Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Mmmmm Pumpkin

I blame Costco. There I was today, minding my own business, headed for the produce section, when I passed a whole end filled with HUGE pumpkin pies..probably 12 inches across or larger. To make matters worse, these enormous pies were less than $6 each. Now all I wanted was to eat pumpkin pie!...or at least something with pumpkin in it. There is no way that Sweetie and I should ever have a pie that big in the house unless we will be having guest over, too, because we could eat the whole thing at one the pie stayed at Costco. Since the yen for pumpkin was now fixed in my brain, I made some little pumpkin fairy cakes instead. That way we can each have one and I can freeze the rest for another time when the urge for pumpkin and spices and sweetness comes over me. This also gave me a way to use up some of the left over cream cheese frosting from the macarons. Always a good thing to use up left overs, right?

You can bake this as one large pumpkin flavored pound cake as the recipe was originally written, too. Just slather the top of the cooled loaf with the frosting or dust with sugar.

Pumpkin Spice Fairy Cakes
adapted from Instant Gratification by Lauren Chattman

1 cup all purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 large eggs
One 15 oz. can pumpkin puree (or equivalent fresh cooked pumpkin puree)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray small cake pans, muffin tins and/or loaf pans with cooking spray and dust with flour if not included in the spray. I recommend Bakers’ Joy if you are using Nordic ware pans as I was today for the small heart shaped fairy cakes.

Combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in the work bowl of a food processor and pulse once or twice. Cut the butter into 8 or so pieces and add to the bowl (I distributed the butter pieces evenly around the bowl).

Add one of the eggs. Process until the dry ingredients are moistened.

In a mixing bowl mix together the pumpkin puree, second egg and vanilla.

With the food processor running, add the pumpkin mixture through the feed tube and process until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice as necessary.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pans with the spatula and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The time will vary with the size of the pan but the small cakes took about ½ hour and the mini-loaf pan took about 45 minutes. If you make this in a regular size loaf pan as the original recipe calls for, allow about 1 hour 10 minutes.

Let cool in the pan(s) on a wire rack about 10 minutes. Invert the pans or gently remove from the pans, reinvert and let cool completely.

Sprinkle cooled cakes with powdered sugar using a fine mesh strainer, or frost with icing. I used the leftover cream cheese maple apple frosting from the macarons.


  1. Man, certain sections of Costco are SO EVIL that I don't go there. I stay well away from the bakery; I used to have to pick up their muffins for our office, and that. was. bad.

    However: I never say no to pumpkin pie. I just eliminate the crust and have pumpkin custard. It's SO GOOD for you. Of course, I don't follow most pie recipes -- using no eggs, a little less sugar and so on, but squash and a little milk and spices? I could eat it every day. Seriously.

    ...I've never even seen fairy cakes! Must try this. I have some pumpkin purée in the freezer...

  2. Another Elle special to add to my must try list!

  3. Anonymous12:48 AM

    Those look delish! Maybe I'll make these to use up the pumpkin we had for Zorba. Do you think the minibundt pan is the way to go, or muffins? Do you think it will matter that I'll be short a tablespoon or two of pumpkin (that we gave to Zorba)?

    I also really love the picture of the salad on skewers (I forget the name of it) that you have as the banner photo.

    Love and hugs,

  4. What a great blog! I am an old friend of your Sweetie and he pointed me here. Little did I know how delicious your blog would be in more ways than one. I just love it. All of it... from the recipes to the photographs to your wonderful personal style. Congratulations! You have just one over an enthusiastic fan!


  5. Tanita, I wish I could make the pumpkin custard without the eggs and sugar, but I love it too much that way. These little gems are not very healthy, but if I only eat one I think it is OK.

    Dharm, Do try this recipe. If you bake the whole of the batter in a loaf pan it is pretty easy and quick...and yummy!

    Natasha, The loss of a small amount of pumpkin won't hurt the recipe at all. The minibunt pans would be wonderful! I didn't know tha Zorba was eating I'll always think of him when I cook with I did today. Hugs and love to you and W!

    The Pet Auntie, So glad to "meet" you and so glad you enjoy the blog. Given your background, I'm flattered that you like the photos. Hope you will stop by again and visit us in person if time allows.