Confession: I don’t own a whisk.
Or a loaf pan. Or a full set of measuring spoons (they keep getting eaten by the disposal).
I do, however, own about five spatulas, two cupcake pans, a mini muffin pan AND one of those giant cupcake molds, an ice cream maker, Chinese soup spoons that I’ve used approximately never, and a tortilla press, but that’s a different story.
Why the lack of whisk? Because when at the store, I always decide, without fail, that $5 is just too much for a contraption that is a huge pain to clean. And then when I’m at home in the middle of a recipe cursing my cheapness/laziness, I find that a fork will often do just fine. (Erik does not understand this. Hence the difficulty in shopping for men. They tend to buy what they want, when they want it. But I say why be sensible when you can be indecisive?!)
The lack of loaf pan is more problematic. This weekend, I intended to bake a show-stopping pumpkin loaf only to realize, once I had ingredients strewn all over my counter, that the loaf pan I meant to borrow from Erik was still sitting in his kitchen cupboard. I blame this on residual haze from our Scandal marathon. (Erik somehow got hooked this weekend and ditched his finance papers to watch a full season in two days. And I just found out that season 3 starts in. Four. Days. EEEEEEE!!!!) So I made cake instead.
Between the upcoming Scandal premiere and this cake—oh, this cake—today is a pretty fantastic day. This cake is STUFFED with good stuff. Pumpkin is the basis for all things delicious, and the entire loaf is sweetened with just two bananas and some maple syrup. It uses whole wheat flour but you can’t even really tell because oat flour and a ream of spices distract you with insane tenderness and warmth. Because it’s cake and not just a loaf, it needed something on top. This streusel ended up more like a granola that crumbled off enthusiastically, so I recommend smashing it into the cake a bit pre-baking so to reduce the amount of free-falling crumbs. Or if you want a crumbier streusel, use more oat flour and less rolled oats.
It bakes up into a beautiful muted-orange loaf that is irresistibly soft and kind of crazy dense, but fluffy at the same time. You know what I mean. It’s not dense like a brownie, it’s just pretty dense cake that’s so moist it’ll practically stick to your mouth. And it has a crunchydelicious topping! The best kind. AND it’s pretty much completely guilt-free. I mean, do you even want to think about eating anything else for breakfast right now?
Crazy dense and almost stick-to-your-mouth moist, this spiced breakfast cake is sweetened only with bananas and a touch of maple syrup with an oat-filled, granola-like topping. Healthy yet decadent-tasting, this makes for a perfect fall breakfast eaten with a side of yogurt!
- For the cake:
- ¾ cup oat flour (you can grind 3/4 cup rolled oats into flour using a food processor)
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1.5 teaspoons cinnamon (alternatively, you can use 2-3 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice instead of the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves)
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- ¼ nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon cloves
- 2 medium bananas (1 scant cup--use less banana for a more pronounced pumpkin flavor)
- ¾ cup pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup maple syrup*
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 2 teaspoons molasses (optional, for more flavor)
- For the streusel:
- 1/3 cup walnuts, ground into flour
- 1/3 c. rolled oats
- 3 tablespoons oat flour
- ½ tablespoon turbinado sugar
- ½ tablespoon maple syrup
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease an 8x8” pan.
In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients. In a separate bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the mashed bananas, pumpkin, oil, syrup, vanilla, milk and molasses, if using. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
Scrape the batter (it will be thick!) into the pan, rinse out and dry your bowl and make the streusel.
Add all streusel ingredients to the bowl and stir until everything is evenly coated. Sprinkle the mixture over the cake and press it lightly into the batter using your hand. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and the cake springs back lightly under your finger instead of sinking in. Let cool slightly and serve warm.
Store leftover cake in a refrigerated, sealed container. Leftovers will keep well for at least four days. I found that the banana flavor mellowed a bit while the overall flavor seemed to become more pronounced as time went on--I actually liked the three pieces I found in Erik's fridge four days later almost better than the cake fresh out of the oven!
*This cake is very lightly sweetened to make it breakfast appropriate; if you want it sweeter, increase the maple syrup to 1/2 cup or more (you can taste the batter!).
For a less granola-like topping, I would reduce the amount of rolled oats and increase the amount of oat flour until it reaches your desired consistency (I might try 1/4 cup rolled oats and 1/4 cup oat flour).
If you don't have oat flour and don't want to grind your own, you can sub additional wheat flour or likely another type such as buckwheat or spelt.
I used olive oil because I don't like using really processed oils, but you can easily sub canola or vegetable oil as well. You can't taste the olive oil at all, in case you were wondering.
Adapted from here.
PS. With the rest of your can of pumpkin, you might want to whip up something else…
Vegan Pumpkin Pancakes: no eggs or butter needed for these thick and fluffy pancakes!
The Best Pumpkin Pancakes: One of my all-time favorites!