Though you can buy canned pumpkin throughout the year, somehow it just doesn’t feel right to me to make a pumpkin dessert until there’s an autumn chill in the air.
I often make my own pumpkin purée from homegrown or market-purchased pumpkins (and encourage you to give this a try- it’s so easy!), but sometimes I do use organic canned pumpkin. I do this for recipes where I want to make sure there’s not too much moisture, like in this cake, so if you choose to use homemade pumpkin purée here, make sure to allow sufficient time for all of the liquid to adequately drain off.
My favorite variety of pumpkin for making homemade purée is the “cheese pumpkin”. I planted them in my garden this year, but they did not do well because of all the rain we had; I’m looking forward to trying again next season.
Recipe for Maple Glazed Pumpkin Cake
Yield: 8 servings
*2 cups unbleached white or organic whole wheat pastry flour
*1 cup raw cane sugar or organic brown sugar
*1 teaspoon baking powder
*1 teaspoon fine sea salt
*3/4 teaspoon baking soda
*1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
*1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
*15 oz./1 can organic pumpkin or use well-drained homemade pumpkin purée
*3 eggs, preferably organic and free-range (I use eggs from my backyard chickens)
*2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
*1/4 cup organic melted organic butter or good quality olive oil (I think the olive oil adds a nice flavor, and enhances the texture, too)
*additional 1 cup pure maple syrup (for the glaze)
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Oil the bottom and sides of an 8 inch springform pan (or use a similar sized square or round pan).
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, sea salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and ginger.
4. In a large bowl, mix pumpkin, eggs, olive oil, and 2 tablespoons of the maple syrup until well blended. Add the dry ingredients and mix just until thoroughly combined.
5. Transfer the batter into prepared pan and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before using a knife to loosen the sides of the pan, then unclip and remove it.
6. While the cake is cooling, cook 1 cup maple syrup over heat for 7-8 minutes, or until it thickens/reduces slightly. Let it cool for a minute or so, the drizzle over the cake (if you let it sit too much longer than that, it will become hard to pour). Serve warm or at room temperature: the maple glaze will harden as it cools.
–Winnie Abramson writes the organic gardening and food blog Healthy Green Kitchen.
Photo credits: Winnie Abramson