Lately I’ve been obsessing over this Grilled Pumpkin Bread from My New Roots (because I love everything about Christmas spiced cakes!) and I wanted to try make a gluten-free version. The first try turned out unexpectedly well, even though I completely forgot to add some kind of binding like eggs or chia seeds. The balance between the flavors was just perfect! Intense top notes of punchy cinnamon & clove, with a sweet & luscious base of creamy butternut puree, plant milk and rapseed oil. The texture is soft and slightly crumbly, like a muffin. The original recipe calls for pumpkin, but I find butternut squash works just as well! My gluten-free attempt came out of the oven more similar to some kind of cake than a bread. To my surprise it actually tasted almost exactly like traditional Swedish soft gingerbread (sort of like Gingerbread meets Sponge Cake), even though there’s no ginger in the recipe! Although completely free of refined sugar, dairy and gluten. I mean yay!!
Oat flour really deserves more attention in gluten-free baking! Maybe it’s the starch in oats that makes everything hold together so well? Besides from its binding qualities, rolled oats are super cheap and rich in protein, fibre, B-vitamins, iron, magnesium and more. I mostly use gluten-free oats to make sure there are no traces of wheat left (although I’m not intolerant). If you’re not sensitive to gluten you could of course use regular oats too! To make it less crumbly I added a few eggs in the end. I think “chia eggs” would work great too.
The reason I like to bake gluten-free even though I’m not intolerant is that I want to cook and eat foods that are as nutritious as possible. I find that white, refined flour just makes me tired and annoyed, and that’s not how I want to feel after a meal! However almond meal, rolled oats, buckwheat flour and brown rice flour is packed with important nutrients. Gluten-free food with a high nutritional value gives me more energy, less blood sugar drops and a happier tummy. Not to mention a better mood! It’s truly amazing what a balanced self I am nowadays haha. Whole foods in my <3
You can either bake the cake in a loaf pan or in muffin forms or small cake forms. The loaf pan creates a more luscious cake, muffins a little dryer but in a more convenient shape :)
Eat a slice (or two) with a grassy cup of Jasmine Tea…
…or with a spicy and decadent mug of Hot Chocolate!
Soft Pumpkin Cake – Gingerbread style
Adapted from My New Roots
5 dl / 2 cups pumpkin puree or 1 small hokkaido pumpkin/butternut squash (around 8 dl / 3 + 1/4 cups loosely packed chunks)
2 1/2 dl / 1 cup rolled oats, use gluten-free if sensitive
2 1/2 dl / 1 cup buckwheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp pure vanilla powder
pinch of clove (approx 1/4 tsp)
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
optional: 1 heaping dl / 1/2 cup chopped almonds
0.8 dl / 1/3 cup oat milk or plant milk of choice
6 tbsp agave syrup (runny honey is fine, perhaps add one more tbsp)
6 tbsp rapseed/olive/coconut oil
optional: zest from one organic lemon
Notes on this recipe: 1) If using ready made pumpkin puree you’ll need 5 dl / 2 cups. However I prefer to make my own my simply baking a hokkaido pumpkin or butternut squash in the oven and then mix in a blender. That way you also have delicious pumpkin leftovers to use in soups or warm salads :D 2) The cake is equally delicious with or without lemon zest. It’s just a matter of taste, really :) I’ve tried and loved both kinds! 3) To make this cake even more similar to gingerbread, try adding 1 tsp of dried ginger :)
Set oven to 200’C.
Prepare by peeling and cutting one small hokkaido pumpkin or butternut squash into 1-2 inch cubes. You can also halve it and bake the halves with skins down, then scoop out flesh once done. Cubes needs around 30-40 min in the oven. Halves 50-60 min. They should be very soft. This step can be prepared a day in advance.
Soft Pumpkin Cake:
Set oven to 175’C.
Mix rolled oats in a blender into a coarse flour. Transfer to a large bowl. Set aside.
Mix 8 dl / 3 + 1/4 cups (loosely packed) of your baked pumpkin chunks, or 5 dl / 2 cups store bought pumpkin puree, with the rest of the wet ingredients in a blender until completely smooth. Save any remaining pumpkin for warm salads, soups, or use instead of sweet potatoes in my Sweet Potato & Garam Masala Pot. Honestly I’m not that exact with the pumpkin measurements here! I’ll work even if it’s not exactly 2 cups pumpkin puree :)
Set pumpkin mixture aside.
Add the rest of the dry ingredients to your bowl of oat flour. Fold pumpkin mixture into the bowl of try ingredients, using as few strokes as possible.
In a separate bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Carefully fold into the batter. You will now have a very sticky and slightly runny batter.
Pour into a greased & breaded loaf pan (I use coconut oil and almond flour), or into paper muffin forms (makes around 15 muffins). If in a loaf pan: pack it densely and even out the surface with a wet spatula. Bake the loaf for around 60 min, the muffins for approx 30 min, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf/muffin comes out clean. I use a very slow and crappy gas oven, so your oven probably behaves differently than mine. Keep a close eye on the cake(s) and always try the toothpick trick! :) Be patient and let the cake cool completely before turning the loaf pan over. That doesn’t stop you from cutting a sneaky piece out of the pan though! ; ) Enjoy!
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