Friday, 17 October 2014

Pumpkin Pecan Cake


The recipe for this cake comes from the book Lovely Butter Cakes by Amy Wong and KS Lee. However, the cake does not contain any butter but uses corn oil instead. Butter is applied only on the surface of the cake together with icing sugar and orange essence. It is an easy cake to make as it only involves the simple mixing of wet to dry ingredients, pretty much like making muffins.





I tried the recipe but I was not happy with the outcome as the cake was dense. Though it was moist, somehow it felt "dry". I don't know how to describe it but I reckon I missed the richness of butter. Though the cake contained orange zest, somehow the orange aroma did not sit well with me this time and the cake overall felt "empty". I also felt that I did not like nuts in my cake. It was a disappointment to me but my partner begged to differ. He liked the cake and he told me that it was good. Or was he just humouring me? hee..hee...



But I am not giving up on this cake because I love pumpkins and I love pecans. So I tweaked the recipe. I threw out the oil and substituted with butter. I also increased the amount of sour cream. And with much regret, I also threw out the orange zest (big mistake!). But I still maintained the chopped pecans as this is one of my favourite nuts.

The first time, I baked this cake in one loaf pan. It resulted in a big loaf of cake as the cake had a very good rise. This time I divided the batter between two smaller loaf pans. Though the batter looked like it was too little, it rose to fill up 3/4 of the pan. I prefer two smaller loaves of cake rather than one huge one.



I am happy to say that I liked this version a lot better. The cake was moist and soft and not dense at all. However, like I mentioned earlier, I should have added orange zest. I guess my perception was thrown out by my disappointment with the first cake. Though I added cinnamon, the aroma was not distinct at all. Perhaps I had added too little.



I know that some of you would very much prefer to use oil rather than butter and for your benefit, I am reproducing both recipes - the original and my adapted version.










Pumpkin Pecan Cake (Original)
Recipe source : Lovely Butter Cakes (page 51)

Ingredients A
- 200g shredded pumpkin
- 100ml corn oil
- 50g sour cream
- 2 tsp orange zest

Ingredients B
- 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
- 3 eggs
- 1 egg yolk

Ingredients C (sifted)
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 250g plain flour
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp baking powder

Ingredients D
- 180g golden caster sugar
- 100g pecans toasted and chopped

Ingredients E (beat till smooth)
- 50g butter
- 200g icing sugar
- 1 tbsp orange essence

Ingredients F
80g pecans (toasted and chopped)

Method :
1.  Combine ingredients A and ingredients B.
2. Combine ingredients C with ingredients D, then gently mix with AB mixture.
3. Pour the mixture into a baking mould lined with baking paper. Bake in preheated oven at 175C for 35-40 minutes.
4. Remove and set to cool. Spread the top with a layer of ingredients E, then sprinkle with ingredients F.

Pumpkin Pecan Cake (My adapted version)
Recipe source : Lovely Butter Cakes (page 51)

Ingredients A
- 165g butter
- 160g caster sugar  
- 170g sour cream
- 200g shredded pumpkin
- 2 tsp orange zest (I omitted with much regret)
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 4 eggs
- 250g self-raising flour
- 180g roasted and chopped pecans divided into 100g (toss with a bit of flour to prevent nuts from sinking in the cake batter) and 80g (for topping).

Method :
1.  Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
2. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
3. Stir in shredded pumpkins.
4. Add flour and sour cream alternately, ending with flour.
5. Fold in 100g chopped pecans.
6. Pour batter into two small loaf pans.
7. Sprinkle remaining pecans on top of batter.
8. Bake at 160C for 50 minutes or until skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.




Photobucket

This post is linked to the event, Little Thumbs Up organised by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen of My Little Favourite DIY and hosted by Eileen of Eileen's Diary.



This post is also linked to Cook-Your-Books #17 hosted by Joyce of Kitchen Flavours.

