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A Lighter Pumpkin Cake

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Every week, baking expert Alice Medrich is going rogue on Food52 -- with shortcuts, hacks, and game-changing recipes.

Today: Give the king of the fall a makeover with a lighter pumpkin cake (that just happens to be gluten-free), thanks to Alice Medrich

Pumpkin normally appears in rich pies or hearty cakes. But here, with rice flour and a hint of spice, it produces a moist, fluffy cake with subtle flavors.

I’ve tasted it with every imaginable topping from frosting to whipped cream and candied nuts, only to find that a sprinkling of spiced sugar is the best topping of all: Everything else overwhelms the delicate flavor of the cake. 

This recipe was inspired by, but does not appear in, my new book Flavor Flours (Artisan, 2014).

Pumpkin Chiffon Cake 

Serves 10 to 12

1 cup (200 grams) sugar
5 large egg yolks, at room temperature
1/2 cup neutral vegetable oil (such rice bran, corn, or safflower)
1 1/4 cups (285 grams) pumpkin purée
1 1/4 cups (200 grams) white rice flour or 1 2/3 cup (200 grams) Thai rice flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated or ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
8 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
Spiced sugar: 2 tablespoon sugar mixed with 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

See the full recipe (and save it and print it) here.

Get excited about Alice's new book Flavor Flours: nearly 125 recipes -- from Double Oatmeal Cookies to Buckwheat Gingerbread -- made with wheat flour alternatives like rice flour, oat flour, corn flour, sorghum flour, and teff (not only because they're gluten-free, but for an extra dimension of flavor, too).  

Photos by James Ransom


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Automagic Thanksgiving Menu Maker!

Tags: Pumpkin, Christmas, Fall, Thanksgiving, Holiday, Bake, Gluten-Free, Holiday Entertaining