Posts Tagged 'pumpkin'

Chocolate Pumpkin Bundt Cake

It’s cold and snowy, so it’s a good time to turn on the oven to warm the kitchen. This is an easy cake, despite what may seem like a lot of ingredients. It is very moist because of the pumpkin, and has sort of a mysterious spice taste. I served this as a dessert, which was wonderful. But it is a big cake, and I was able to slice the leftovers and lay them out on a plate to bring to another occasion requiring a “food offering.”  I actually think it made quite a few more than 16 servings, which the recipe, originally from Eating Well, specified.  I made the cake a bit lower fat than the original recipe by reducing the amount of canola oil.  This meant I could eat the cake with a large dollop of whipped cream (canned)’ which only adds about 3 grams of fat. It was also good with low-fat vanilla ice cream.
chocolate pumpkin cake piece
I don’t think the glaze is really necessary – it’s more decorative than anything else – and if you plan to serve the cake more than one time, it soaks into the cake and makes it a little sticky.

Chocolate Pumpkin Bundt Cake

1 cup all-purpose, flour
3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, (not Dutch-process)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup nonfat buttermilk (I used regular low fat buttermilk)
1 15-ounce can unsweetened pumpkin puree
3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 large egg white, at room temperature
1 Tablespoon canola oil
3 Tablespoons applesauce
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup packed confectioners’ sugar
1 Tablespoon nonfat buttermilk
2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips, or toasted chopped nuts (see note)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 12-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray.

Whisk all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, granulated sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a medium bowl. Blend buttermilk, pumpkin puree and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on low speed. Beat in whole egg and egg white. Stir in oil, applesauce, corn syrup and vanilla. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, stirring until just combined. Don’t overbeat.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the cake until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove from the pan and let cool completely on the rack, about 2 hours.

To glaze and garnish cake: Combine confectioners’ sugar and 1 tablespoon buttermilk in a small bowl, stirring until completely smooth. Place the cake on a serving plate and drizzle the glaze over the top; garnish with chocolate chips (or chopped nuts) while the glaze is still moist.  Makes 16 generous servings at about 3 grams of fat/serving.

NOTE: I decided to put the mini chocolate chips into the cake instead of on it, to give an extra taste of chocolate to this very chocolaty cake.

Cake is served on my grandma's glass cake plate

Cake is served on my grandma’s glass cake plate


Ginger Pumpkin Tomato Soup

It is still cold, and to add insult to injury, it is snowing.  After I made six pounds of buffalo pot roast this morning to fill my freezer (and heat my kitchen), I decided to make more soup – the overall cure for cold and snowy weather. I had canned pumpkin left over from an earlier project, so that became the basis of my recipe search. This soup was a reader contribution to American Profile (another of those magazines that gets tucked into print newspapers).   Although the ingredients seemed a bit odd together, I did have them all in the house, and it was quick to make. I minced my onion and celery in the food processor, which gave them a nice texture in the soup. Also, since I had already used the processor, I just reused it to puree the stewed tomatoes.

The soup is quite thick and has some texture. It was really good with a dollop or two of non-fat sour cream in it (Everything is good with a dollop of sour cream!). I ate it for dinner tonight, packed one container to take for lunch this week, and the rest are carefully packed and labeled in the freezer for other cold days which, no doubt, are yet to come.

Ginger Pumpkin Tomato Soup

2 Tablespoons butter

1 1/2 cups minced yellow onion

1 cup minced celery

3/4 teaspoon dried ginger

1 14 ounce can of chicken or vegetable broth

1 (14-ounce) can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes

2 cups (or a 15 ounce can if you’re not using up leftovers) pumpkin purée

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Non-fat sour cream

Melt the butter in a Dutch oven or heavy skillet over medium heat (I used my ever-present big wok). Add the onions and celery. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the vegetables are softened (and your kitchen smells warms and delicious.) Sprinkle the dried ginger on top, and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the broth, and bring to a low boil, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, purée the canned tomatoes (with the juice) in a blender or food processor. Stir the tomatoes and the pumpkin into the broth mixture, and simmer covered for about 20 minutes. If the soup is too thick, add more broth or a little water. Season with pepper, and garnish with sour cream. Makes 6 servings at about 3.5 grams of fat/serving.

Pumpkin Carrot Cake

The weather is cold, and I’m cooking up a storm just to keep the kitchen warm. Last weekend I made a huge pot of chicken soup, to which I added barley and vegetables. It’s packed in the freezer for hot lunches at work – and occasionally for dinner when I’m freezing and tired.