54 comments:

  1. A friend gave me pumpkin bread - nice but I think I would prefer cake, your way...or steamed Chinese-style like those yam cakes...or bingka labu, Malay style.

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    1. I wouldn't mind having pumpkin bread or buns! I still haven't had the courage to bake breads as yet. Maybe someday.............

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  2. Hi Phong Hong, I do like cakes which are made using oil as it is more convenient (no need to melt the butter or wait for it to soften) but I agree that cakes with butter definitely taste much better!

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    1. Hi Yen! I have tried cakes and muffins made with oil and they are OK. But somehow it was not for this one :(

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  3. awww it's the golden pumpkin again!! I still cannot forget your delicious pumpkin bar, hehehe!!! so did you get a new pumpkin for this pumpkin pecan cake, or leftover from your pumpkin bar?? haha.. but I think maybe Halloween is near and you are in the "pumpkin mood"?? hihi.. okay okay, lame joke I know~~ :p

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    1. Hi SK! I am doing lots of pumpkins to support this month's LTU event :) This pumpkin was from a new batch. I have been buying lots of pumpkins. You are right about Halloween and pumpkins, so coincidental that pumpkin happen to be this month's LTU theme :)

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  4. this pumpkin pecan cake looks so yummy!!! I love anything nuts actually, in cakes, in cookies, in bread, in chocolates etc.. and look at the golden color of the cake, so inviting!!! and the generous amount of pecan you taruh inside and on the cake, oh so "luscious"!!! haha~~ :D

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    1. I also like nuts in cakes and especially cookies. Yeah, those pecans cost me a bomb ha..ha...

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  5. I like pumpkin cakes too. Yummy and not too sweet !

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    1. Chris, me too prefer cakes that are not too sweet.

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  6. Good morning Phong Hong.. Oohh last week it was pumpkin bars, today pumpkin (pecan) cake.. Nice.. I too, will look for anything from the internet using cooking oil, easier ma.. But of course, with butter, it's more fragrant and "heong butter mei" la.. In fact, I've bookmarked a chocolate chip cookies recipe, which does not use butter (coz I don't have any at the moment), will try it this weekend.. Your cake looks so moist and healthy, I don't mind having half of the cake.. You half, I half *ngap*

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    1. Hi Louiz! I don't mind using oil in cakes but somehow this one didn't turn out right. But still, butter is still lots better! Yes, you and I can easily finish the cake 50:50. Hope to see your cookies :)

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  7. Hi Phong Hong, I like the pecan topping so much, make very single bite so rich and yummy. Thanks for sharing the both versions and still the butter version is my choice, hi hi

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  8. Phong Hong, nice combination of the flavour & colour. I'm always crazy of the crack in the centre on the cake coz they look so sexy to me. If I bake cake don't see a crack on it, I will be so disappointed & I think I will go to turn it higher just to see it crack, hahaha, crazy lady.

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    1. Hi Jessie! Oiks, you like the crack ah? I prefer if no crack but this type of cake guarantee will crack ha..ha... Since you like it, then it is ok :)

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  9. We the baker always look for perfection eventhough the look of your cake looks good. I am sure you will try again to adjust to make to your perfect pumpkin pecan cake. The name already sounds so yummy and delicious.

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    1. Hi Mel! Yes this cake can be further perfected. I think using pumpkin puree would be better.

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  10. Replies
    1. Sharon, tonight you dream about the cake :)

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  11. Making a cake with corn oil and butter is quite different...without butter, the cake just loses its buttery richness. I prefer the version with butter anytime ;)

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  12. Hi Phong Hong, before I scroll down continue reading your post, I was thinking "PH bakes cake without butter ? don't seem to be PH style woh!' I can see that this pumpkin butter cake is so yummy-licious ... love colour ^-^!

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    1. Hi Karen! So you know me very well now, must have butter. Lots of butter! hee..hee...

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  13. Hi Phong Hong, anything cooked with pumpkin looks good. I like the colour of your cake. Nice contrast with the pecan nuts. Looks soft and moist too. I agree with you, using butter tastes better than oil, texture too.

