Pumpkin Spice up your life

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Let’s face it: Pumpkin Spice is here to stay. What was once just a seasonal latte flavor has evolved into a cultural phenomenon with a life of its own. And no matter what you think this mania has to say about the state of society in 2016, you’ve got to admit that it tastes pretty good. So I figured I might as well jump on the bandwagon, throw on a maroon sweater, and embrace my inner autumnal with this quick and delicious pumpkin cake.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 lightly beaten eggs
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 15-ounce can of pumpkin (this is the standard size)
  • 2 cups pure maple syrup (none of that processed oversweetened stuff)
  • 1/2 cup water

Directions:

Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and spray a 9×13 tin with non-stick spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups of the flour along with the salt, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda.
  3. In a different bowl, mix together the eggs, sugar, oil, and pumpkin.
  4. Add the wet ingredients (the bowl of step 3) to the dry ingredients (the bowl of step 2), mixing and folding until the batter is smooth and uniform.
  5. Spread the batter evenly into the tin and bake for 30 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean from the middle of the cake.

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Glaze

  1. Add the maple syrup to a medium-sized pot over a burner and turn to medium-high.
  2. In a small bowl, add the remaining 1/2 cup of flour to the water, stirring until it is all dissolved.
  3. When the maple syrup starts to bubble, add the flour solution to the pot, stirring until the mixture is thicker than plain maple syrup yet runnier than butter.
  4. As with any frosting, wait until the cake is cool to spread the glaze on it.

 

Why this recipe is good for college students: As far as cakes go, this one is fairly simple and can be made using only the most common baking ingredients. Additionally, it is totally possible to do all of the mixing by hand, and an expensive stand mixer is not required. And most importantly, I promise that your friends will love you (they probably love pumpkin, after all) if you make this cake and share it with them. For all those reasons, this cake is the perfect recipe if you’re looking to bake something for a small social gathering.

Why this recipe is good for those who keep Kosher: The recipe is of course, completely parve, meaning that this cake can be enjoyed anytime. Additionally, the simple glaze does not require having some of the expensive dairy substitutes commonly called for in parve frostings, such as almond milk or coconut oil.

What I would do differently if I made this recipe again

  • I’m not gonna lie, the glaze was a total experiment. I was simply looking for a way to thicken the maple syrup into something resembling frosting, so using my basic knowledge of chemistry and cooking techniques I just threw some maple syrup and flour into a pot, adding flour and water and adjusting the heat as I went. This worked decently well, except for one problem: some flour remained undissolved and formed clumps. I was able to fix this by straining the mixture, but I later realized that this issue can be avoided by dissolving the flour thoroughly in water before adding it to the maple syrup.

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