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  • The Holidays are Coming Fast!

    Holidays include Thanksgiving because I am writing this Thanksgiving week!  Finally able to light our wood stove because we have had a reprieve from electrical outages with our first snow.  With everything so dry, we really didn’t want to make a fire even if it was cold.  Just put on an extra sweater.  

    One thinks of Pumpkin Pie for Thanksgiving, but I am not a pie maker.  I do love to bake bread, rolls, and cookies.  So instead of pie, we are having Pumpkin Cake.  I have served it to friends and family and they all say it is delicious.  One friend said it reminded her of gingerbread. 

    My daughter said I must be a chemist, because only through chemistry can you figure out how a recipe is going to turn out.  Never thought about it that way!  Because of our elevation baking cakes has always been a challenge.  Yeast dough and cookies are not a problem. 

    After playing around with a simple chocolate cake recipe from King Arthur, I was able to make this recipe work for me at our elevation of 5600 feet.  In other words, I increased the flour and lessened the sugar and make a point of using a small pan.  For the Pumpkin Cake, I replaced the cocoa and water with canned pumpkin, cider, and spices.  The batter was too dense, so I also added some water.  I think this would work as a banana cake too.  That will be my next experiment!

    I switched out the baking soda for baking powder, since the soda seemed to bother a family member. The cake turned out fine either way.  This cake does not need frosting, if you are not using the streusel, you might want to sprinkle with powdered sugar just before serving.

    I also learned when making the optional streusel, it needs to be a certain density to not melt and sink into the dough.  The sugar, flour, and butter have to be close to the same proportions.  Since I weigh everything, the streusel turned out the way it should. 

    For those with dairy allergies, this is a dairy-free recipe, except if you use the streusel.

    Pumpkin Spice Cake Recipe

    • Dry Ingredients
    • cups unbleached flour (210g)
    • cup granulated sugar (66g)
    • cup brown sugar (71g)
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda OR 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 2-3 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
    • Liquid Ingredients
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1 tablespoon vinegar
    • cup vegetable oil (67g)
    • ½ 15 ounce can pumpkin (212g)
    • ¼ cup boiled cider or apple cider (57g)
    • cup water (67g)
    • Streusel Topping (optional)
    • ½ stick cold butter (113g), cut into small chunks
    • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • ¼ cup packed brown sugar (107g)
    • ½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour (120g)


    1. If making the streusel, place all the ingredients with the chunks of butter on the bottom in the bowl of a food processor, with the chopping knife.  Pulse until evenly combined and crumbly, about a minute or less.  Set aside in the refrigerator to keep it cold.
    2. Preheat oven to 350°. Cut a circle of parchment paper for an 8″ pan that is at least 2″ deep or set up papers in a cupcake pan.
    3. Measure all the dry ingredients into a bowl, stir thoroughly until everything is well combined.
    4. In a large bowl, whisk all of the wet ingredients together, until well combined. Add the dry ingredients. Stir all the ingredients together until well blended. Pour into prepared pan, sprinkle with the streusel if using and place in the oven.
    5. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, insert a toothpick or cake tester to determine doneness. Cupcakes take about 20 minutes.
    6. Let cool slightly in the pan, then remove and set on a rack to cool completely before serving.  Serve with whipped cream or topping.


    Another Waggly Tail from Carole, blue puppies, what a delight!  The doghouse print for the border is perfect.


    Merry Christmas to all of you!

    Click on the link below to take you to the third part of Winter Time.

    Make sure to download it, because the free version will go away at the end of December:

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