Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Joan's Pumpkin Loaf

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 eggs
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.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan(s) and smooth the top.
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.
This can be wrapped in plastic wrap after cooling and refrigerated for several days or it can be frozen.


Randy said...

That looks D-lish-us! Phillip, I'm trying to talk my mother into giving me her old Sunbeam mixer she never uses. She hasn't budged much on it though. I might just have to break down and buy me one.

Sarah/ Galloping Horse Garden said...

She also has a terrific pumpkin cake that you bake in a bundt pan. It's great for Thanksgiving (maybe next year). Check it out - it's from her first book (Book of Great Desserts).
PS - I found your site after stumbling on your garden blog. I have long been a Maida Heatter fan - Mulattoes are the pinnacle of cookiehood, in my opinion!

Phillip Oliver said...

Sarah, I've noticed the pumpkin cake recipe but have yet to try it. Thanks for visiting and commenting!

Anonymous said...

I make the Joan's Pumpkin Loaf every year around Thanksgiving. It gets rave reviews in the office.

Mama Mika said...

I use to make this recipe all the time for my coffee shop . Still a favorite.

Mani said...

HI Phillip

I tried this recipe yesterday. It turned out contrary to the reviews.I am convinced it's bcoz I used gluten free flour. Probably that's what is making the taste of baking soda very strong and giving it funny after taste.

May be I shall retry it following the recipe exactly.