I love this time of year. Clear and sunny, cold and crisp air, and the sunlight is just golden everywhere it shines. And the flavours of Fall are my favourite, too; creamy soups, steamy cups of tea, and lovely spicy cakes and cookies.
I wanted to make a nice, easy cake that would suit the weather, and when I stumbled on this recipe I knew it fit the bill. It looks like a quickbread, but trust me - this puppy is a cake. I'm afraid you can't fool yourself into thinking this is anything but dessert. The pumpkin makes it moist without adding any additional flavouring, because the real stars of this show are cinnamon and allspice. And oh lordy, you should smell the place when this cake is baking...it's like living in a gingerbread house! Mmmmmm, edible housing.
It couldn't be simpler to make, either. The whole assembly probably took me about 10 minutes from start to finish. All you do is cream together some butter and sugar, throw in an egg, spicy flour, and pumpkin puree. I was feeling lazy when I made this, so the loaf cake part of it really appealed to me - no arseing around with icing cakes, because it looks just fine without it. I had it with Betty Crocker's French Vanilla icing (I was lazy, I told you), but it would be great with cream cheese icing or even chocolate. Any way you slice it, this cake is just tangible coziness, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
PUMPKIN SPICE LOAF CAKE
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup chopped pecans (optional - I hate nuts)
2 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1 cup pumpkin purée, canned or homemade
1. Cream butter and sugar together. Add egg and vanilla, and beat until light and fluffy.
2. In a separate bowl, sift together the cake flour, spices, salt, and baking soda. You really need to sift the cake flour, or it will be lumpy.
3. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in milk. Add remaining dry ingredients alternately with the pumpkin puree.
4. Pour batter into pan, and bake at 350 degrees for 50 - 60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool before icing.