What a great weekend! We had GREAT sunshine and weather thanks to God! On Friday night we went to an MSU fundraiser that featured the 5 accapella groups at MSU. They were all pretty cool, especially when one of the groups sang Nothin’ on You by B.o.B.
Saturday turned out to be a perfect day starting with an hour of zumba with my favorite teachers. We headed out with 5 friends to the Cider Mill at St. Johns. The people started peeling into the mill waiting to get in line for some apple cider and pumpkin donuts. There were wagon rides to the pumpkin patch and the apple orchard too. I got my dose of Vitamin D. I also got a perfect pumpkin to decorate the front of the house and candy pumpkins to decorate the inside of the house. It was wonderful being able to pick up our own pumpkins.
|My friend’s baby, Adelle|
After this great little trip, we headed to my friend’s home for dinner, where my friend made FRESH bread for French Dip Sandwich. I prepared salad and the spice cake for dessert. I had a leftover main dish for myself so I enjoyed that with a lot of green salad and some fresh bread.
After we took a break from dinner to clean up the dishes, we sat down for some coffee and dessert. Let me tell you a bit about the spice cake. I grew up not really caring for spiced cakes over the holidays but seeing all the options for pumpkin, I decided I would try a new recipe and see how I liked it.
The cake recipe came from the The Conscious Kitchen, a great website for vegan baked goods. Even though the author has not posted in a year, her recipes still sounds delicious. I used here cake recipe and made my own Spiced Buttercream to complete the cake. I also decided to add fig preserves between the one layer. The cake layer really rose but then somewhat flattened a bit so I sliced it in half so it could have a little more heighth. You can also just double the recipe and make two layers as well.
My friends asked me if my dessert was vegan because they all loved it. They asked me how I made the frosting since it tasted like a regular dessert. Who knew that healthy dessert could taste so sinful? Oh, pick me! I knew! 🙂 I can’t wait to try these as cupcakes, because they would be amazing! I will be making this for Thanksgiving and for my family in Texas when I go. Enjoy!
Spicy Chocolate Pumpkin Cake
makes one 8-inch cake
3 oz chopped dark chocolate
¾ cup pumpkin purée, fresh or canned
½ cup water
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
½ cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ cup canola oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon ground cloves
⅛ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
Preheat oven to 350. Prepare an 8” cake pan with parchment in the bottom and oiled sides. Over a saucepan of boiling water in a bowl or in a microwave, working in 30 second increments, melt chocolate.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, water, vinegar, sugar, vanilla, oil and sea salt.
In a large bowl, sift together the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda and baking powder. Add in spices and whisk to combine.
Pour liquid into dry mixture while whisking until combined in a smooth batter. Pour in melted chocolate and whisk well to combine. Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Spiced Buttercream Frosting
1/2 cup Earth Balance, buttery spread (vegan)
1/4 cup Spectrum organice all-vegetable shortening
2 cups powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla bean paste or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground all-spice
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 Tablespoon non-dairy milk ( I used coconut milk)
Place all ingredients in your mixer and whip the buttercream until very light. This buttercream is light in its spices but it has a perfect balance with the cake.
3/4 -1 cup fig preserves
After the cake has cooled completely, slice the cake in half and divide set aside. Place bottom layer on cake plate and add the fig preserves first and layer evenly. Then add 3 Tablespoons of frosting and spread evenly.
Add top layer and begin icing the side of the cake with an icing spatula or wide knife. Continue icing the top of the cake and frost evenly.
Using a grater, take a block of chocolate and shave some chocolate on the top layer of the cake. Enjoy!