I’m so happy I married the sweetest man. Someone who is thoughtful of me, always. I know he will forever have my best interests at heart, and that not a decision of his is made without thinking of how it will effect me first. I like to think I’m a pretty fun person to be married to, but I know I make his life challenging daily. I change my mind on little things constantly, always throwing him for a loop as to what I feel like doing. Heaven forbid he get attached to something, because I’m bound to convincingly change my mind at least twice before anything gets settled. I make huge messes in the kitchen, I don’t wear the most flattering around-the-house work clothes, and I always need his help with something. Meanwhile he never makes a mess, looks handsome and put together every day, and helps me enthusiastically with a smile whenever I need him. When you feel as if you are slipping up on your end of things in a relationship, it really helps to know how to bake a cake.
I’m sure Scott could sit here and share the ways I enrich his life too, but it just doesn’t feel as “even” as I’d like it to currently. We are going through a season of life where it seems as if there is little freedom to be had and a lot of grinding. The fact we are looking for a new place to live and feel incredibly unsettled is stirring a lot of emotion up inside of us. We have a handful of values we both hold similar to one another in regards to our future home, and are clinging to them tightly – hoping they lead us to a discovery that makes it clear what our next move should be. But for now, we sit in a bit of angst most days. We know this is the part where we need to be patient, work together, and trust the lights will get turned on – and when they do it will be such a sweet relief.
Temporary relief is sinking your teeth into a slice of this cake. Scott has a huge sweet tooth, and my strongest love language is preparing food for others, so I grip onto his love for sweets and try to bake him something special whenever I can manage. Nothing makes up for being a total spaz like walking into the room with a plate of cookies ;). In this case it was a cake I had been dreaming of since I decided I was over summer three months ago and ready for the fall baking palooza to begin. I remember opening the email in early September from Sarah at Cake Over Steak with details on this year’s #virtualpumpkinparty and literally squealing out loud with joy. I could live in autumn forever, eating recipes gathered from this pumpkin party alone. Be sure to pop over to her site to see what everyone else is sharing today! I think there is something like over eighty recipes contributed this year? Beautiful pumpkin insanity.
This cake is moist, fluffy, full of spiced pumpkin flavor, and void of the ingredients that might hold you back from enjoying a slice in the morning. The frosting is a cashew and pecan mix, and once soaked they blend up into the most luscious frosting – similar to buttercream! Flecks of vanilla are dotted throughout the frosting and there is a little extra crunch from the chopped pecans on top. Scott can vouch it goes extra well with a cup of coffee too. After all my sweet man does for me, when he asks, “can I have a slice of this for breakfast”, I say, “heck yes you can”, and I always will. -xx
PUMPKIN SNACK CAKE & MAPLE PECAN FROSTING
Makes one 8×8 inch frosted cake. About 9 servings.
pumpkin snack cake
2 tablespoons ground flax
1/4 cup plus 5 tablespoons water, divided
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup coconut nectar
1/3 cup coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup + 1/3 cup almond flour
1/4 cup + 1/3 cup oat flour
3/4 cup whole spelt flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
a rounded 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
a rounded 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Make the frosting ahead of time: soak the cashews and pecans together in a small bowl with enough purified water to keep them covered for 4 hours. Drain and add to a high speed blender. Add the remaining frosting ingredients and puree on low until smooth – using the tamper to push the mixture down towards the blade. Work the speed up to high slowly while continuing to use the tamper until the frosting is silky smooth without any bumps. Transfer to a small jar and place in the fridge until the cake is ready to frost.
Prepare the cake: Preheat the oven to 350F. To a medium mixing bowl, add the ground flax with 5 tablespoons of water. Set aside for 10 minutes to allow to thicken. Then add the remaining 1/4 cup of water, applesauce, pumpkin puree, coconut nectar, coconut sugar, and vanilla to the bowl. Whisk to mix well.
Place a stainless steel mesh strainer over the bowl, and add the dry ingredients to the strainer to sift over the wet batter (you may need to do the dry ingredients in batches depending on the size of your strainer). Stir gently to incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet, being careful not to over-mix and stopping when the batter is just combined.
Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper and transfer the cake batter to the pan, gently smoothing out evenly with the back of a spatula. Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out completely clean. Lift up the sides of the parchment paper to remove the cake from the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool. When the cake is cool enough to handle, remove the pieces of parchment from the cake, using a large spatula shift the cake onto the rack as you slide the paper out from underneath. Once the cake has cooled, spread the frosting on in an even layer and sprinkle the top with extra chopped pecans if you’d like. Slice and serve, storing leftover cake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Note: this frosting will begin to dry out if left out for too long, therefore I recommend packing away and refrigerating any extra cake you have that is frosted as soon as possible.
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