The other day, my friend Jen — who is one of those people with good taste, a quick laugh, and the neat trick of making...Read More
Paleo Pumpkin Gingerbread Cake With Maple-Vanilla Frosting
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday!
We’re keeping it low key this year: It’s just Dave, Smudge, and I digging into a smallish feast of roast duck (with a stuffing made of pork and apples), my paleo cranberry waldorf salad, green beans with bacon, velvety butternut squash (a new Well Fed recipe!), and this pumpkin gingerbread cake.
I think this cake tastes best when it’s chilled. It takes on the denser texture of a cake bar, and the frosting tastes and feels like bakery icing. However, you might like it at room temperature or even warmed a bit. Experiment! You can’t really go wrong, it is cake, after all.
NOTE to Whole30ers: This is a treat and includes maple syrup, so it’s not Whole30-compliant.
Pumpkin Gingerbread Cake With Maple-Vanilla Frosting
1 cup pumpkin purée (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1 cup almond butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (cornstarch free)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/3 cup coconut butter
1/2 cup coconut oil or ghee
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pecan halves or whole almonds for garnish
Preheat oven to 350F.
Make the cake. In a medium sized bowl, combine all the cake ingredients and mix thoroughly to combine. Pour into an 8×8 oven-safe baking dish. Bake until completely cooked through, about 30 minutes.
Make the frosting. Place the coconut butter and coconut oil in a microwave-safe dish and heat until softened, but not melted. The length of time you need to nuke it will depend on the temperature in your house, so start with 30-second increments and repeat until you get the right consistency. Place the coconut butter and oil in a large mixing bowl, then add the maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Beat until fluffy with a standing or hand mixer. If you don’t have a mixer, go at it with a whisk… and good luck to you!
NOTE: I almost always over-heat the coconut oil and coconut butter, and it gets liquidy. Here’s what to do: mix it per the instructions above, then let it sit at room temperature. As it cools, it will thicken a bit. When it’s the consistency of very thick honey, drizzle it on top of the cold cake. It will tighten up like a frosting glaze, then refrigerate.
Assemble! Allow the cake to cool completely. Completely. For real. When you’re sure it’s cooler than Mr. Mike Ness in Red Square in February, you may cut it into 9 or 16 squares. Dollop a spoonful of frosting onto each square and top with a nut. Do not snarf your cake yet – save it for Thanksgiving dinner!
Chill out. When all squares are frosted, cover lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate. The frosting will firm up in the fridge and the texture transforms into a confection. Serve the cake squares chilled or at room temperature.