I had a play day on Friday. I was inspired by all the other blogs that have been using pumpkin in their posts and that lead to the craving! I would have baked a pumpkin from scratch but I was without my car, so off to the skimpy pantry I went. Thankfully, there was an extra large can of packed pumpkin. Since I am such a freak about sweet breads (no not the organ meat kind) I had to make Pumpkin Cake. I have a the very first cookbook that I ever purchased and it's been the best book ever since. As much as I love the newer ones, this one is, "Old Faithful" as far as I'm concerned. I purchased the book when I was single and lived alone. I really didn't know much about cooking, but I knew lots about being a hungry college student. The book is The Farm Journal's Country Cookbook. The copyright date inside the book is 1972, but I think that I bought it in 1977 when I moved away from home for the first time.
So, I whipped open my aged cookbook and looked up Pumpkin and found a Pumpkin Cake. I don't have two cake pans anymore so I used my trusty Red silicon loaf pan. I mixed up all the ingredients and got a lovely surprise at the end. There's too much batter for the loaf pan. Cripes. You know me, I put it all in there anyway thinking it wouldn't matter. UGH. It didn't but it did. I set the timer for 30 minutes and checked out it. Looked pretty good so far, but I jiggled it and it was raw in the middle so I set the timer for another 20 minutes. Checked again, still raw. Nuts on top are turning a lovely deep brown color. Opps. So I set the timer for another 20 minutes. After 90 total minutes in the oven I finally gave up. I took it out. It was buldging on the sides and it looked pregnant. What a site.
I was really pleased with how large it was but the nuts on top were well past "lightly toasted". So I cut that bad boy up, slathered it up with some butter and ate a slice. Now where is Michelle when you need to have someone to gossip with, drink tea, and eat stuff from the blog???
Then being the brilliant person that I am, I mixed up another batch of Pumpkin Cake and this time I learned from my mistakes! I baked the batter in my Wilton mini loaf pan set. It bearly fit but as you can see from the photo, but they turned out nicely. So making a mistake turned out well. Now let's see about that chicken and the burning silicon pot holder episode! LOL!
1/2 cup shortening (butter will do well also)
1 cup sugar (I used the Splenda Sugar for Baking and that reduced the amount to 1/2 cup)
1 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
2 eggs, beaten (give me a break, I just broke them open and tossed them in!)
1 cup cooked, mashed pumpkin or winter squash
3 cups cake flour (I made with AP flour)
4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 milk (any kind will do-I used fat free Lactaid milk)
1 cup walnuts chopped (I did actually use them)
1 tsp Maple flavoring (I didn't have any so used the 'ole stand by-VANILLA)
Cream shortening (or butter) and slowly add sugars, eggs, and pumpkin.
Sift together flour, baking powder and soda (get a grip! I threw in the baking powder and soda and then added one cup at a time into the Kitchen Aid-if you add more than a little at a time, that stuff goes all over the place!) then add alternately with milk to creamed mixure (yet grip again! I put the milk in the beginning with all the other wet ingredients).
Fold in walnuts and Maple Flavoring (okay so I don't really follow a recipe-add this stuff when you feel like it)
This is where I got stupid, I mean daring...
Pour into 3 (count 'em 3) 8" greased round layer cake pans. Bake in a moderate oven (350) for 30 minutes. Cool on racks. (What a laugh)!
I took a hand full of more brown sugar and tossed that with a hand full of walnuts and mixed them together in a bowl. After pouring the batter into the loaf pan I sprinkled the mixture on top. Now, if you make this a layer cake it really shouldn't take 90 minutes. If you decide to make this a loaf cake, then you really need to be smarter than I was and use two pans. If you do the minis that aren't connected together, it might take 7 pans. So please save yourself lots of time and don't make the same mistakes, I mean experiments that I did.