Paleo Pumpkin Bread

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Friends, I have tried desperately to like pumpkin pie.  I have heaped mounds of whipped cream a top it; but, maybe it's due to the many bad ones I've been given growing up.  For starters, the crusts were always overcooked.  No, they were burnt.  And then there's the whole pumpkin itself.  

Could it be growing up in Arizona led me astray for the glory of Fall?  It could with no pumpkin patch visits, or homemade pumpkin puree.  I threw it all out.  Everything pumpkin must go, including pumpkin bread.  

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Then, this wayfaring stranger returned to the state of her birth, and discovered the pockets of gladness abounding in the Autumn months.  The crisp, cold air.  The warm drinks and hot soups awakening the damp bones.  Don't even get me started on the sweaters, scarves and hats this displaced Arizonian girl longed for every day it hit below 80.  

I rediscovered pumpkin.  I discovered sweet meat squash actually and how sweet it is after roasting it in the oven, and satisfying to puree it in your own kitchen.  I made a vow to never buy canned pumpkin again.  I'm sure it made a difference, and this pumpkin bread lays claim to it.   However, I've broken in my rainboots trudging through the mucky patch to get me some sweet meat squash for all things pumpkin.  That is except the pumpkin pie.  

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Paleo Pumpkin Bread (printable recipe)

One element I feel which makes this bread come alive is using freshly ground nutmeg & cloves.  I have an old coffee grinder, which I use for grinding flax & chia seeds into meal, or whole spices into ground ones.  Simply wipe the grinder out between uses.  

Dry Ingredients:

3 cups almond flour

1/3 cup coconut sugar

1/4 cup flax meal

2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

Wet Ingredients:

3 eggs, room temperature

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 tsp vanilla

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.  Line a 9x5 loaf pan with half sheet of parchment paper and press into the sides with some of it laying over the sides.  

In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients of almond flour, coconut sugar, flax meal, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.  

In the bowl of a standing mixer, add all the wet ingredients, eggs, coconut oil, maple syrup, pumpkin puree and vanilla, and mix together for 30 seconds.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low speed for 30 seconds.  Increase to medium speed and mix for an additional 45 seconds.  Pour batter into prepared parchment lined pan.  Bake for 55-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  

Allow to sit in pan on cooling rack for 10 minutes.  Remove bread in the parchment from the pan to the cooling rack and cool for another 5 minutes (or slice it right away).  Serve.

Day 3: Pumpkin Puree & Better than Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte

Transient

Every year we go to eastern Washington over Labor Day to visit the grandparents and attend the county fair.  And every morning is the same cozy routine.  The girls head upstairs, while granny makes them breakfast and we sleep in.  Upon waking, we casually sit on the couch drinking coffee as the girls play.  

A hot cup of coffee, simple as that, stirs up the aroma of nostalgia when I picture a Saturday morning at G&G's.  No need for anything flashy, just freshly ground coffee beans and a splash of heavy whipping cream.  This emanates comfort & young children relaxation.  

Although this cup after cup is just enough, I cannot help but find just one double tall Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks to speak of summer to fall transition during the weekend.  This year won't be any different, especially with our oldest entering into Kindergarten and the first leaves begin falling.  However, I wager to say that my homemade PSL ties or even beats Starbucks.  Did I mention I use real pumpkin puree and none of this "only syrup" nonsense?  

I bid you a chilly Autumn morning outside while you stay warm with this cup of pumpkin goodness in your hands.  In case you aren't a big PSL fan, you can try the Caramel Latte.

Make your own Pumpkin Puree

Make your own Pumpkin Spice Latte

Brown Butter Pumpkin Cake with Honey-Cinnamon Frosting (grain free & refined sugar free)

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Do you know that I love to bake? After my miscarriage, I found so much solace in the baking realm. Not everyone does, but there is always that one thing in which our souls were meant to do. It's where our abilities & creativity collide. Tsh from Simple Mom was one of the Keynote Speakers at Relevant. She quoted Eric Liddell:

God made me fast. And when I run, I feel his pleasure.

I've always loved this quote. His words give recognition that we do not need to categorize sacredness. We are created by a creative God & each of us has a form of creativity within us that emerges. My mother in law would most likely call herself as "non-creative," but she is skilled at cleaning. Like amazing skills turning trash into treasure. When she finds that tattered pack & play & restores it anew, she finds pleasure.

God made me with an impeccable sense of taste. And when I bake, I feel his pleasure. Not only that, but I feel the pleasure of those taking that first bite & satisfaction is voiced without words. My grain & sugar free brown butter pumpkin cake does just that. Where do you feel God's pleasure?

Brown Butter Pumpkin Cake with Honey-Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting (printable recipe)

I made a gluten & sugar filled brown butter pumpkin cake last year prior to eating without them. This year I wanted to recreate the recipe by taking out the grains & refined sugars by using blanched almond flour & honey. My friends who don’t eat this way were singing praises.

Cake Ingredients:

½ cup unsalted butter, grass-fed, more for pans

Coconut flour for dusting pans

12 oz (3 cups) blanched almond flour

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

3/4 tsp ground nutmeg

3/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp ground cloves

½ cup honey

3 large eggs, room temperature

1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree, (how to roast & puree pumpkin)

Honey-Cinnamon Frosting:

¼ cup unsalted grass-fed butter

8 oz cream cheese, room temperature

½ cup honey

2 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions:

Make the Cake: Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour (with coconut flour) the bottom & sides of two 9-inch round cake pans. Melt the butter in a 1 quart heavy bottomed pan, stirring occasionally until the butter turns a nutty golden-brown (around 4-6 minutes) and when it smells nutty. The browned butter will have three parts to it. The scum on the top (sounds good), the golden brown clarified butter/ghee, & the burnt milk solids at the bottom. Scrap off the scum & discard. Pour the golden brown ghee/clarified butter into a measuring cup, while trying to keep the browned bits at the bottom out of the cup. Set aside & allow it to cool.

In a large bowl, add all of your dry ingredients and whisk them together (almond flour, spices, salt, & baking soda). In a medium bowl, combine honey, eggs, & pumpkin puree & whisk thoroughly to combine. Add the browned butter to the wet ingredients to incorporate all the way. With a rubber spatula, stir in the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until thoroughly combined & fully incorporated. Divide the batter equally between the two pans.

Bake the cakes for about 30 minutes (again make use of those olfactory sensors during baking as I baked my cakes for 28 minutes, because the cake smelled done), or when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let the cakes cool 10 minutes in the pan. When using almond flour to make a cake, you will need to use a butter knife to run it around the outside of the cake; as well as, gently using the knife to lift up the bottom edges, to ensure it doesn’t stick when turning it out of the pan. Turn it onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Make the Frosting: Take your room temperature butter & cream cheese & beat them in an electric mixer on medium-high speed (that would be a 7 on my Kitchen Aid). Add your honey & cinnamon to the mixture. A pinch of salt is lovely to add. Taste to see if you need more honey then written.

Assembling: Get a large cake plate and place one cooled cake top side down. Spread about 1/2 -2/3 cup of frosting on the cake. Take your other cake and place it top side down. Frost the top and sides with remaining frosting. Top the cake with chopped pecans. I used pecans to hide imperfections at the base of the cake (gotta love it). I kept mine in a cake dome platter for a day & then transferred to the fridge, due to the frosting.

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