Last spring, my mother graduated from university with a law degree. Since, she has moved to Ottawa to complete a masters degree with the goal of becoming a notary. This semester’s class schedule made it possible for her to spend long weekends in Montreal. A couple of slices of this cake made it back to Ottawa with her after one of my afternoons in the kitchen. I know a recipe is a success when she asks me to wrap up some dessert for her trip back to Ottawa.
This pumpkin almond cake is dense and flavourful. The spices are an attempt to root you in autumn even though snow covers the ground and the sun sets by 4 in the afternoon now in Montreal. An intense almond butter frosting is spread over the single-layer cake, which is then sprinkled with toasted almond slices. Pumpkin and almond is a flavour combination I had not though of before, but it works well. They are both bold yet balance each other out.
Recipe Source: Baked Elements
Yields one 9-inch single-layer cake
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup almond flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1/2 cup almond butter
2 ounces (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 to 4 tbsp almond milk
1 1/4 to 1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or 1 tsp of vanilla extract, I’m not a fan of the paste)
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1) Preheat the oven to 350F.
2) Butter a 9-inch round cake pan and line it with parchment paper.
3) Whisk both flours, the baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
4) In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and both sugars together until light and fluffy.
5) Add the pumpkin puree and beat until just incorporated.
6) Add the eggs one at a time.
7) Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk. Begin and end with the flour mixture.
8) Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
9) Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes.
10) Remove the cake from the pan and let cool completely.
1) Combine the almond butter, butter, 2 tbsp. of almond milk, 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar and salt in a food processor. Pulse in short bursts until the frosting comes together. I didn’t add the vanilla for fear that it would overpower the almond flavour. The almond is quite strong though so I’ll add the vanilla next time to balance it out. The frosting will be very thick, so add almond milk if you want it looser.
2) Spread the shiny, smooth frosting onto the cooled cake.
3) Sprinkle the toasted almond slices on top.
Store at room temperature for up to 3 days.