This is my first post for the Burwell General Store Recipe Swap. The idea behind the recipe swap is to re-invent a recipe from a vintage cookbook:All-Day Singin’ or Dinner on the Ground. Each month Christianna picks the recipe and we have a few weeks come up with our own version of the original. So fun, right?!?! Not gonna lie, I always get nervous joining recipe clubs, especially the first month. I hope I’m participating correctly and not breaking any rules.

This month’s recipe: Maple Molasses Cake. I’m not sure if maple molasses is an ingredient, a combination of ingredients, or just a fancy word for ‘maple syrup.’ I decided I was going to go with ‘it’s just a fancy word for maple syrup.’ I love maple syrup. I’m like Buddy, from the movie ‘Elf.’ If you gave me maple syrup to put on spaghetti, I’d do it, don’t tempt me. I put maple syrup in my coffee, did you know that? Try it, it’s woooooonderful!

In addition to making a specific recipe, we talk about a specific topic. This month: What we’re thankful for this year.

Well, 2011 has been a pretty big stinken year for me. If having a kid doesn’t change your life, I don’t know what will. My little girl is already 9 months old. She’s crawls, pulls herself up on things, eats worms and shoes and dislikes peas. You know, all the normal 9 month old activities.

I might cry a little thinking about all I am thankful for this year. Bear with me.

I don’t know why I had to go through a miscarriage in 2010 but I’ve accepted that it just doesn’t matter why. It happened, we got through it. Without that, would I have my Waverly? I don’t have an answer. All I know is I get to look into my daughter’s big blue beautiful eyes and I’m reminded I have HER! I am thankful for her. Tears, they just started.

My husband stays home with her. Not necessarily by our choice, as he was laid off the day Wave was born. Unrelated, but it happened the same day. I married a man who cherishes his family and is 100% taking advantage of this time he gets to spend with our daughter. It’s simply unbelievable to watch a dad and his daughter. The way both of their eyes light up when they see each other for the first time each morning. The way she jumps up and down in my arms when he walks in a room. My family, they are my world and I am thankful beyond words for them.

Ok, now for the cake. Make it! It’s heavenly! The maple and pumpkin are both very subtle and complimentary. You can notice them both, but they don’t overpower or overwhelm each other. It’s a great balance! It’s one of those cakes that doesn’t need anything else with it. Just a sprinkle of powdered sugar on top, and you’re good to go. Sure, you can add chopped nuts, or chocolate chips, or a glaze on top. Or even turn it into a layer cake filled with pumpkin mousse because you just HAPPEN to have a little leftover.

Not a pretty picture, but ding dang, if it wasn’t tastiest little maple pumpkin maple cake filled with pumpkin mousse I’ve ever had. I mean WOW, DELICIOUS!

Here’s the original recipe:

Changes I made (you’re required to make 3 somewhat substantial changes to the original recipe):

1. A lot of baked goods can sub applesauce for butter or oil to lower the fat. But what about a different kind of puree, a vegetable puree?! PUMPKIN! I sometimes find that by substituting applesauce cakes turn out dry though. I don’t want no dryyyyyy cake, blah. So, I’ll just double the amount of puree. By double, I mean double the amount of ‘butter’ and replace it with puree (so 1/2 cup butter turns into 1 cup pumpkin puree).

2. I had self rising flour in my cupboard,so I replaced the all purpose flour and baking soda with 2 1/2 cups self rising flour.

3. I think that brown sugar and pumpkin go together SO well, which is exactly why I used brown instead of white sugar.

Pumpkin Maple Cake (It’s low fat too, SCORE!)
Serves 8

1 cup pumpkin puree
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup maple syrup (the good stuff not the fake stuff)
1/4 cup brown sugar

2 1/2 cups self rising flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 cup hot water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a pan (loaf pan,mini loaf pans, round cake pan, springform, etc…)

Mix the dry ingredients in 1 bowl. Mix the pumpkin,eggs,maple and brown sugar in another bowl. Add the dry ingredients and the hot water alternately to the wet ingredients. I started by whisking, then I switched to a wooden spoon to stir. The wooden spoon actually worked better and broke up the dry ingredient lumps better.

Pour the batter into your pan(s) of choice. Bake for 35-45 minutes.
*Baking time will vary depending on the size of the pan you used.
Mini loaves took 40 minutes.
Cake pan/springform, about 35 minutes.
Full size loaf (8×4 inch), about 45 minutes.

*The cake rises, A LOT! Not like a ‘spill over the side’ kinda rise, but a fluffy, kinda rise. So if you have an oven rack above the loaves, make sure the cake has enough room to rise.

Remove cake from the oven and cool in the pans for about 15 minutes, remove cake from pans and finish cooling on a wire rack.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

All done, go enjoy some cake. Oh wait, but first, go look at the other renditions of a maple cake: