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Melt-in-Your-Mouth Pumpkin Cake

Posted: 10/18/11 01:19 PM ET

For many years, we always hosted the neighborhood Halloween party. On the night of Halloween, everyone showed up in costume attire to chow down on big vats of homemade chili, corn muffins and slaw; or large trays of baked ziti, Caesar salad, garlic balls and some sort of festive cocktail. It really depended upon my mood, and how many were expected to show up. One year, a friend of mine brought over a huge tray with a pumpkin-like cake on it. I couldn't figure out what it was. A layer of pumpkin-like mousse, atop some sort of crust, over a sprinkling of pecans.

I took one bite and I was addicted. I can't really call it a cake, even though it is made with a cake mix. It is kind of like a pie, but not really. Her mom called it "Pumpkin Delight," and I have to say, it is delightful. For years, I followed the recipe. Would never have thought to have changed it. But with me being conscious about what I put in the food that I make, thus what ultimately goes into my kids bodies, I decided to test this recipe using more whole ingredients.

I swapped out many of the original ingredients. Instead of evaporated milk (which has a host of preservatives), I used organic, heavy whipping cream; rather than white sugar, I used coconut sugar; and instead of margarine, I used whole, organic butter. I went online and looked at the ingredients in a typical, boxed cake mix and I made my own "yellow cake mix" using pantry staples. It took a few batches before getting the result that I wanted. The end result was just as good, if not better than the original.

It's not the "prettiest" of desserts, but I have taken this to many parties and although I couldn't take credit for it in the past, this new adapted version feels more like my own.

Melt in your Mouth Pumpkin Cake
yield: 1 9″ x 13″ tray, feeds a very big crowd

Ingredients:
for the pumpkin layer:
15 oz. pumpkin puree or make your own
14 oz. organic, heavy whipping cream
1 cup coconut sugar
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3 large, organic eggs

for the cake layer:
2¼ whole-wheat pastry flour
1½ cups coconut sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup chopped pecans
10 oz. unsalted, organic butter

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9″ x 13″ baking dish. Line the bottom of the pan with wax paper. Set aside.

for the cake layer:
Melt butter in a heavy duty sauce pan over medium heat. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the whole-wheat pastry flour, coconut sugar, baking powder and kosher salt. Set aside

for the pumpkin layer:
In a large bowl, whisk the pumpkin puree, heavy cream, coconut sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Pour into prepared baking pan.

assembly:
Sprinkle homemade "cake mix" over the pumpkin layer. Spinkle pecans over cake mix layer. Pour butter, evenly over entire top of cake.

Bake for 1 hour. Cool for 30 minutes. Invert pan and carefully flip over onto a serving platter. Remove wax paper. Dot with homemade whipping cream.


- By Susan Salzman
www.oneforthetable.com