There are a lot of things I love about the fall. Football, colorful crunchy leaves, thick socks and most of all – the abundance of pumpkin EVERYTHING. As I was going through Yotam Ottolenghi’s new cook book, “Sweet”, I stumbled upon a delish spice cake recipe that uses pumpkin pie spice! So in the spirit of Halloween, I had to test it.
Growing up, my mom would make the most delicious spice cakes every year (she’s an amazing baker and constantly gets asked to make her famous rum cakes, spice cakes and chocolate rolls). So, as I try to channel my mom and Ottolenghi, here is what I came up with! Of course I had to give it a flare, so I added toasted hazelnuts, fresh sage and dates to the batter. And let me tell you, the kitchen smelled AMAZING.
¾ cup butter, at room temperature
¾ packed cup dark brown sugar
¾ packed cup light brown sugar
finely grated zest of 1 large orange
3 large eggs
½ cup sour cream
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 heaping tsp pumpkin pie spice (YUM)
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp apple cider vin
Rian’s Mix In’s (add anything you like! )
2 tbsp chopped fresh sage
¼ cup chopped toasted hazelnuts
½ cup sliced dates
1 tsp flour
- Preheat oven to 375 Degrees. Grease a standard 9×5 loaf pan and line with parchment paper, then set aside.
- Place the butter, sugars and orange zest in a bowl and beat until lightened and smooth.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, sour cream and vanilla extract until smooth
4. In another separate bowl (lots of bowls!), sift the flour, pumpkin pie spice and salt together.
5. In alternate batches, slowly mix the egg mixture and flour mixture in with the butter and sugars. When almost combined, stir the baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl until it fizzes and add to the mixture.
6. In my version of the recipe, I added in toasted hazelnuts, dates and chopped sage to the batter! Stir the additional ingredients with a pinch of flour. This will ensure that they won’t sink to the bottom of the cake. Mix to combine.
7. Scrape the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 50-55 minutes.
8. Allow the cake to cool and serve with a glass of wine or a hot coffee (I prefer the wine). I smothered mine with homemade butternut squash and cream cheese icing, but the cake itself can stand alone. Enjoy! And have the happiest Halloween!!