Orange Pumpkin Cornmeal Cake

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 11.34.45 AMLisi from Lisi’s Luscious Desserts shares the perfect cake recipe for fall. This cake is rich in color and texture. Though there are a number of steps, it’s so very very moist with a hint of citrus. It’s not as pumpkiny as you may think.
2 sticks or one cup of soft butter
1 cup sugar (which reader Anne pointed out that I forgot to include my in initial post as she was getting started.  thank you!)
1 tablespoon grated chopped orange zest
1 large egg
2 large eggs, separated
1 cup pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup fine-ground yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup fresh orange juice from about 2 oranges
1/2 cup sugar
Butter a 9 inch bundt pan (click to show better butter detail – scroll down in baking tips) and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Separate your eggs and keep both whites and yolks.  In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cornmeal.
With your paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy about 3-4 minutes.  Add the egg yolks (one at a time) and then the egg and beat well after each addition.  Scrape down the bowl, and beat again.  Beat in the pumpkin puree and vanilla.
In three additions, slowly add the reserved dry mix to the mixer – stirring on lowest speed (or gently by hand) until just incorporated.
Beat the 2 egg whites until soft peaks form.  I find this easier to do by hand with a whisk but you can certainly do with a hand mixer.  Or, you can transfer your pumpkin batter into another bowl, clean the mixing bowl well, and then beat your eggs with the whisk attachment.  (If you bake a lot, you may want to invest in a second bowl for your stand mixer.)
Then gently fold the egg whites into the pumpkin batter – until you can’t see any more streaks of whites, but be careful not to over due it here.
Pour the batter into the prepped pan and bake for about 40-45 minutes (mine took 43 minutes).  Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto wire rack to cool.
While the cake is cooking, make the orange syrup.  Juice the oranges and place the fresh juice in a saucepan with the sugar.  Mix until sugar dissolves and there isn’t any white sugar on the bottom of the saucepan (it will burn if so).  Boil the mixture for about 2 minutes and then remove from heat.
When cake is warm, brush with the orange syrup.  You can repeat when cool if desired.  For service, dot the  syrup on the side of the cake (if plated) or serve on the side and accompany with vanilla yogurt.
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Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 3.52.36 PMThe large collection of pumpkins here at Stewart’s are ripe and ready for you to make these delicious cupcakes. This is a great recipe, from Lisi’s Luscious Desserts,  to add your special touches to – nuts, no nuts, cranberries or a bit of heath bar crunchies. This is a quick and easy addition to your dessert repertoire!

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes


1 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 extra large eggs (room temp)

1 cup canned pumpkin puree

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar (lightly packed)

1/2 cup vegetable oil

chocolate chips if desired

frosting –

1/2 cup coarsely chopped heath bars

6 ounces cream cheese, room temp

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

pinch kosher salt


Cupcakes – 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray or brush top of a muffin pan (this will prevent tops from sticking) and then line with paper liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. In a larger bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin, sugar, brown sugar, and the vegetable oil. Add the dry to the wet and mix until just combined. Add chocolate chips if you like at this point.  And then you can skip the icing. Scoop the batter into the prepared tins and bake for 20-25 min – until a toothpick comes out just clean. Cool completely.  Then spread with the icing (below) and top with the chopped heath bars.  Enjoy!

Maple Frosting –

With the paddle attachment of your mixer (or hand held beaters) – cream the chream cheese, butter, syrup, vanilla and salt on medium speed until very smooth.  Turn the mixer to low – and slowly add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until smooth.

Adapted from the Ina Garten’s Foolproof Recipes. If you want to enjoy Lisi’s wonderful story about this recipe, click here. 

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Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

Gluten-Free-Pumpkin-Spice-Pancakes-SquareThis week’s featured recipe from Jeanette Chen is using fresh fall produce that’s in season. It’s that time of year when we all crave sweet treats made with pumpkin and pumpkin spice. These pancakes were sweet enough without any honey or maple syrup on top, so Jeanette’s family enjoyed them as is. These are a great gluten free option your whole family will enjoy.
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Pancakes
1 cup gluten free rolled oats, ground fine in a food processor
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
3/4 cup low-fat milk
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
coconut oil

Mix together ground oats, brown rice flour, tapioca starch, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, mix together yogurt, milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, eggs, vanilla, pumpkin puree, maple syrup and olive oil. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Let sit for 15-20 minutes so flours absorb liquid ingredients.

Melt coconut oil in cast iron skillet on medium heat. Use 1/4 cup measuring cup to scoop up batter and pour into skillet. Cook pancakes until you see bubbles form on top and bottoms are nicely browned. Flip pancakes and cook other side until browned.

Jeanette Chen, a resident of New Canaan for 20 years, is the busy mom of 4 boys and author of a popular health and wellness food blog, Jeanette’s Healthy Living.  She was recently nominated for Best Health Blog by Healthline and is always looking for ways to make healthier meals for her family and friends.
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