For those nights when you get home hungry, stressed, and impatient, Hangry is here to help. Each Monday, Kendra Vaculin will share quick, exciting meals to rescue anyone who might be anxiously eyeing a box of minute rice.
Today: Give in to fall. Buy that can of pumpkin. Make this cake.
Shop the Story
I love themed sections of grocery stories. Not The Deli Department or Produce or The Cereal Aisle, though certainly we would all be very lost and hungry without those feats of spatial organization; what I mean, and what I love, is when the store tries to send you a message. Like the leaning tower of marshmallow bags, Hershey's bars, and boxes on boxes of graham crackers at the end of some aisle, precarious and perfect. "Making s'mores this weekend?" the tower asks you, literally blocking out your view of the vegetables. "WELL YOU ARE NOW!!!!" And how can you argue with that shouting mound of convenience? It joined everything you didn’t know you needed together in one place! It would be foolish not to make use of that kind of efficiency! Right? That's why I bought all of those disparate matzo ball soup ingredients in one fell swoop when I'd really only gone to the store for detergent, because I was being efficient? Right? Anybody?
In November, the grocery hints stop being polite and start getting real, compounding the glory of fall with the persuasiveness of those ingredient groupings, which are totally and completely irresistible: Stuffing mix and cranberry sauce in a Thanksgiving skyscraper. A monument to pecan pie, all grand spires of crusts and bags of nuts. And the reason for this coffee cake: Mount Canned Pumpkin, surrounded by foothills of cinnamon and nutmeg in jars. I could not say no and I could not turn away, so I loaded up my cart, snagged a bottle of maple syrup from The Breakfast Aisle for good measure (conveniently adjacent to that mountain), and hurried home.
2 cups flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice 1 1/2 cups packed pumpkin purée 1/2 cup brown sugar 1/4 cup vegetable oil 1/4 cup maple syrup 1/4 cup buttermilk 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
For the crumble and glaze:
4 tablespoons butter, cold 1/3 cup flour 2 tablespoons brown sugar 1 tablespoon plus 1/4 cup maple syrup 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1 cup powdered sugar 2 tablespoons milk
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).