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let me eat cake

What I like about generally being able to cook and bake is that eating what I want is totally within my control (within the limit of available ingredients):  I just have to figure out how to make it.  Today, I wanted something dessert-like but with more substance and less sugar, something I could gnaw on in place of my recent Kwik Trip discount donut habit.  I had a can of pumpkin that had fallen and was dented, so I wanted to use that, and I was limited to no more than 4 eggs (unless I wanted to get groceries, which I did not).

The result was a pumpkin trail mix cake.  I based the recipe on a pumpkin pancake recipe, because it had less sugar, and because I figured it would be naturally lighter than a regular cake recipe, which was good since I usually replace part of the flour with heavier ingredients (this time, coconut flour and ground almonds).  I roughly doubled the recipe, so it would use the entire can of pumpkin, and then made some modifications.


It's a basic two-bowl baking powder process:  mix dry ingredients in big bowl, mix wet ingredients in another bowl, add wet to dry and stir gently until just mixed.  In this recipe, I added the crushed trail mix after that, then spread the batter in a 9x13 buttered pan.  Bake at 375 for about 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  And, unlike me, remember to turn the oven from 'pre-heat' to 'bake' once you put the cake in it.

Dry ingredients:
1/2 C coconut flour
2 C flour
1.5 C ground almonds
4 t baking powder
2 t baking soda
1 t salt
2 t allspice
2 t cinnamon
1 t ginger

Wet ingredients:
3 eggs
1 can pumpkin (about 1 3/4 C)
3 T brown sugar
3 T honey
1 t orange extract
4 T melted butter
2 C milk

And, about 2 C crushed trail mix; my mix contained "50% peanuts" mixed nuts and lots of soy nuts, plus a few cinnamon almonds, Reese's Pieces, and raisins.  I usually mix my own trail mix, with an eye toward a quick and generally healthy breakfast, but this batch had too many soy nuts (I felt obligated to use the entire bag, when I should have just frozen some for later).  Any desire for soy nuts was gone long before the trail mix, so I'm going through it very slowly as I find other things to dilute it.

I added the wet ingredients to each other in that order, mixing/beating between each addition.  I forgot to add the milk until I'd added wet to dry, but that ended up being good, because then I could add the right amount for the right consistency - about the consistency of fluffy mashed potatoes.



The recipe is a work in progress.  A little more sugar would have been fine, and the cake's a little crumbly (not dry, just not holding together as well as I'd like).  And, there's a little of that metallic undertone that pumpkin sometimes has.  But overall, I'm pleased; this food seems to fill the niche that my stomach said it had.

P.S.:  The structure of the cake has improved greatly now that I've allowed it to cool properly, and the flavor of the pumpkin has mellowed out.  And America's Test Kitchen (love that show) just explained the whole baking soda vs. baking powder thing.  Since I removed the vinegar from the original pancake recipe, I probably could have removed the baking soda.
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