Friday, November 1, 2013

Pumpkin Cranberry Tea Cake

Thank you Oprah!

This cake is plenty sweet enough, but using agave syrup, which is milder than sugar, allows the creamy pumpkin flavor and the tart berries to meld smoothly.  I was really happy to find a cranberry coffee cake recipe that doesn't have any butter or margarine.

 Makes 2 loaves

·   2 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour 
      NOTE:  I use some whole-wheat flour in the mix
·   1 tsp. baking soda
·   1/2 tsp. baking powder
·   1/2 tsp. salt
·   1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
·   1/2 tsp. ground ginger
·   1/4 tsp. ground allspice
·   1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
·   3 eggs
·   1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree
·   1/2 cup canola or other neutral-flavored vegetable oil
·   1 cup agave syrup, preferably light
·   1 1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries (if frozen, don't defrost first) -- set aside about 1/2 cup
        NOTE:  I chopped the cranberries first
·   1 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped -- set aside about 1/2 cup


Oil and flour two 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-by-2 1/2-inch loaf pans or spray with nonstick cooking spray.  NOTE:  I "flour" the pans with spice or vanilla cake mix

I know this isn't the proper way to make a cake, but it works for me:

In the Cuisinart whip together the oil, eggs, pumpkin, agave syrup, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and nutmeg

Quickly add the nuts and cranberries (be sure to set aside 1/2 cup of each for toppings).

Pour this batter into a mixing bowl and add the flour and mix thoroughly (but don't over-mix).

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. 

Scatter the remaining 1/2 cup each of cranberries and nuts evenly over the tops, pushing them gently into the batter to help them adhere and prevent burning.

Bake until the tops of the cakes spring back when pressed lightly in the center with a fingertip, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool in the pans on wire racks for about 20 minutes. Run a knife around the inside edge of each pan to loosen the cake sides, then unmold the cakes onto the racks. Let cool completely before serving.

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