Pumpkin Cake with Cranberries & Dark Chocolate
I had two small pie pumpkins to use up while craving something sweet. This cake is very moist and slices up nicely for serving. Fresh pumpkin tastes much more like a butternut squash, whereas canned pumpkin has a more distinct flavor. Either works well for this recipe. I like to use a whole wheat pastry flour for cakes as it contains less protein and is lends itself to a more tender texture. Regular white whole wheat flour*—which contains all the fiber and nutrients of regular whole wheat flour, but with a lighter density—also bakes up well. Whole barley flour also imparts additional flavor and nutrition. (Barley is a great source of soluble fiber that helps to lower blood cholesterol levels.) Note: I added the berries and chocolate to the batter before pouring it all in the pan, but they sunk to the bottom during baking. Thus, I suggest you fill the pan halfway with batter, then add the berries and chocolate, and top with remaining batter. I hope it turns out as well for you as it does for me. I’d love to hear from you about it!
1 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1 cup Whole Barley Flour (If you don’t have on hand, you can use all Whole Wheat)
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1 tsp Vietnamese Cinnamon
1 tsp ground Ginger
1/2 tsp ground Nutmeg
1 1/4 cup packed Dark Brown Sugar
3/4 cup Canola Oil
4 Large Eggs
2 Cups Fresh Pumpkin baked and mashed, or one 15-ounce can Pumpkin Puree
1 cup unsweetened Dried Cranberries
1 cup Dark Chocolate Pieces or Chips (at least 70% cacao)
Preheat oven to 350F. Measure oil and place in large mixing bowl. Set that measuring cup upside down in 10″ round bundt pan to drain while mixing cake.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder and soda, salt, and spices. Set aside.
Using a mixing bowl or electric beaters, beat brown sugar into oil. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down bowl with spatula after each to assure even mixing. Lightly beat in the pumpkin.
Stir dry ingredients in by thirds and mix until blended. Do not overmix.
Using a piece of parchment or wax paper. Rub oil from measuring cup around bundt pan to grease it all over thoroughly. Pour in half of batter. Top that with cranberries and chocolate. Cover with remaining batter. I bake in a convection oven for 40-45 minutes. Allow cake to cool completely for ease of removal onto a serving plate. You can decorate with more cranberries and chocolate if you like.
*I bake exclusively with White Whole Wheat Flour which bakes up just about as light as regular white flour, yet it’s so much more nutritious!