched him circle it like a cat circling a bird. I told him to quit being a baby and to try a piece. Half the loaf later I had to pull it away from him so I could take some pictures. I sent the rest into work with him and I’m not totally convinced that it ever made it out of his office.
Since it looks like the great canned pumpkin shortage of 2010 isn’t going to come to fruition…you can bake your little pumpkin hearts out.
We have a friend staying with us for a few days who has had a pretty crummy year. After talking with him this afternoon it really made me think of some advice that I gave earlier this year from a friend in China: Treat them like a guest. Meaning treat the one’s you love as if they were your guest. We tend to treat those closest to us much worse than we treat someone who is a guest in our home.
Malted Pumpkin Spice Cake Recipe
Makes 2 loaves, Makes 1 9″ x 13″ cake
Pumpkin Spice Cake Ingredients
- 4 Large Eggs
- 1 Cup White Sugar
- 1 Cup Turbinado Sugar (or raw sugar)
- 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
- 1/4 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Plain Nonfat Yogurt
- 1 15 Ounce Can Pumpkin
- 2 Cups Flour
- 1/2 (rounded) Cup Malted Milk Powder
- 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
- 2 Teaspoons Cinnamon
- 1 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
- 1/2 Teaspoon Allspice
- 1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg
- 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
Streusel Topping Ingredients
- 1/4 Cup Flour
- 1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
- 2 Tablespoon Butter (cut into pieces)
- 1/3 Cup Pecans (chopped)
Confectioners’ Sugar Glaze
- 1 Cup Confectioners’ Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Water
Pumpkin Spice Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
In a bowl add all of the dry ingredients. Mix with a fork, to combine, for at least 1 minute. Set aside
In a medium size bowl (or bowl of your stand mixer) add the first 6 ingredients. Beat at a medium speed until thoroughly combined and smooth.
Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture in thirds. Make sure that each addition is blended well before adding the next.
Lightly grease your pan(s) and pour in batter.
In a small bowl combine all ingredients. Blend to combine using a fork or your fingers.
Evenly sprinkle the topping onto the the cake batter that’s been poured into the cake pans.
Bake the cake for 25 – 30 minutes (if cooking in loaf or rectangular pan – time will be less for cupcakes or mini loaves).
Cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Confectioners’ Sugar Glaze
In a small bowl add the powdered sugar and water. Stir until the mixture is smooth.
Once cake has cooled drizzle over streusel topping.
*You can use 2 cups of regular white granulated sugar if you don’t have any turbinado sugar.