Tartine Bakery's Pumpkin Tea Cake

The recipe has ended up on many "best of" lists for pumpkin tea cakes. It is reliable, straightforward, and super-moist, and has a nice balance of pumpkin to spice. The flavor will differ depending on the brand of pumpkin purée you use—some resulting in a lighter-colored cake, and others a more pronounced pumpkin flavor.

Reprinted from Tartine Revisited by Elizabeth Prueitt with permission by Chronicle Books, 2019

Prep Time

30 minutes

Bake Time

1 hour

Total Time

1 hour and 30 minutes

Yield

one 9" x 5" loaf

Ingredients:

1¾ cups (230g) Edison flour

1½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

1 cup (255g) pumpkin purée (see Baker's Notes below)

1 cup (240g) safflower or sunflower oil

1 1/3 cups (265g) sugar, plus more for topping

¾ teaspoon salt

3 large eggs

Baker's Notes:

This recipe is easily mixed in an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or by hand with a whisk. As with all quick breads, make sure not to overmix the batter, or you will develop a coarse, tough crumb.

 

If you choose to make your own pumpkin purée, red kuri or kabocha squash work well: both have good flavor and a nice, smooth texture when puréed. This cake isn’t too sweet, so a dollop of Bourbon Hard Sauce is a delicious addition on a slice of this cake. If you can find raw pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds), they make a beautiful crunchy topping, along with the sugar.

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  2. Lightly butter the bottom and sides of a 9" x 5" loaf pan.
  3. In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Set aside.
  4. In a mixing bowl of your electric stand mixer, beat together on medium speed the pumpkin purée, oil, sugar, and salt until well mixed.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition until incorporated before adding the next egg.
  6. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  7. On low speed, add the flour mixture and beat just until combined.
  8. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat on medium speed for 5 to 10 seconds to make a smooth batter. The batter should have the consistency of a thick purée.
  9. Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan and smooth the surface with an offset spatula.
  10. Sprinkle evenly with 2 tablespoons of sugar.
  11. Bake until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour.
  12. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 20 minutes, and then invert onto the rack, turn top side up, and let cool completely.
  13. Serve the cake at room temperature.
  14. It will keep, well wrapped, at room temperature for 4 days or in the refrigerator for about 1 week.

Baker's Notes:

This recipe is easily mixed in an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or by hand with a whisk. As with all quick breads, make sure not to overmix the batter, or you will develop a coarse, tough crumb.

 

If you choose to make your own pumpkin purée, red kuri or kabocha squash work well: both have good flavor and a nice, smooth texture when puréed. This cake isn’t too sweet, so a dollop of Bourbon Hard Sauce is a delicious addition on a slice of this cake. If you can find raw pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds), they make a beautiful crunchy topping, along with the sugar.


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