Since we are in October, and the market is full with all kind of pumpkins, I’d like to share with you a pumpkin cake recipe 🙂
Two years ago, while making a little trip to Texas, I found canned pumpkin, which I guess is a very common product in the US. I felt very curious (because is not very common to find canned pumpkin in Mexico) so I bough it. Back to Monterrey I looked for a recipe in an old baking book, and the result was great! The recipe turns out a really good one, the cake was sweet and spicy, perfect for a coffee on a rainy afternoon.
Pumpkin is a very important crop in Mexico. They are the first domesticated plants in Mesoamerica, along with corn an beans. This vegetable, which belongs to the genre Cucurbita, has countless number of species. The two main species consumed in Mexico are: C. pepo or “Calabacita” and C. moschaba or “Calabaza de Castilla”. The first one is commonly used in savory dishes while the second one is used in traditional Mexican desserts and pastries. We do not only use pumpkins, but also we use other parts from the plant; for example, in flowering the season we harvest pumpkin flowers and we use them in typical dishes like Tacos de Flor de Calabaza or Crema de Flor de Calabaza. And… if eating the flowers was not enough, we even use the seeds as a “snack”, we slightly roast them with a little salt.
Right now I will focus on C. moschaba, or Calabaza de Castilla because is the one that we need for our cake. In México, we often use Calabaza de Castilla to do Candied Fruit.. or Fruta Cristalizada. Mexicans learn this technics from Spaniards, mainly to conserve fruits. Fruta cristalizada is made with real fruit, and many of these fruits often conserve their original shape after the process. The most iconic candied fruits in México are: tunas, membrillo, chilacayote, camote, coco rallado, piña, higos and calabaza. This last one is also prepared in a different way, not precisely candied but boiled in brown sugar (this is my mom’s debility!). So, conclusions, we Mexicans eat pumpkin in many different ways.
For this cake, our main ingredients are: smashed pumpkins and spices (autumn flavors!). As I told you before, I started baking this cake because of my amazing canned pumpkin discovery (ja-ja) but, if you don’t have access to a nice supermarket with canned pumpkin, there is always the not-so-lazzy way to do it which is: buying raw pumpkin, boil it up in water and then smash it.
- 3 cups (450g) of all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons of bakind powder
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
- 1 teaspoon of ginger powder
- 1 teaspoon of nutmeg powder
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 2 ½ cups (300 g) of sugar
- 1 ¼ cups (300 ml) of oil
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups (400 g) of canned pumpkin pure
- 1/3 cup (50 g) of icing sugar (for decoration)
How to do it
- In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt.
- In another large bowl, with help of an electrical mixer in medium speed, beat the sugar with the oil till well-combined.
- Add eggs one by one. You have to wait till well-combining every time you add an egg.
- With your mixer at low speed, add the pumpkin pure and the mix of dry ingredients.
- Put your mix in a muffin pan.
- Bake for approximately 70 to 80 minutes, or til top is golden. You can always use the little trick of inserting a toothpick and if its clean, it’s ready.
- You have to cool down the cake for 10 to 15 minutes before unmold it. Don’t leave it more, if you do… your bread will start sweating and it will get very difficult to unmold it.
- Enjoy your cake with a cup of coffee and company 🙂