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    1. Hi Kimmy! Yes, the colour turned out nice in the photo. I was quite pleased. The second cake was softer and if I had added orange zest, it would have been perfect. I am going to bake it again but using pumpkin puree.

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  14. You have so many pumpkin recipes!!!

    And I adore pumpkin. :)

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    1. Lina, it looks like lots of people love pumpkins and that's really great

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  15. with butter is usually much better!

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  16. Wow.. so much pecans and other ingredients.. sure sedap one!!

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    1. Claire, sedap! Buttery and nutty. Just too bad I didn't put orange zest :(

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  17. You are tempting me to try baking a cake myself! Grrr!!

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    1. RG, do the oil version as it is lots easier. But you would be complaining about having to shred the pumpkin and roasting the nuts hee..hee...

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  18. I've been wanting to try pumpkin bread, this might be a good recipe to try as you said the texture is more like muffin. but my brain can't seem to link orange and pumpkin together. i'll try with pumpkin spice and walnut, yes pecan cost a bomb. oh loving your blurry effects on the photos, makes the cake look very classy and expensive :D

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    1. Thank you, Shannon! The pumpkin spice and walnuts would be great too :)

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  19. good morning phong hong! you're missing the aroma of the butter, that's why you feel the first cake is missing something! i like how pumpkin always make the cake so golden yellow, no wonder people like to eat pumpkin during cny, the name is auspicious too! hey, i just realised that you changed your blog name to phong hong bakes and cooks ! :D

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    1. Hi Lena! I changed the name because heh..heh...I cook more than I bake. That way, not so misleading :D I am a great fan of pumpkins and this month I have a good reason to bake and cook with pumpkins!

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  20. Hi Phong Hong, it must be delicious with the crunchy pecan topping. Don't tempt me please!!!!! haha...

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    1. Hi Esther! We always tempt each other and it is fun hee..hee..

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  21. I also think your adapted version looks nicer and should taste better with butter….certainly looks good from here!

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    1. Hi Jeannie! Can't beat butter when it comes to taste!

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  22. I believe your partner when he says that the one with oil is tasty too. I believe I will like it too. Anyway both versions that you baked I also will like because I like real cakes like this and not those cakes with so little cake and full of cream. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

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    1. Hi Mun! Perhaps I was too quick to judge the earlier cake. After all, I have eaten muffins and cakes made with oil and I did not seem to have a problem with those.

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  23. Hi Phong Hong,
    Your cake looks wonderfully moist with lovely crumbs! I don't mind cakes using oil, but overall I prefer butter, with its buttery taste and aroma.
    You did well with your changes! Thanks for linking with CYB!

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    1. Hi Joyce! I have baked cakes with oil and did not have any issues until this one. Maybe my mood wasn't right that day hah..hah...

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  24. Hi Phong Hong, coincidentally, I have this book too. I have tried this cake too but without the pecans. Overall it's ok but I did add extra butter too. Give a try on their cheese butter cake. Sedap jugak! Thanks for sharing your version. You have a wonderful holiday tomorrow and warmest regards :)

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    1. Hi Ivy! Oh, I must go and check the Cheese Butter Cake tonight. If got time, maybe can bake tomorrow :) You have a wonderful holiday too!

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  25. Hi Phong Hong,
    Thanks for this awesome sharing! I'll be trying this cake out as cupcakes for NaNak's upcoming BBQ party. Will let you know how it turned out soon.

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    1. Hi Aunty Young! I think that is a great idea to bake as cupcakes. Looking forwards to see it!

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  26. Gorgeous and delicious cake, Phong Hong! ( so sorry for not keeping up with your posts often enough) by the time I get to post 1, you and others have out-done me with at least 3 amazing posts!
    I pinned this beautiful cake on my Pinterest cake board! xo

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    1. Thanks, Elisabeth! Don't worry too much, catch up only when you can :)

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