I’ve been craving baked goods, and was looking for a recipe that could be made in an 8 or 9 inch cake pan. This is just large enough when the purpose is eating it at home, and not taking the goodie to a potluck where most of it will be eaten and only a bit left for me.  Really, contrary to the opinions of many I lack will power and my chief strategy for restraint is not having too many things to tempt me in the house. A whole Bundt cake would just call out to me to be eaten several times a day.

This is one of the tastiest little cakes I have ever made. It has a lot of interesting ingredients like pumpkin and dried cranberries. It is very moist and delicious. The original recipe came from Cooking Light, but I made it lower fat with the applesauce substitution trick. Also, the recipe said it was 9 servings, but they would really be huge pieces – almost plate size. I cut it into 16 pieces (there’s nothing that says you can’t eat several pieces if you want more – I did.)

Pumpkin Carrot Cake

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 Tablespoons butter, melted
2 Tablespoons applesauce
1 Tablespoon grated orange rind
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup grated carrot
1/3 cup dried cranberries
Cooking spray
2 Tablespoons coarsely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray an 8 inch square baking pan with cooking spray.

Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. In a medium bowl, whisk together flours and next 4 ingredients (flours through salt). Place egg and egg white in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, pumpkin, oil, butter, applesauce, and orange rind. Beat until well blended. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture, stirring just until moist. Stir in raisins, carrot, and cranberries. Spoon batter into prepared 8-inch square baking pan. Sprinkle with pecans. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack. Makes 16 pieces at 2 grams of fat/piece.

This is the cake I was making when my beloved old Olympus camera broke.  I’m still not used to the pictures the new one takes.

Pumpkin, Pork, and Apple Cider Stew

The air has turned decidedly nippy, and there was snow on the ground this morning. Time to whine about unseasonable weather (when is it ever seasonable?)

This dish is quite seasonable and captures the essence of autumn – pumpkin, apples, cider – even pork seems like an autumnal selection. The original recipe, from Relish Magazine,  used Boston butt, a cut of pork that is rather fatty. Now I have been wanting to make a dish out of Boston butt (which is not the butt at all, but the upper part of the shoulder of the pig) in honor of the loss of my quite prodigious butt, but doing so would probably add to my butt, so I used pork tenderloin, my preferred cut of the pig. And by the way, it’s not as if the good people of Boston don’t know a shoulder from a butt. The name came about apparently because in pre-Revolutionary New England, less favored cuts of pork were packed into casks or barrels (also known as “butts”) for storage and shipment.

The original recipe also called for using cut up pumpkin or butternut squash, but suggested that if these were unavailable, a can of pumpkin would do. I liked the idea of a thick, rich pumpkin-y gravy, and it turned out well. It also reheats well, too, although I’ve had to add water to it when reheating..

Pumpkin, Pork and Apple Cider Stew

3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons crushed fennel seeds (see hint)

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

2 pounds of pork tenderloin, cut into 1-inch cubes

2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 medium onions, sliced

2¾ cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided

1½ cups apple cider

¼ cup cider vinegar

1 cup carrots, cut into chunks (about 2 carrots)

1 15 ounce can of pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)

6 cups red potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks (about 2 pounds) (I left mine unpeeled)

1¼ cups Granny Smith apples, unpeeled, cut into wedges (2 apples)

Place flour, fennel seeds, salt, pepper and pork in a large zip-top plastic bag. Seal bag and shake to coat pork. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a Dutch oven or other large heavy-bottomed pot. Add half the pork and the onions. Cook until pork is browned. Remove from pan. Heat remaining oil in pan. Add remaining pork, and cook until browned. Return cooked pork to pan and add 2 cups of the broth, cider and cider vinegar. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 1 hour.

Add pumpkin, carrots and potatoes. Return to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally, since the canned pumpkin tends to make the mixture stick to the bottom of the pan.

Add apples. Cover and simmer 20 minutes. If sauce is too thick, add remaining 3/4 cup chicken broth. I needed to do this since the pumpkin is a good thickener. Makes 8 large servings at 6 grams of fat/serving.

Hint. It’s easy to crush fennel or other seeds in a mortar and pestle if you mix them with the salt before crushing them.


I have lost 200 pounds. I did not do it through surgery – I don’t like knives and needles – or by joining a club, vigorous exercise, or rigorous dieting. I did it by gourmet cooking. To be precise, by cooking low fat, really delicious food. I love to cook as much as I love to eat. Food magazines are some of my favorite reading. I would feel deprived if I couldn’t have the sensuous experience of good food crossing my lips. This blog is about my perpetual feast, my passionate love of food, with recipes, photos, and occasional advice and principles that I have learned along the way.

More about me.

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