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Anne Shirley famously said, “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” (L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables), and I have to agree. I love October! First of all, it’s my birthday month, but I love the changing of the leaves (not so much in Oceanside, CA…the palm leaves kind of die, but that’s about it), the cool breeze, the fact that it starts getting darker earlier, and, of course, all the pumpkin treats!!!
I have to admit, I’ve never tried a PSL from Starbucks because sweet coffee makes me feel like my teeth have a five o’clock shadow, but I will eat all of Starbucks’ pumpkin bread. It’s so spice-y and moist (ugh, yes, I said it), and I love the pumpkin seeds on top. But, according to the Starbucks website, each slice has 410 calories, 500 mg of sodium, and a whopping 39 g of sugar! (information found here) It is so easy to gobble up a piece of that bread, but not so easy to deal with the spiked blood sugar and the general yuckiness you feel after eating it.
At first I thought I would make a pumpkin loaf to celebrate October, but then I thought I would do a frosting, because everything is better with chocolate! Now my idea had morphed into a pumpkin cake, and then I remembered Starbucks’ crunchy pumpkin seeds on their loaves, and decided I would add some on top of my cake! So while I titled this recipe “Pumpkin Spice Cake” it should actually be called “Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cinnamon Maple Dark Chocolate Ganache and Candied Pumpkin Seeds”. That doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but you need to get the full mouth-watering affect.
My little family of three gobbled this cake up in one weekend (oops) because it is that good. But it is also free of refined sugars, dairy and eggs, and made with a hearty whole wheat flour so you don’t have to feel guilty about eating it! If you are gluten free, you could easily swap the whole wheat flour for your favorite gluten free blend. (I shared in my Banana Bread with Granola Crumble recipe that I love this GF flour). For me personally, if a treat has good, clean ingredients, I can happily enjoy it guilt-free…but I guess you should practice a little self-control and not eat it all in one sitting. Your family might want a taste, too 😉
I hope you start this spooky month off with this notsospooky, healthier cake!
Pumpkin Spice Cake
Makes one standard size bundt cake.
For the cake:
- 2.5 cups whole wheat flour (you can order my favorite brand here)
- 3/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup of pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 2 “flax eggs” (directions below)
- 2 tsp vanilla
For the ganache:
- 4 oz of 100% chocolate
- 3/4 cup of coconut milk
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- dash of nutmeg
For the candied pumpkin seeds:
- 1/2 cup of raw, unsalted pumpkin seeds (AKA pepitas)
- 1/3 cup of coconut sugar
- First, make your flax eggs
- combine 2 tbsp of ground flax seeds (you can order some here) with 5 tbsp of cold water in a small bowl
- once combined, place in refrigerator until needed.
- Preheat oven to 350 F
- Grease bundt pan and set aside
- Combine dry ingredients (flour through salt) in a large bowl
- By now, your flax eggs should be slightly gelatinous, remove from fridge
- Create a well in your dry ingredients and add wet ingredients (pumpkin puree through vanilla)
- Stir until well combined
- Pour batter into bundt pan, bang it on the counter a few times to remove air bubbles and smooth it out
- Bake for 20-30 minutes, until toothpick inserted comes out clean (it is okay if some cracks form on top)
- Let cool in pan for about 10 minutes, then flip out onto a wire rack to let cool completely
- While cooling, make your candied pumpkin seeds
- toast the pumpkin seeds in a dry skillet over medium low heat for about 5 minutes, shaking the pan around occasionally
- push the seeds aside and add the coconut sugar
- once the sugar starts melting, stir to coat the seeds with the melted sugar
- let sit for a minute or two, then remove from heat and let harden
- Once cake is completely cooled, make your ganache (the ganache needs to be warm to drizzle and for the seeds to stick)
- melt your chocolate, stirring often
- while stirring, slowly pour in the coconut milk
- stir until smooth
- add maple syrup, cinnamon, and nutmeg
- stir until smooth
- Time to decorate!
- drizzle warm ganache all over your cake
- break up pumpkin seeds and sprinkle on the warm ganache
- Let ganache cool before slicing
- Store covered in the refrigerator for a week (not that it will last that long)
I know this isn’t as quick as some of my other recipes, but sometimes, you just need a frosted and decorated cake. The baking time is therapeutic, and once you eat it, it will be totally worth it! If you make it, I’d love to see pictures; you can tag me on Instagram (@mrsmollymills) or Facebook (Molly Mills). I hope your family loves it as much as mine did! Eat all the pumpkin treats…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!