Introduction: Healthy Pumpkin Cake
The UK never used to celebrate Halloween in the way that the USA does so when I was younger, I didn't know what Trick or Treating was until I emigrated to Canada in my late teens. However, it has slowly caught on in the UK over the years and now, kids here do the whole dress-up thing and go out Trick or Treating. I live back in the UK now and each year there are more and more big pumpkins in the supermarkets for carving out. This year, I got to thinking about what UK people do with the flesh they scoop out; I remember my Canadian friends and family used to make pies and soups etc. I know pumpkin is really good for you and so I got to thinking about making a cake.
As I can't eat conventional sugary cake or wheat flour, I have to think of more creative ways to make cakes. So for this one, I used barley malt extract and sultanas to get some sweetness. And I used sugar-free, dairy-free muesli along with oats to create the cake. I also put eggs in it to bind the ingredients.
The result wasn't too bad; I really enjoyed the cake because it was plenty sweet enough for my taste. It is a very moist cake even though there is no liquid (apart from eggs) or fat in it and I have nicknamed it a 'pudding cake; because of the consistency. It does come out 'set' and it can be cut into slices but it isn't 'cakey'.
I have made two batches of this now - hope you like it too. Any suggestions on how to vary it would be welcome. Thank you.
Step 1: Get Your Ingredients Together
You will need:
- 1medium pumpkin
- 2 medium sized mugs full of sugar-free, dairy-free muesli
- 2 medium sized mugs full of rolled oats
- 8 ozs of Sultana raisins
- 1 12 oz jar of barley malt extract
- 4 eggs
- Butter to grease the tins
You will need three shallow 7 inch cake tins (round)
Step 2: Prepare the Pumpkin and the Muesli the Night Before Baking
- Cut the pumpkin into chunks and peel.
- Steam the chunks until soft.
- Mash the chunks into a smooth mixture
On the two occasions I have made this cake, I steamed the pumpkin in the evening and left it overnight. I mashed it in the morning when I made the cake.
- Put the muesli in a glass bowl and pour in enough boiling water to just cover and leave overnight.
Step 3: Mix the Muesli and Pumpkin Mash
After soaking overnight, the muesli should have swelled and be moist enough for a fork to stand up straight in it without falling over.
- Add the muesli to the pumpkin mash and stir well
- Take the sultanas that have been soaking over night and simmer in fresh water for 10 minutes
Step 4: Add the Sultanas and Oats
- Drain the simmered sultanas thoroughly
- Add to pumpkin and muesli mixture
- Add 1 mug full of rolled oats to the mixture and stir well
- Take the other half of the oats and grind to flour in a coffee grinder
- Stir into the mixture
Step 5: Add the Barley Malt
- Stir in the whole jar of barley malt and mix well
Step 6: Add the Eggs
Ok - this is where I get freakishly fussy about the eggs! I have a thing about the stringy white cord that holds the yolk and white together - I hate them! So this is how I deal with my eggs.
- Put the four eggs into a beaker with a screw-top lid and shake them until they are mixed
- Strain the beaten eggs through a mesh strainer
- Use an electric whisk to mix the eggs thoroughly into the cake mixture to get lots of air in there.
- Pour the mixture into three 7 inch well greased cake tins.
- Bake in medium oven for 1 hour 30 minutes (I did mine at around 160 degrees)
I checked my cakes after 30 minutes and turned the oven down to about 145 degrees to stop the top getting too brown before the inside was cooked. Then I baked them for another half hour and stuck a knife in the middle of one to see if it would come out clean - it didn't so I put them back for another 30 minutes. You will see from the next picture that I did one of mine in a loaf tin. I wouldn't recommend that because the mixture needs to be spread out thinner to cook well. The loaf version was nice but not as well cooked as the two I made in the shallow round tins.
Step 7: Remove From Tins and Allow to Cool
- When done let the cakes sit cooling in the tins for an hour
- Then tap the tins firmly on the worktop to loosen cakes completely
- When you are sure the cakes are completely loose, turn them out onto wire racks
- Allow to cool until completely cold before eating - they get firmer as they cool and slice better
You could sandwich these cakes with cream cheese and honey frosting or a filling of your choice. I didn't bother as the fruit sugar from the sultanas and the barley malt is all the sweetness I can cope with.
Let me know if anyone has any tips on how I can vary or improve this without adding flour or sweetener of any kind.
Thank you for reading!
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