If you enjoy pumpkin everything, you’re going to love this cake. And if you’re not a huge pumpkin person, you’re going to love this cake, too. Yep, I promise. Because am honestly not huge on pumpkin but have been heavy on the attack against this loaf ever since it emerged from the oven. Can’t stop, won’t stop. You guys will have to try it! pssst… it’s a one-bowl recipe!
The baking of this loaf started with a house-wide scavenger hunt for our old, trusty red can opener. That is no joke. I (desperately) needed to open a can of organic pumpkin purée and the rest of the ingredients were all ready to go. After doing the usual interrogations, “Guys, did anyone see mama’s can-opener?” Followed shortly by a more accusatory “Did you guys take mama’s can opener?” Denials all around and sneaky half-grins.
And just like that, a breakthrough. That and I almost broke a bone, as well. I tripped on my daughter’s Calico Critter car on my way back to the kitchen and sure enough; aboard the red family car was my red can opener. Almost perfectly camouflaged. It was Gracie’s doing. So… I asked, “Gracie- what’s the can-opener doing in the critters car, baba? She looks a bit pensive (and upset) and says: “They wanted to play hide and seek with mama”. The problem is, I didn’t get a memo. It would be nice to know. Such is life these days, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. And I mean it. Those two sure keep me on my toes, but they also keep my heart-full.
So, I baked pumpkin loaf three ways before settling on coconut flour. Buckwheat made for a bit of a drier, spongier loaf. Almond flour required a full 2.5 cups and is considerably pricy. One of the things I try to do is keep my recipes reasonably priced. So cue in coconut flour. Unassuming. Super affordable. And you ONLY require 1/3 cup because it’s super absorbent and like I’ve said before, a little goes a looooong way.
BUT; here’s the caveat: don’t try to sub a coconut recipe measurement for another type of flour. If you tried to make a loaf with 1/3 cup of say almond flour or brown rice flour, you would end up with “the great pumpkin mush”. A much larger flour quantity would be required. This measurement works for coconut flour, only. I buy a large bag for $7-9 dollars or less. This usually yields 10+ baking projects. Not shabby, at all. Am I right?
I often get a lot of emails from you guys with questions about ingredient substitutions. So… I decided to add a little substitution template; so you guys can cross-check your pantry for alternatives.
- maple syrup= you could use raw honey or agave
- eggs: you could a flax meal egg. 1 tbsp of flaxseed meal to 2.5 tbsp of water per every egg the recipe calls for. For this recipe, that means 3 tbsp of flaxseed meal to 7.5 tbsp of water. Stir well and allot the mixture to thicken. Some people even swear by refrigerating them for 5-10 mins for best results.
- coconut oil: grass-fed butter or grape seed oil
- dairy free chocolate chips: you could also use pepitas or candied pecans
Paleo Chocolate Pumpkin Loaf
- 1/3 cup of organic coconut flour
- 1/3 cup of pure maple syrup (+ more to taste if you like things sweeter)
- 1/3 cup of organic coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp of baking powder
- 1/2 tsp of baking soda
- 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp of nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp of ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp of sea salt
- 1 cup of organic pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 3/4 cup dairy free chocolate chips (I used “Enjoy Life” mega chunks)
- 1 tbsp of the same chocolate chips to sprinkle the top of the loaf
- 3 large eggs at room temperature (see substitutions above for vegan options)
- Turn on the oven to 350F and a line a loaf pan with parchment paper (If you don’t have parchment paper, grease it throughly with a dab of coconut oil.)
- In a large bowl, combine coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, & sea salt. Give it all a good whisk.
- Throw all the “wet ingredients” into that same bowl: 3 eggs, coconut oil, 1 cup of pumpkin puree, & pure maple syrup. Mix well to integrate. You could use a handheld mixer or a whisk. Do not overmix.
- Fold in the dairy free chocolate chips or chocolate chips of your choice.
- Pour onto loaf pan and use a spatula to even the surface out. Sprinkle some more chocolate chunks on top.
- Bake for about 55 mins, times vary depending on your oven. I always check it at the 45 min mark by inserting a knife or toothpick in the center.
- Allow it to cool completely before cutting it, so that the coconut flour settles. I like to keep it refrigerated (and covered to preserve moisture).
P.S. it tastes even better the day after it’s baked! Enjoy all the delicious fall flavors. Because pumpkin and chocolate are the perfect pair.