Recipe by Engrossed
Try this soft fruity pumpkin cake. When I saw the contest ingredients that could be used in baked goods, orange and pumpkin immediately came to mind to tie them all together. What I came up with is extra special for you to bake and give to family and friends during the Holidays. You can easily make this in 12 muffin tins or double it in a bundt pan. For gift giving, mini loaf pans are nice. I’m giving you a choice of 3 delicious toppings: dust with confectioner’s sugar, frost it with neufchatel frosting or ice it with white chocolate icing. Or you can make multiple loafs and try all 3! This gets even better after it sits for a couple of days, the spice and orange flavors come out more.
Top Review by sjfeeks
Utterly fantastic! My family has declared it a must for all winter holidays. They said it tasted like a moist pumpkin fruit cake. Admit I used chopped, crystalized ginger in the absence of having fresh ginger, and for a double batch, I used 1 1/2 tsp. of Boyajian orange oil in place of the orange zest. Used all unbleached white flour as I ran out of whole wheat. Bumped up the cinnamon a bit, too, as we like spice. Otherwise, I followed the recipe as is. We didn't want or need sugar or frosting. It's amazing how much fruit and nuts this batter can hold. Thank you, Engrossed!
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 eggs
- 1⁄2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1⁄2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1⁄4-1⁄2 cup granulated sugar (depending on how sweet you would like it)
- 1 -2 tablespoon orange zest (fresh is best)
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated (optional)
- 3⁄4 cup whole wheat flour (you can use all all-purpose if you like)
- 1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cardamom or 1⁄2 teaspoon allspice
- 1⁄4-1⁄2 cup dried cranberries
- 1⁄4-1⁄2 cup dates, pitted and chopped
- 1⁄4-1⁄2 cup pecans, chopped (optional)
- confectioners' sugar, to dust unless using one of the options below (powdered sugar)
Optional Neufchatel Frosting
- 4 ounces neufchatel cheese
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 1⁄2-2 cups confectioners' sugar (powdered sugar)
- orange juice, to thin frosting if needed
- 1⁄4 cup pecans, chopped to top (optional)
Optional White Chocolate Icing
- 2 tablespoons white chocolate chips (1oz)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1⁄8 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1⁄2 cup confectioners' sugar (powdered sugar)
Directions See How It's Made
- Preheat oven to 350°F Grease a loaf pan.
- In a large bowl, beat together pumpkin, eggs, oil, vanilla, sugars, orange zest and grated ginger. Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk dry ingredients together. Beat into wet mixture until well combined. Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Stir in cranberries, dates, and pecans, if desired.
- Pour into greased loaf pan and bake for 60-70 minutes, until tests clean.
- Let cool in pan for 10 minutes and then loosen edges with a butter knife and turn out onto a cooling rack.
- To serve: Dust cooled cake with powdered sugar or frost with frosting or drizzle with icing.
- Optional Frosting: Cream neufchatel and butter together. Beat in vanilla, orange zest and nutmeg. Beat in confectioner’s sugar until right consistency is reached. Add orange juice if it becomes too thick. Frost cake with frosting and sprinkle pecans over the frosting, if desired. You can also cut the loaf in half and frost in between layers.
- Optional Icing: In a 1-2 cup pyrex, melt butter and white chocolate chips in the microwave for 60 seconds. Stir until smooth with a fork. Stir in nutmeg and orange zest. Stir in milk and confectioner’s sugar until smooth. Drizzle over cake.
- Wrap cooled loaf with plastic wrap or foil and store at room temperature or refrigerate. Refrigerate if frosted or iced.
- To freeze: Wrap cooled loaf tightly with plastic wrap or foil and place in a Ziploc bag and freeze it for gift giving at a later date. If you frost or ice it, you can put it on a cookie sheet and freeze it until firm, then wrap it and place in a Ziploc bag.