Monday, September 30, 2013

Pumpkin Cake - an SRC Bonus

Last week there was a little hiccup with the Secret Recipe Club reveal, and one of the hostesses sent out a last minute call asking if anyone could cover a missing blog.  I was in the mood to bake, despite how busy my day was, so I volunteered.  The hostess said that, since it was late, I could share the results with the next group's reveal. So even though I am in group B, and last week's orphan was from group C, we're posting today - with group D.

Mangia is an awesome blog, written by the adorable Chelsy, with a huge variety of recipes to choose from. And a ton of recipes that take into consideration a variety of dietary restrictions, from vegan to gluten free to paleo - there is something for everyone on this blog.

Right away, I found four recipes that I wanted to try. Crazy.

Now, remember that I said I had a busy day? Apparently my cooking mojo was elsewhere that day, because nothing worked out quite like I'd expected.

The first thing I'd wanted to try was making my own coconut butter. I'd never heard of it before, but it's just like any nut butter or seed butter... just... made with coconut! It's used in a whole bunch of the recipes Chelsy has posted and it looked super simple.  But I had two problems. One, the only ingredient is coconut. Unsweetened coconut. Which I thought I had. Turns out I only had sweetened. Hmm... thought I'd try it anyway.  And the second? The way to make it is to grind the coconut in a food processor. All I have is the mini version, an attachment to my immersion blender. But I've made sunflower seed butter in the thing, so I thought I'd be okay.

Umm... not so much. After five minutes, I had to give the machine a break. I'd expected that. I didn't want to burn out the motor. But no matter how many rests I gave it, it was heating up more and more quickly each time I'd go back to it, and after about 20 minutes (half grinding, half resting), I was nowhere near "butter" consistency.

Okay, coconut butter not happening.

So I moved on (skipping the recipe I'd intended to make using said coconut butter...) to another awesome looking recipe that had caught my eye - coconut banana bread bites. The recipe calls for coconut flour, for which I used... the failed coconut butter!

But something didn't work...

These were supposed to be rounder... fuller... more like balls and less like cookies. Mine were definitely too wet, and, even after extra time in the oven, were still very... chewy. But I have to say... they were darn addictive. I knew I'd messed up, but I couldn't stop eating them. And, funny enough, I let little miss taste one after school and she had the same reaction... ("Mom, these are weird... Hmm... can I have another??")

I was determined to do better though.

Did I mention that it was an already busy day? Yeah.

I decided to go for my favorite fall flavor this month - pumpkin.

She has plenty of pumpkin recipe to choose from.  I chose to try the pumpkin bread bars.

The only thing I did differently was to substitute all purpose flour for the coconut flour called for in the recipe, as I was thinking that maybe my homemade non-coconut-butter-coconut-flour was the reason that the banana bread bits hadn't had the right consistency.  Oh, and I used a round pan instead of a square one (my square one was already in use).

My resutls?

Well, didn't look like any pumpkin bread I'd ever seen, but it sure as heck looked good!  And I made a simple confectioners' sugar-coconut milk-maple syrup glaze to go over it (since the glaze accompanying Chelsy's recipe included... you guessed it... coconut butter...), which definitely went a long way in improving the aesthetics of my version.

The resulting cake (because really, I couldn't call it a bread...) was very custard-y, but super duper delicious. Little miss absolutely loved it and asked for it for her after school snack all week long.

So, Chelsy, I am sorry that I wasn't able to do any of your recipes the justice I was hoping to, but I have to say that your blog has inspired me, and I will absolutely not give up.

Pumpkin Cake
(only slightly adapted from Mangia)

1 cup pure canned pumpkin
4 eggs
1/4 cup coconut milk
3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (or melted coconut oil)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour (coconut flour, if you have it)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8×8 in. square baking dish with cooking spray (I used an 8 inch round pan).
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, eggs, milk, oil, vanilla, and sugar until smooth.
Stir in the flour, cinnamon, and baking soda.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing it out evenly with a spatula.
Bake for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the top is lightly golden.
Allow the cake to cool completely.
If desired, as it is cooling, you can prepare a simple glaze of confectioners' sugar (1 cup), maple syrup (2 tablespoons) and coconut milk (approximately 2 tablespoons, adjust until you have the consistency you want). Drizzle the glaze over the cake once it has cooled.



  1. Delicious! Pumpkin anything is a MUST right now. Love pumpkin, great SRC pick!

  2. how sweet of you to come up to the rescue so efficiently! And with a wonderful recipe, perfect to welcome Fall!

    Great to have you in Group D, hope you have a chance to browse through today's collection of recipes...

  3. Oh my gosh... this looks AMAZING! Whether or not it was supposed to come out like this, I think it's definitely a success! Yum!

  4. The pumpkin cake still looks amazing! Great pick for the season!

  5. Wonderful recipe choice for Reveal Day~ Perfect for this time of year:) Lynn @ Turnips 2 Tangerines

  6. I think the pumpkin cake looks fantastic! Great SRC choice!

  7. Looks delicious! Great choice..happy reveal day :)

  8. How can you go wrong with pumpkin anything this time of year!? Awesome job this month :)

  9. Shelley! You totally rocked it! Thanks for helping out and stepping in to post a recipe from my blog. The pumpkin cake looks amazing. Don't fret about the coconut butter, I tried using sweetened coconut the first time and it was a super fail :) Now it's a no brainer! I can make it in my sleep. Those banana bread bites are worth another try they are my fave! Thanks again! Awesome post and I luuuuuv your blog!

  10. Good for you for not giving up despite all your attempts! The end result definitely looks worth it!

  11. haha..thanks for keeping it real and yes, not giving up. It looks really good!

  12. Well heck, for a recipe gone "wrong" it looks and sounds pretty right to me!!

  13. I need to have my recipes go wrong like this! It looks sooo good. I'm pinning to make it soon. I love pumpkin in just about anything. And welcome to Group D, if only for a day :-)

  14. The idea of making my own coconut butter blows my mind, especially since I can't get the stuff in the supermarket (I live in Argentina). So I'm off to find unsweetened coconut! And that cake/bread, it looks phenomenal, no matter what you first intended to make!


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