What are the flavors and aromas of autumn, a season that smells of rain in the freshness of mornings and that, in a few days, will invite the warmth of a woolen scarf around the neck? Apples, pears and persimmons arrive, chestnuts and sweet potatoes, pumpkins and quinces, walnuts and hazelnuts, so many good things that make their way into our kitchens, guided by the most melancholic of seasons.
Pumpkin, almonds and plenty of spices give to this cake the colors and flavors of the season. It’s a moisty and aromatic cake, simple like all the cakes I like to bake and eat; that leaves an incredible aroma in the kitchen while it cooks in the oven.
Pumpkin almond spiced cake
serves 8 to 10
For the pumpkin puree:
- 450g pumpkin
For the topping:
- 40g all-purpose flour
- 110g brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of sea salt
- 85g unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
- 100g finely sliced almonds (you can also use walnuts or hazelnuts, your favorite)
For the cake:
- 200g all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 115g unsalted butter
- 220g brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (see how to make homemade vanilla extract)
- 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
- Confectioners sugar, for dusting
- To make the pumpkin puree (you can make it in advance, the day before; you can also make a larger quantity and freeze it for using later, in another cake our in a soup, for example): roast the pumpkin on the oven, at 200°C, for about 1 hour or until soft when pressed. Allow to cool, scoop the flesh out of the skin, if you roasted the pumpkin with the skin, make a puree and store in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Butter and flour a (23 cm) spring form pan. Start by making the topping. In a bowl combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Pinch in the butter until it looks like coarse crumbs. Mix in the sliced almonds. Keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to top the cake.
- Now for the batter. With a mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Stir in the vanilla, cinnamon, clove, ginger, nutmeg, salt, pumpkin puree and yogurt and combine well. Stir in the flour, baking powder and baking soda until just combined.
- Spread the batter in the prepared pan. Sprinkle the topping over the batter and then bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake. Allow to cool completely. Remove from the pan and dust with confectioners sugar.
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