Joan's Pumpkin Loaf
Source: Maida Heatter's Cakes (Andrews & McMeel Publishing, 2011 ed.), pg. 253.
This is insanely good! I always make a pumpkin roll with cream cheese filling every year but I decided to try something different. Maida raved about this in her introduction and she was right - it is fantastic.
One note about the dates: I bought a package of pitted dates and sliced them cross-wise two or three times depending on the size of the dates. The dates were hollow in the middle which caused flour to accumulate and not incorporate into the mix. I would suggest that you slice the dates vertically and then horizontally to avoid having air pockets where the flour can accumulate. You still want the dates to be sizeable chunks.
2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
2 cups granulated sugar or light brown sugar, firmly packed (I used 1 cup white sugar and 1 cup of brown sugar)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 lb. (2 cups) canned pumpkin (solid packed, not pumpkin pie filling)
8 oz. (1 cup) pitted dates, each date into 2 or 3 pieces
4 oz. (1 cup) walnuts, cut or broken into medium-sized pieces
Preheat oven to 350 and adjust rack 1/3 up from the bottom. Butter or spray a 10x5x3 inch loaf pan (or a loaf pan with a 10 cup capacity). You can also use two smaller pans and make 2 separate loafs. Dust the pan with fine, dry bread crumbs.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cloves and set aside.
|A hand held mixer is perfectly fine or you can even mix it by hand. In a large bowl, slightly beat the eggs.|
|Add the sugar, beating just to mix.|
|Add the oil, just to mix.|
|Mix in the pumpkin.|
|Add the dates.|
|Add the flour mixture and stir or beat only until it is mixed.|
|Add the nuts.|
|If you are using a large pan, bake for 70-80 minutes. If using smaller pans, baking time will be less, about 55-65 minutes. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing the cake to cool on a rack.|