Thursday, November 11, 2010

184. Pumpkin Date Cake, Fragrant (V)

All the members of my family love pumpkin pie and I would probably be made to feel very guilty if I had not made one for our Thanksgiving dinner.

While I enjoy the flavor of pumpkin pie, I do not like the soggy, bottom crust after the pie sits for  a day or so. Left-over pumpkin pie is definitely a second-rate experience. With that said, I like to use the canned pumpkin for other recipes - the flavor is not overpowering, and it has a comforting essence.

Unfortunately, only recipes for pies ever seem to use up a whole can of pumpkin filling. I have thrown out too many partial cans of this familiar squash because I did not take the time to use all of  the contents. The solution to this waste was to collect wonderful pumpkin recipes -  like pumpkin-date cake, pumpkin mousse, pumpkin nut bread and pumpkin waffles. Armed with these recipes, I can easily use up a can or two of cooked pumpkin.

Pumpkin-Date Cake is a delightful, fragrant one-pan type of cake. It is easy to put together, needs no frosting and is perfect for a lunchbox snack or an after-dinner dessert.

Pumpkin-Date Cake

½ C dates, pitted and chopped
½ C walnuts, chopped (or pecans)
2 T flour

¼ C butter or margarine
1 C brown sugar
2/3 C cooked pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs

½ C flour
½ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp pumpkin pie spice
¼ tsp baking soda

Mix ½ C chopped pitted dates, ½ C chopped walnuts and 2 T flour. Set aside.

In saucepan melt ¼ C butter or margarine over low heat; blend in 1 C brown sugar. Remove from heat; stir in 2/3 C cooked pumpkin and 1 tsp vanilla. Beat 2 eggs, one at a time, into pumpkin mixture.

In a bowl mix ½ C flour, ½ tsp baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and ¼ tsp baking soda. Add dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and blend well. Stir in floured dates and nuts. Turn the mixture into a greased 9x1½ inch round pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 min. Serve warm or refrigerate.

Cut in wedges and top with whipped cream or softened ice cream (optional). 8 servings.

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