Sunday, November 20, 2011

Update on Thanksgiving Recipes

A few days ago, I posted about these pumpkin cakes for Thanksgiving. Since we're having a potluck at church on Sunday, I decided to try them both. Here are the results: I definitely recommend the pumpkin gooey cake. It's got great flavor and texture. If you like a super moist, very dense pumpkin bread, then you'll also enjoy the pumpkin spice cake. 

Makeover Pumpkin Gooey Cake      

I hate pumpkin pie, and don't usually like pumpkin flavored things, but this pumpkin gooey cake is delicious. It's baked just until the middle sets a bit, or the edges brown, and then you're done. It has a buttery, almost custard-like pumpkin layer, but it's not dense. It's light and fluffy, even though it's soft. The cream cheese is a nice counterpoint to the pumpkin flavor. Also, make sure to use cinnamon AND nutmeg

Things I did differently from the recipe: 
  • store was out of reduced fat cream cheese, so I used regular
  • regular butter instead of 1/2 fat butter
  • 2 1/2 cups of confectioner's sugar seems plenty (remember that the 2nd cake layer is also sweet)
  • I didn't have yellow cake mix, so I used carrot cake mix. The spices in it went well with the pumpkin layer!
  • 3 whole eggs instead of 2 whole + 2 egg whites
  • If you're using an aluminum pan, reduce oven temp to 325 degrees F
Pumpkin Spice Cake
I thought that I would enjoy this pumpkin spice cake more than the pumpkin gooey cake, but compared to the other cake, it's a bit underwhelming. The flavor is good...there's a nice balance of cocoa, cinnamon, and nutmeg. However, when I cut into the cake, it was super dense. Chocolate chips provide texture variation compared to the density of the cake, though I think the addition of walnuts would have helped more.

Things I did differently from the recipe:
  • instead of 1 1/2 cups sugar, add 1 c. white sugar + 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 3 whole eggs instead of 2 eggs + 2 egg whites
  • omitted allspice and cloves (don't have it!), added more cinnamon and sugar
  • omit 1/2 cup raisins
  • added 1/2 cup chocolate chips instead of 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (be sure to coat chips in flour so they don't sink in the batter)
  • substituted 1/2 buttermilk with 1/2 sour milk
  • substituted 1/3 cup water with 1/3 cup sour milk
 Reading the reviews of the recipe, it seems that I'm not the only one whose cake was dense. So maybe it's supposed to be that way? It could be under-baked, but I'm afraid of how brown the outside might look had I baked it longer. Anyway, it has wonderful flavor, but I wouldn't call it a cake. It might make more sense to call it a dense pumpkin bread...But what's worse? Super dense or super dry cake?

Happy Thanksgiving!

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