As the winter months creep in and the howling sounds of the cold wind become louder, we crave those foods that bring us comfort and calm. And winter just isn’t winter without the comfort food that is pumpkin. This olive oil, pumpkin, almond, and spice cake offers the ultimate remedy to winter blues, mediterranean style.
The olive oil combined with almonds provides for a velvety smooth texture. The crispy baked almonds give the smooth and moist cake a bit of of a crunch and variety in its character. And most importantly, the Eastern spices such as all-spice and cloves complement the rich pumpkin to entertain the palate. Indeed, this is the ultimate dessert of the autumn season in all of its colors and flavors.
INGREDIENTS/ SERVES 8-12
1 1/2 cups (140 g) ground blanched almonds/ almond flour
1/2 cup (65 g) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon all-spice
1/2 can pumpkin puree (about 1 cup/ 215 g)
3/4 cup (160 g/ 180 ml) olive oil
2 teaspoons quality vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup (300 g) white sugar
1/3 cup (60g) packed light or dark brown sugar
2-3 tablespoons sliced almonds
1. Preheat oven to 350 F/ 180 C
2. Separate your dry and wet ingredients into two bowls, except for the sugar. In one bowl, combine the almond flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. In another bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, olive oil, vanilla extract, white sugar, and brown sugar.
3. With a hand mixer, mix your wet ingredients until well combined. Add one egg at a time and mix after each addition on low-medium speed. Mix for an additional minute or until the mixture has become smooth and the eggs are fully incorporated into the mixture.
4. Mix your dry ingredients and slowly tip them into the pumpkin mixture in about 3 batches. Mix until smooth.
5. Line a rectangular baking pan (about 13 by 9-in) with parchment paper. This allows for a smooth removal after the cake is baked. Make sure to scrunch up the baking paper into a ball before placing it on the pan, so that it better fits the mold.
6. With a baking paddle, scoop the cake mixture into the pan. Scatter the sliced almonds on the batter.
7. Bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
8. Leave to cool for about 15 minutes before removing the cake from the mold. Eat cool with a dollop of cream on top or warm with some vanilla ice cream.