In my mind if the calendar says it is sometime between September and March, pumpkin is in season so I make as many pumpkin themed foods as possible. So if you love pumpkin as much as I do, then this fun cake from Food 52 is for you. It has all of the flavors of pumpkin pie yet is so much lighter than its custardy cousin. It is also incredibly easy to make which makes it even better. In a pinch I’ve substituted double sifted all-purpose flour for the rice flour; this works well too but I prefer the rice flour so if you can find it, use it.
This cake has become one of my go-to recipes when I need dessert for a crowd. It is always a hit and I’m sure you’ll love it too.
For the cake:
1 cup sugar, divided
5 large egg yolks, at room temperature
1/2 cup safflower oil
1 1/4 cups pumpkin purée
1 1/4 cups white rice flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
8 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
For the spice sugar:
2 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl.
To make the cake:
- Set aside 1/4 cup of the sugar for later (to stiffen the egg whites).
- Add 3/4 of a cup of the sugar to a large mixing bowl with the egg yolks, oil, pumpkin, rice flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and clove. Whisk to blend thoroughly.
- Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325° F.
- Combine the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of the stand mixer and beat with the whisk on medium-high speed until the mixture is creamy white and holds a soft shape.
- Slowly sprinkle in the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, beating at high speed until the egg whites are stiff but not dry.
- Scrape half of the egg whites onto the batter and fold until partially blended.
- Add the remaining egg whites and fold just until the batter looks blended.
- Scrape the batter into the pan and spread it evenly. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the top of the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes dry, with only a few tiny crumbs clinging to it.
- Set the pan on a rack to cool.
- To unmold, slide a thin knife or skewer around the tube and the sides of the pan to detach them from the cake. Lift the tube and remove the cake from the pan. Slide a thin spatula under the cake all around, pressing against the bottom of the pan to avoid tearing the cake.
- Sprinkle the top and sides (tilting the cake) with the spicy sugar. Lift the cake off the bottom of the pan using two spatulas (one on either side of the tube) and transfer it to a serving platter.
- Store, tightly wrapped at room temperature, for up to 3 days. For best results, slice with a serrated knife.