Pumpkin cake {recipe review}

By | April 12, 2013


This is #3 in a series of recipes that I’m testing and sharing from Paula Shoyer’s cookbook on pareve baking, The Kosher Baker. I was provided with a review copy of the book, but my opinions are my own. You can learn more about Paula’s work at In Paula’s Kitchen

Previously from The Kosher Baker: chocolate candy hamentaschen and chocolate amaretto truffles.

I think I live in the windiest city ever, ever created. And it’s really not helpful for photo shoots. The day I baked this cake, it was so windy that I didn’t even attempt going outside with my camera and props. I figured I could wait until morning.

But the next day, it was still windy. Ridiculously windy. And for some reason, I decided it was the perfect time to use tissue paper in my photos. Did it work? You decide.

Anyway, we’re supposed to be talking about this cake. It’s great.

pumpkin cake 2

In general, I’m not such a fan of pareve baking, and so my journey through The Kosher Baker has been interesting. When a recipe calls for margarine (in this book and everywhere else), I wonder whether the final result is just as good as the butter version. I rarely use margarine at home, but for this cake, I decided to do an official comparison. So I made it both ways.

And I almost hate to admit it, but I couldn’t tell the difference. They both totally worked.

pumpkin cake 3

Paula’s pumpkin cake is a one-bowl recipe made from simple ingredients, half of which are spices. I mixed the batter in my KitchenAid, but only because I tend to use it for everything. You could definitely use a hand mixer or even some elbow grease, if you don’t mind creaming together margarine/butter and sugar that way.

People tend to bring out the pumpkin recipes in the fall, and I guess it’s understandable. But if you live in a place where they sell fresh pumpkin year-round, try this in the spring or summer with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.

pumpkin cake 4

What’s really special about this cake isn’t that it’s easy, or that it’s soft and light, or that it’s an excellent way to use pumpkin. No, the best thing about it is the aroma. Every time I lifted the cover off my cake plate, I was practically assaulted with the smell of cloves and cinnamon and nutmeg. It’s an experience worth repeating.

Recipe at a glance:

  • Accessible ingredients? Yes. If you can’t get fresh pumpkin in your area, the canned variety will do. But if you can get the fresh stuff, make a big batch of pumpkin puree and freeze it in portions.
  • Multiple steps required? Barely. You’re really just beating the ingredients together in several additions.
  • Left with lots of dirty dishes? Nope. One-bowl recipes, guys. This is why we love them.
  • Taste worth the effort? Yes!
  • Make again? Yes, though I’ll always use butter over margarine.

One year ago: Perfect hard-boiled eggs


stephanie/the kosher foodies on April 12, 2013 at 1:26 am.

the windy photo shoot totally worked!


Miriam @ Overtime Cook on April 12, 2013 at 4:04 am.

I’m such a fan of pumpkin- and bundt cakes! This looks awesome.


jessica // the kosher foodies on April 13, 2013 at 12:00 am.

i love pumpkin cake! this looks great!


Tessa on May 1, 2013 at 7:10 pm.

Im also totaly not a fan of margerine! and i always find that even “tested” recipes with margerine come out HARD when using the margerine here, so im so glad that you tried this out and that it works well with israeli margerine! I just found this site and im actually so excited because this is all totaly my style of food! yayy!


Tali Simon on May 1, 2013 at 10:23 pm.

Glad to have you!


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