Wednesday 20 October 2010

The Cake Slice October 2010: Pumpkin (Sweet Potato) Chocolate Chip Pound Cake (GF)

I’m so excited to be able to reveal that the new cake book that The Cake Slice bakers will be baking from for the next year is…. Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman! It’s a fantastic looking book and absolutely full of all sorts of different types and styles of cakes – not just layer cakes, but loaf cakes, bundt cakes and snacking cakes to name but a few. If they are half as good as this months debut cake then we are going to be in for a treat!

The winning cake from our new cake book was a pumpkin chocolate chip loaf cake, which I was delighted about considering how seasonal it is. The recipe calls for canned pumpkin puree, but it is near impossible to find pumpkin puree in this country and so I substituted this with some pureed sweet potato. This worked really well and resulted in a deliciously moist and tender cake that had a faint pleasing orange colour.

I actually made this cake just a few days after discovering I had to go gluten free and so it was my very first attempt at baking. I decided to substitute the flour for Buckwheat flour, which despite its name is gluten free. This has a subtle nutty grassy flavour to it, similar to rye flour, and a natural sweetness that I thought would go well with the chocolate chips and sweet potato elements of the cake.

The recipe made a lot of cake mix and I was worried there would be too much for the tin but it baked up fine, tall and puffy with a long crack down one side which I actually think improved the appearance as it gave a tempting insight into the melty chocolate chips hidden within.

I absolutely loved the results and would never have guessed it was gluten free. It was light, soft and springy and wonderfully moist. I loved the dark chocolate chips studded throughout the cake which seemed to stay permanently soft and slightly gooey after baking. I couldn’t stop eating it and bizarrely it tasted really good when dipped into hot strong coffee.

Unfortunately the rest of my family had mixed results to this cake. My mum ate it and said it was ok, but she didn’t like the grassy note from the buckwheat. My dad was not a fan but he likes more traditional flavours and was highly confused by the combination of spices, sweet potato and chocolate chips in a cake. However, my lovely grandmother (who shares/shared my tastes for rye breads and other assorted grains) adored the cake as much as I did. She even said that if that’s what gluten free cake tasted like then she wouldn’t mind binning wheat altogether – I love you grandma!

I know that other members of the group loved this cake too, so gluten free or not, this autumnal cake is perfect for this time of year and definitely worth making. Click to see the Cake Slice blogroll.

Pumpkin (Sweet Potato) Chocolate Chip Pound Cake (GF)(Recipe from Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman)
210g plain flour (I used Doves buckwheat flour)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground cloves
Pinch nutmeg
100g unsalted butter, softened
280g caster sugar
3 eggs
200g pumpkin puree (I used pureed sweet potato*)
1 tsp vanilla extract
75ml milk
75g dark chocolate chips
75g chopped walnuts (I’d run out of these)

MethodHeat the oven to 180C. Coat the inside of a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and dust with flour.
Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, cloves and nutmeg in a medium mixing bowl.
Combine the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and cream with an electric mixer on medium high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice as necessary.
With the mixer on medium low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Stir in the pumpkin puree (see note below) and vanilla. Stir in the milk.
Turn the mixer to low speed and add the flour mixture, a third at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Bake the cake until it is firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, 55 minutes to 1 hour. Let the cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes, invert it onto a wire rack and then turn it right side up on a rack to cool completely.
Store uneaten cake in a cake keeper at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator, wrapped in plastic for up to 1 week.
Makes one 9 by 5 inch loaf cake

Note* It’s very hard to find pumpkin puree in the UK, so I substituted this with homemade sweet potato puree. Simply cut a large sweet potato in half, place in a bowl and add 2tbsp water. Cover the top with clingfilm and microwave on high for 7 minutes until the flesh is soft. Scoop out the flesh and mash with a potato masher (you won’t need to add any liquid or butter) and use as above.


Brownieville Girl said...

The sweet potatoe was a great idea!

Delighted the buckwheat worked out :-}

Please Do Not Feed The Animals. said...

Oooh - why didn't I think of the sweet potato option? I need to start thinking outside of the box.
I might try that next year (I still have another tin of pumpkin to get through this year).
Lovely looking cake. Your photos are great.

Johanna GGG said...

sounds delicious and your grandmother sounds so sweet - I will be coming here when I need ideas for GF baking for my sister and niece

natalia said...

Ciao ! I love your photos ! I made my own pureed pumpkin too !

Jimena said...

Hi Katie! Thanks again for opening your lovely group to new members. I'm so glad I was able to join and bake along with you guys. Your pictures are fabulous and I love the sweet potato idea. I too really enjoyed this cake and am glad your gluten free version worked out.

beauty be told said...

Looks amazing!! YUM!

Evelyn said...

Mmmm, if I didn't love pumpkin so much I would go make these with sweet potato right now.

Anna said...

That looks so good - great that the gluten-free version was such a success. I know what your Dad means about the combination of spices and chocolate - my Dad commented that it tasted Mexican... whatever that means ;) Btw, I found Libby's tinned pumpkin puree in Waitrose!

Chele said...

I bet that goes a treat with a nice cuppa!

steph- whisk/spoon said...

looks great, and with a really nice texture!

Unknown said...

That is so creative to use sweet potato. I would love to try a slice of that cake of yours. Great job on making it gluten free and finding a way around the unavailability of pumpkin!

All That's Left Are The Crumbs said...

It is so great to know that you can make something gluten free and have it turn out so delicious. I love that I can now have a recipe ready in case one of my guests has a gluten allergy. Your cake looks wonderful.

Caroline said...

Sweet potato is a great substitute for pumpkin. And I agree, I love when the cake cracks up on top to reveal what's inside. In this case, the chocolate!

Anonymous said...


Monica H said...

I was wondering how this cake would turn out for you- not knowing if you'd substitiute something else for the sll-purpose flour. I'm glad it turned out so well for you. Your grandma is so sweet.

PS. I have a question for you: How do you know if store bought products contain gluten? I'm not talking about baked goods or things that obviously contain flour, but other stuff- canned and packaged? Thanks!

Avril said...

I LOVE that you were able to substitute pumpkin puree with sweet potato puree for this recipe!
AND that by making it GF it came out tasting really good. :-)

I feel so honored to be part of this baking group...thank you Katie for all the work and prep you have put into it. :-)

Elle said...

Wonderful idea to use buckwheat flour (you really are taking to the gluten free life like a champ) and sweet potatoe and that may be why yours looks more like pound cake than quick bread...the pumpkin seems to curdle the batter a bit, making it less dense. Love your photos!

Future Grown-Up said...

Oooh...sweet potato cakes. That sounds delicious. Great job with converting it over to gluten free. After seeing your cake, living gluten free doesn't seem like a bad way to live :)

Emily said...

Good idea using sweet potato! Will give that a try.

LimeCake said...

that looks really delicious! pumpkin adds such a wonderful moistness to baked goods.

Leslie Harris said...

I was going to use sweet potato if I couldn't find pumpkin in time. Looks lovely. And I never would have guessed that this was GF! :)

The Caked Crusader said...

Looks a lovely close texture - perfect for sticking to your ribs in this cold weather!

Anonymous said...

I love the sweet potato idea. Its also impossible to find canned pureed pumpkin all the way here in indonesia!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Great looking doughnuts! They look delicious. Great job.



Cupcake Crazy Gem said...

Thanks for your comments, I came home from work today and my husband had surprised me by making me the new header! This looks yum, I have been bookmarking pumpkin recipes all evening, can't wait to start doing some 'fall' baking!!

volusion store design said...

I'd love to try this potato chocolate cake. I'm sure my daughter would love this too!