Still snowy here, and it will be a long time before we see the ground, but at least with March here, we know the worst of the bitter cold is over. The sun comes out, the icicles melt, and we can dream of seeing the daffodils in another month or two.
The other night, I started to make those pumpkin ginger muffins we're all so fond of, then hesitated. Hummm, how about trying it as a cake, I thought. Making a cake meant no big chunks of sugared ginger, which would mess up slicing pieces, but how about a frosting?
Well, the cake turned out beautifully, and I made a really simple cream cheese frosting with a little confectioner's sugar and microplaned clementine zest. Hope you enjoy it!
1/2 can One Pie pumpkin puree
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
2 extra-large eggs
1/4 cup apple juice
1 3/4 cups King Arthur flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
2 t. cinnamon
2 t. ginger
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. cloves
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Grease a medium sized loaf pan and set aside.
In mixer bowl, mix the pumpkin, brown sugar, and melted butter. Beat. Add the eggs and apple juice and mix again.
Sift in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and spices.
Scrape batter into the loaf pan and bake about 45 minutes, or until the middle of the loaf is firm to a gentle touch. It will continue to bake on the cooling rack, so don't rush taking it out too soon.
Cool loaf on rack about 15 minutes, then remove from loaf pan. Cool thoroughly - about a half an hour or more. The frosting will melt if it's too warm, and it will crumble when sliced, so again, don't rush things.
When cake is totally cool, cut cake with a serrated bread knife into four pieces - 3 careful slicings.
Make a quick clementine frosting by whipping:
2 packages cream cheese, softened
zest of 3 clementines
about 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar, or to taste
Spread the clementine frosting on each layer of cake and press together firmly. Setting it in a fridge for a while helps hold it together, especially if you make thin slices.
Serve with an extra shaving of clementine zest on top. Makes about 8 slices.
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