Thursday, October 8, 2009

Isa Chandra's Pumpkin Cake

What a happy coincidence that I procured a case of canned pumpkin just days before the annual Sukkot potluck dinner my husband's congregation puts on every year. Briefly, Sukkot is the annual harvest festival celebrated by Jews. A sukkah (hut) is erected and we all get together in it to thank God for the plentiful harvest and to share food with friends. This year's turn-out was good with about 20 of us there. The hut was solidly constructed, which kept us warm, and enough people brought lanterns that we weren't completely in the dark by 7 p.m.

The buffet was ample and satisfying with lots of noodle dishes, including kugel, lasagne, and pasta salad, and there was a lot of good crusty bread. Is it me or do potlucks generally lack in green vegetables? Maybe next time I'll get gutsy and bring a platter of sauteed spinach or steamed broccoli.

But not this time. This weekend, I was itching to get into that pumpkin. I wanted to make a pumpkin cake. Not muffins or bread. Cake. The difference is subtle and some would say there is no difference, but I find that whether it’s made with carrots, pumpkin, bananas or some other fruit or veggie, a cake typically has a softer crumb than its related bread or muffin.

I ended up finding what I was after in Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s book, Veganomicon. I made her Pumpkin Crumb Cake with Pecan Streusel on page 255, with a couple of alterations. First, I omitted the streusel, instead using vegan cream cheese frosting (from one of her other books, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World). I also added 3/4 cup chopped pecans and 1/2 cup softened raisins (softened by soaking them briefly in boiling water before adding to the batter).

I had originally planned to serve the cake

at the dinner, then bring two big pieces to Leona and Larry, new friends who live down the street. This is the gorgeous jewel of a cake I brought to the dinner...

And this is what I brought home…

Sorry, guys; I promise, you’ll have first dibs on the next baked good I create!


  1. I just received permission to print the pumpkin cake recipe, so stay tuned! They'll be up soon.

  2. Hmmmmmm Nice thought ........I think!!! lol lol lol