So I just finally got around to watching Cupcake Girls. I never watch TV. NEVER. The only two television series indulgences I will ever give into are Mad Men and Portlandia. Other than that, the room I spend the least time in is the one with a TV in it. Conveniently, my dad is the one that hogs it every night anyway. But we have that "on demand" digital cable thing and every now and then when I feel like I need to force myself to be a couch potato (especially since I continue to have these reoccurring achilles tendonitis flare-ups on my right foot and I am stubborn and have the worst time following R.I.C.E... I like to run, dammit!), I turn to the remote control. Mainly in the search for cooking shows, mind you. So tonight I was pleasantly surprised to find four 20-minute episodes of these two women in the cupcake business! And I have to say I am definitely reconsidering opening a cupcake bakery business after all of that. I admire what they do and they seem like awesome ladies, but holy moly. Talk about stress. But they also admitted they were never bakers and never made or baked their recipes before. I have to say I'm a bit disappointed. But hey, I guess it's a business. Still very insightful, especially about hiring proper employees, having quality test-controlled products, all of the little idiosyncrasies that go along with owning a bakery business (weddings, holidays, etc). For now, I think I'll be satisfied enough to live vicariously through them, thanks.
Anyhow, I haven't had much of a sweet tooth lately. Which I guess is convenient, as I'm back at it, in school (finally cleaning teeth now!), and haven't had any time to bake. But when this last rainy 4-day weekend rolled around, I found the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the few extra cans of pumpkin puree lying around that I sadly neglected around the holidays. So I turned to Veganomicon. And realized that it was time I got around to making this awesome pumpkin coffee cake that I've been meaning to make for years because, you know, pumpkin and I have a very special relationship.
This is seriously the most dense, moist, and deliciously spiced pumpkin cake my taste buds have ever witnessed. It's perfect. Pretty much a coffee cake, but better. And what could be better than coffee cake?
Something with pumpkin in it. In a 9x13 inch cake pan.
If I don't open a cupcake bakery, I'll at least open a store with all things pumpkin. This will be on the menu.
(Oh yeah, and I've been experimenting with gluten-free flours lately just for fun because experimenting is what I love and do best, so I modified this recipe to make it gluten-free as well. I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Baking Flour.) Enjoy.
Pumpkin Crumb Cake with Pecan Streusel
Makes 16 squares
Adapted from Veganomicon
1/4 cup gluten-free flour blend
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1 (15-ounce) can pure pureed pumpkin
3/4 cups non-dairy milk
3/4 cups canola oil
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups gluten-free flour blend
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.
Prepare the streusel: In a small bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, and spices. Drizzle in the canola oil with your fingertips until crumbs form. Add the chopped pecans and mix.
Prepare the cake: In a large mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin, soy milk, oil, granulated sugar, molasses, and vanilla. Mix well. Add roughly half the flour, the baking powder, xanthan gum, salt, and spices, and use a fork to fold everything together. Add the remaining flour and mix gently until combined. (Don't use a hand blender.) Blending with a fork helps maintain the texture.
Pour batter into the prepared baking pan and spread it out with a spatula. Scatter the streusel on top as evenly as possible. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted through the center comes clean.
Remove from the oven, let cool, and cut into squares. Small squares, big squares, any which square you'd like.