Pumpkin Loaf Cake

Pumpkins seem to peak around late October and phase out after Thanksgiving. Their peak really is ending around now, the early winter months. If you can still find some on the vine, their skins are rough, tough, and thick. The flesh is edible, of course, but very sweet, watery, and starchy. Pumpkins are probably the most notorious of the winter squashes.

Canned pumpkin can be found year-round in the grocery store and there ain't nothin' wrong with that! With that in mind, I have provided here below another easy baking recipe. This loaf is similar to the pumpkin loaf found at Starbucks and during a taste test involving customers, not many could tell the difference (except that mine was better).

Pumpkin Loaf

2 cups Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
1 cup vegetable or canola oil
4 large eggs
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Stir or cream together the sugar and oil in a large mixing bowl. Add eggs one at a time until each is incorporated. Add vanilla. Beat. Sift dry ingredients into separate bowl. Mix in wet ingredients until all incorporated. Pour into two well greased loaf pans or one 9X13 cake pan. Bake in 350 degree oven about 1 hour. Cool completely before turning out onto cooling racks or slicing.

For lower fat opportunities: Substitute equal amounts of unsweetened applesauce for the oil. Using 2 egg whites instead of a whole egg reduces calories and cholesterol. I wouldn't use more pumpkin puree for this purpose because pumpkin has such a strong flavor and it might overpower your loaf and make it unpleasant. Also, substituting 1/4 cup egg substitute (such as Egg Beaters) for each egg is a reasonable option. Using egg substitute in place of eggs tends to make this loaf rubbery, because egg substitute has no fat. To improve the texture, add 1 tsp canola oil.
Using 100% Splenda or other artificial sugar in baked goods is not something I recommend. If you must use it, use a baking blend or make your own blend.

Pumpkin pie spice is a blend of spices you can find in the spice section of your local grocery store. This eliminates the need to attemt to find spices you may not have in your cabinet. It's a ground mix of any combination of cinnamon, clove, allspice, mace, nutmeg, or ginger. I like to KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) and so should you.

A closer look at this wholesome cake...

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About the author

Nikki Miller-Ka

Nikki Miller-Ka

Ms. Miller-Ka is a classically trained chef with a BA in English from East Carolina University and a Culinary Arts Associate Degree from Le Cordon Bleu-Miami.

Formerly, she’s worked as a researcher, an editorial assistant, reporter and guest blogger for various publications and outlets in the Southeast. She has also worked as a catering chef, a pastry chef, a butcher, a baker, and a biscuit-maker. Presently, she is a food editor, freelance food writer, and a tour guide for Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours.

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