When fall rolls around, pumpkins catapult to the top of the ingredients list–at least for baking. No matter what critics say about the overuse of the American pumpkin-spice mixture, it is a brilliant combination of flavors, and I never tire of it. It wouldn’t be fall without it. Nor would pumpkin bread. The kids never tire of it, and for us adults, it’s a perfect low-key, down-to-earth sweet treat to accompany coffee or tea.
This time around, when setting out to make pumpkin bread, I thought to change things up a bit. First, I changed the spices I usually use–cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg–and introduced a couple more: ginger and coriander. I’ve frequently seen pumpkin paired with ginger, but I thought coriander might add something new. I wondered whether this change would put a dent in the overall taste. Second, I also thought that adding in yogurt might change something, though I wasn’t sure what. Maybe a richer taste? Third, I reached for my Bundt pan instead of loaf tins so that I can have the right to call this a “pumpkin cake.”
Mix the eggs and sugar first.
Separately, sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and mix of spices.
Back to the bowl of the standing mixer: Mix in the oil, yogurt, and pumpkin.
At last the flour/spice mixture is added. The batter will be pretty thick.
I transferred the batter to the Bundt pan and noticed that there was so much batter in the pan that it almost went up to the rim.
But it ended up being nothing to worry about because the cake didn’t rise up and ooze over the sides like I was fearing.
Then came preparing the simple glaze–confectioner’s sugar and orange juice.
I glazed the cake over a wire rack.
At my quality assurance meeting with me, myself, and I afterwards, I concluded several things. I think the Bundt pan was spot on to elevate this cake in the ranks. As for my shake up in the spice department by adding ginger (though this is typically used) and coriander, it turns out that the difference was subtle. My family thought that this cake had a stronger pumpkin flavor than our regular pumpkin bread and that it had a pleasant, fresh taste. What about the yogurt? Whenever I use yogurt or sour cream in a cake, I fear the cake will rise nicely and then collapse. I recall nightmares from my youth when this very thing would happen time and time again. Much to my surprise, no such disaster occurred. The yogurt I used was fat-free, which was all I had on hand. Added fat from whole milk yogurt or even low fat yogurt should theoretically make a better tasting cake. But in this case, I don’t think using fat-free yogurt caused any problems. The cake was moist and had a nice texture. Adding the glaze made it look more cake-like, but I think a dusting of confectioner’s sugar wouldn’t have been a bad idea either.
All in all, a successful variation from the standard pumpkin bread! I’ve put this in my “keeper” file.