Tag Archive | pumpkin

Simple Pumpkin-Spice Date cake

Hello and happy Veteran’s Day, friends!
Thank you to all who protect our country. We are truly blessed.

How was your weekend? I knew my weekend would be great when a lunch  with my boss on Friday concluded with homemade apple pie and chocolate-decadence cake. How could it not be a great weekend when you start it off with those two things??!
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After that epic lunch on Friday, the wonderful weekend continued thanks to family-time and birthday celebrating. My twin sister, her fiancé, and the puppies were home for the weekend to celebrate my Mom’s birthday a few days early, and we had a blast.  Plus, having today off from class is pretty great, too.
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These puppies melt my heart.
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Anyway, I’ve been doing a bit more baking lately, and whether it’s because I’m using the oven to get warmer or it’s just the cold weather inspiring me to bake, any excuse works for me!  I’ve  meaning to share this  recipe for months, and since I baked it just last week for my little Mem’s birthday, I had the perfect opportunity to take some photos in order to do just that!  This recipe is an oldie, but seriously a goodie. It originates from my Grammie’s recipe box and it’s from many years ago (just check out how old this recipe card looks!), but since the first time I tasted it, I loved it.  My Grammie was the sweetest little thing, but she sure knew how to make a mean dessert. This Pumpkin Spice Date Cake is definitely one of her best.
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I don’t know about you, but one of my most favorite things about fall is the abundance of pumpkin-foods sold everywhere. Candies, coffees, baked goods; you name it, I love it. However, buying these pumpkin treats in stores and coffee shops isn’t always the most waist-line friendly option, which is why I love this recipe.  I get my pumpkin-dessert fix, but as a healthier option. This cake has zero oil, zero eggs, and zero butter, and a cool-whip-inspired frosting makes it an even smarter choice.  Plus, it’s super simple to make and bake in no time.  You’ll use a boxed spice cake mix as your base, to which you’ll add pumpkin, skim milk, baking soda, walnuts, and dates. Then voila, make your cool-whip frosting and you’re done.  My Mem has always declared this as her favorite cake and for a non-dessert person like her, that says a lot!

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Two Layer Pumpkin-Spice Date Cake
Recipe from my Grammie Rowden

Ingredients for cake:
1 box 2-layer size spice cake mix
1 cup milk (I used skim)
1 cup canned pumpkin (Not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chopped dates

For frosting:
2 cups cool whip ( I used Lite, but regular or fat-free would be fine too!)
1 TBSP. molasses
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (176 Celsius). Spray two round cake pans or one 13x9x2 cake pan with cooking spray and set aside.
2) Combine cake mix and baking soda, then add milk and pumpkin.
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3) Blend at low-speed with electric mixer until moistened. Then beat at medium speed for two minutes.
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4) Fold in nuts and dates. (BEWARE, the dough is extremely delicious!)
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5) Pour mixture into greased pans and bake at 350 degrees F for 25- 30 minutes. Once baked, set layers  aside to cool.
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6) Once cooled, remove the cake from the pans, and set the first layer in the container that you plan on storing the cake. Now you are ready to frost!
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7) In a medium-sized mixing bowl, gently stir molasses and nutmeg into cool-whip topping. IMG_5094IMG_5096
8) Spread cool whip mixture onto first cake layer, covering it completely. Then place the second cake layer on top of the first, covering this layer completely as well. (Now you have frosting sandwiched in-between the layers, even better!)

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9) Refrigerate immediately and enjoy asap! (Don’t forget to add candles for a birthday cake!)
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If you’re looking for a healthier pumpkin treat, I think this will fit the bill! Mem’s face lit up when she saw the cake and as she ate it, too. Cake at 10 a.m.? Hey, you are only 87 once. I would do this all day everyday for her <3
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Cake + hugs + laughs + love…highlight of my month right there.

What’s your favorite pumpkin dessert?
Mine has to be this spice cake, or pumpkin chocolate-chip bread…it’s a close call!
I’m also obsessed with candy-corn pumpkins, but technically I’m not sure if that counts.

What did you eat this weekend? Any good desserts? Please share!

P.S. Happiest birthday today to my second-Dad, Brad! xoxo
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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Cupcakes

My pumpkin problem continues. I think I’ve had something “pumpkin” flavored every day of October…yikes. I figure I mine as well enjoy it while it’s still in season. I still had a remaining can of pumpkin in my cupboard last week, and I needed wanted to make a batch of something with it! Cupcakes? Cookies? I couldn’t decide…so I combined the two! I’ve had major success with making cookies in cupcake tins. I think the end result looks cuter than just a simple cookie, and it cuts down on washing those darn cookie sheets. It’s a win/win if you ask me! I made mine in orange/black cupcake liners, perfect for Halloween. I gave these to a friend and was told they were demolished in 2.2 seconds. Success! Bet you can’t eat just one….I couldn’t..

P.S. I halved the recipe below and it made 12-13 cupcakes (it probably would’ve made 14 but I ate an excessive amount of dough…oops). The regular recipe would make at least 24 cookie cupcakes. Enjoy!

Ingredients
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla 
1 cup canned pumpkin puree ( I used Libby’s)
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 cups (12-ounce bag) chocolate chips, not semisweet
Nonstick cooking spray

Directions
1) Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray muffin tins.
2) Using a mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Beat in the white and brown sugars, a little at a time, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, then mix in the vanilla and pumpkin.

After creaming the sugars and butter, add the egg, vanilla, and pumpkin

prettyyy batter

3) In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon. Slowly beat the flour mixture into the batter in thirds.

Flour, etc.

in go the chips!

4) Stir in the chips. Scoop the cookie dough by heaping tablespoons into lined muffin tins and bake for 14-16 minutes, or until they are browned around the edges.

black n orange!

5) Remove from the oven and let them rest for 5 minutes. Take the cookie cupcakes out of the muffin tins and cool them on wire racks (or on a fall placemat!)

cookie cupcakes!

Deliciously moist and the perfect amount of pumpkin flavor…I want to make these again already!

What’s your favorite pumpkin dessert? Please share!