I recently acquired The Craft Beer Cookbook by the Beeroness, Jacquelyn Dodd. There are so many cool recipes inside it that I’m excited to try! Cooking with beer isn’t about boozing up your food. According to the book, beer can be an effective tool in the kitchen for leavening, tenderizing, and adding flavor. Since this is the season for pumpkin everything, I decided to start with the Vegan Pumpkin Loaf Cake.
First of all, I’m no vegan. I’ve got no issues with dairy or eggs in my cake, but if tastes good, you bet your britches I’m going to eat it! The book promises a rich and moist final product. Sounds good to me! I’ve got no issues with the word “moist.” In this recipe, the beer acts as a leavening agent to give it a delicious texture along with a little beer flavor. I chose Wasatch Pumpkin Ale, but you could also a use a porter or a stout to get a maltier quality or even a pale ale for a bit more acidity. Here’s what you need to make this at home.
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- ½ cup white sugar
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- 1 15oz can pumpkin purée
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2/3 cup pumpkin ale
- 1 14oz unshaken can full-fat, unsweetened coconut milk. Skim ½ cup of cream off the top for the bread and set aside the rest for icing.
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin ale
- 1 tablespoon coconut milk (mix the remaining milk before measuring)
Gathering the ingredients is probably the most difficult part of this. When you’re done gathering, preheat your oven to 350°F. For the cake batter, use two bowls. Mix all of the dry ingredients in one large bowl and all of the wet ingredients in a separate medium-sized bowl. When the ingredients are well blended, add the wet to the dry and combine. Don’t over-mix.
Spray a 1 ½ quart loaf pan or muffin tin with cooking spray. Pour the batter into the pan leaving about an inch or so at the top to allow the cake to expand. Bake for at least 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. I baked mine for closer to an hour + 15-20 minutes. I’m not sure if the longer cooking time was due to the elevation here in Salt Lake City or my oven, but I do recommend letting it cook until that toothpick is mostly clean.
While the cake is baking, mix up your icing in a small bowl. It will be a bit runny which means you will drizzle it over the top of the finished cake rather than spread it. I advise letting the cake cool a bit before doing so. Because the beer in the icing isn’t cooked, there is a small amount of alcohol in it. But, it is pretty minimal, and undetectable.
The cake turned out awesome! It’s definitely moist and has a lovely flavor and texture. The cake does tend to fall apart when you slice it, and for this reason, I prefer the muffins. They are a little easier to manage and also don’t take as long to cook as the loaf does. However, it does set up more as it cools. I quite enjoy the crunch of the pecans and the flavors of pumpkin and molasses. This is a fun treat for the holiday season and would make a great gift!
I’m digging this cooking with beer stuff! Who knew I’d be such a fan of Vegan Pumpkin Loaf Cake? Don’t be surprised if you see more of my shenanigans popping up on the blog. You might want to pick up a copy of The Craft Beer Cookbook and cook along with me!