Ah, pumpkin season! It always sneaks up on you – one day you’re sitting in a reclined chair, soaking up the last few rays of sun as the leaves are slowly starting to turn yellow, and then boom – temperatures drop to right around freezing, trees stand naked all around and dinners have quickly transformed from cooling salads and grill nights to hearty bowls of stews and soups. Somewhere in there, berry crumbles and ice creams are waving goodbye and retreating back, only to be giving way for apple pies and… pumpkin everything. To be honest though, we’re no pumpkin pie fans. I think the consistency is our problem – yes, it can be smooth and decadent and not too wobbly at all, but we just… don’t like it all that much. This sure isn’t the time to present such opinions, I understand that. But hear me out, will you?
We made a traditional one, following all the pro tips issued by New York Times food writer extraordinaire Melissa Clark, both for my inaugural Thanksgiving celebration in 2013 and for the one we threw our Swedish family here last year, in 2017. It looked gorgeous both times, smelled divine and sliced so nicely, but the eating experience left everyone feeling quite ‘meh’. And for Thanksgiving, despite the fact that you’ll be stuffed beyond consciousness come dessert time, you want that last course to rock your socks off. Our solution? We make pumpkin bundt cake instead! It’s a million times better, in our humble opinion, and looks almost as pretty with the glaze on top. Michael, as the head baker of the family, is the creator of this recipe and should thus get ALL the credit – all I usually do is prepare the butternut squash purée. Ah, that reminds me – we don’t use pumpkin-pumpkin. Nah, if we learned anything from listening to Melissa Clark, it’s that butternut squash is what should be used, and we’re not the ones to argue. The natural sweet- and nuttiness of the butternut just makes it perfect for the purpose. Also, it makes it all the more possible for all of our Swedish followers to go make this exactly as the recipe says to, since butternut squash is readily available in just about any Swedish grocery store these days. Yay!
One last note: it’s Thanksgiving this week, and while it’s (sadly) mostly thought of as a day of eating followed by a day of reckless shopping these days, I’d like to say a few thank you’s. Maybe you want to, too? I’m eternally grateful for Michael, my favorite person in the whole, wide world. I’m grateful for my mom powering through cancer treatment and taking on life now with more vigour and joy than ever before. I’m grateful for our house, our garden, our running endeavors. For health, for a big and loving family on both sides of the Atlantic, for living every day as if not the last, but as if just immensely valuable. And for this online platform – I’m so grateful we decided to open up a little towards the world. Sharing thoughts, creating recipes and hopefully also showing that we can all choose our way of life. It doesn’t have to look exactly like everyone else’s. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! If you’d like to share what you’re grateful for, whether today or some random day in the future when you stumble upon this page, please do! We’d be happy to hear.
För recept på svenska, klicka här: Sockerkaka med pumpa
Makes one (1) bundt cake, approx. 20 cm diameter
180 g sugar (approx. 2 dl)
2.5 dl butternut squash or pumpkin purée, see note below
1 dl olive oil
140 g all-purpose flour (approx. 2.5 dl)
70 g graham flour (approx. 1 dl)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1.5 dl walnuts, chopped
1 dl powder sugar
1 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 175°C/350°F. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until light and fully, approximately 3-5 minutes. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while continuing to whisk until combined. Stir in the butternut squash purée.
- In a medium bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together, except the nuts. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet, and then add in the chopped walnuts. Let the batter rest for 15 minutes.
- In the meantime, prepare the bundt pan. Grease with butter, and powder with flour. Add the batter to the pan and bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool.
- To make the icing, whisk together the powder sugar and milk until combined. Drizzle over the cake once cooled, and sprinkle with cinnamon.
- Serve the same day or store in the fridge for 3-5 days.
Note: You can use store bought pumpkin purée here, but it comes out better if you make it yourself. We use butternut squash instead of pumpkin – it’s much more readily available and you can’t really taste the difference. To make the purée, simply bake cubed butternut squash in the oven at 175°C/350°F for 40 minutes or until soft. One (1) large butternut squash will approximately yield enough for four (4) of these cakes. Place what looks like 2.5 dl of the baked squash in a bowl, and purée with a stick blender until smooth. We usually set aside the remaining squash before puréeing and store it in the fridge for upcoming meals. It works great in a kale salad, such as this Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing, or soups, like our Butternut Squash Soup with Crispy-Chickpeas.