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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

My cousin Laurie Gage, z”l, gave us an amazing pumpkin chocolate chip cake recipe that continues to thrive in my family’s kitchen every autumn. I have made it practically every week this month. It’s a perfect pareve dessert and breakfast item (lunch, afternoon snack, dinner...). The fall flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg pair perfectly with the pumpkin. Since I live in a family of picky eaters, it’s no small thing to get my family eating such a healthy ingredient.

I have sometimes altered Laurie’s recipe with white whole wheat flour. I found it builds a slightly chewier loaf, closer to a muffin than a cake. With the muffin method, it’s important to only mix the wet ingredients and the dry separately, and then mix the batter only until combined; Any longer will overactivate the baking powder and make the crumb too crumbly. With white whole wheat, it holds together well but is drier than the same product made with white flour, so feel free to add a couple of extra tablespoons of pumpkin puree or applesauce. This is an endlessly adaptable recipe, and you can replace the sugar with honey or agave; I invite you to try your own combination and tell me what you think!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups white whole wheat flour (or all purpose flour)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice mix
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable oil
  • 2 cups pureed pumpkin (or one small can)
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Procedure

Preheat oven to 350º F. Sift dry ingredients together. Beat eggs, sugar and oil until light in color. Add, alternately, dry ingredients and pumpkin, mixing between each addition. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour until half full into large, greased/sprayed tube pan (or 9 x 13 pan). Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, until dry in center. This cake also may be baked in muffin tins, two 8” x 8” pans or two large loaf pans or three small ones. The baking time will be shorter if you use smaller pans or muffin tins, so keep an eye on them. Recipe can be easily halved or doubled. The cake is done when a toothpick through the middle comes away clean.

By Elizabeth Kratz