What do you like to do the most when you visit a new place? Sight seeing, trying out the local food or doing all sorts of touristy things? I'm sure each one of us has something special to do, that you may say “it's my thing”.
Well, “my thing” is seeing people ;) Yep, I love to simply observe people, their emotions, expressions, imagine their back stories etc; Whatever I do, I try to do it with utmost concentration, sometimes, I get lost in it.. so when I tend to watch people, I do that also with complete focus, so much so that Jose often complains that I'm staring at people!
I love to explore a new place by walking around. That's what we did when we went to New york, two years ago. Since it was a last min kinda trip, we didn't have any clue about what we were going to do. We just booked our hotel and flight tickets two days before traveling. After resting at the hotel for a while, we got out and started walking aimlessly. We walked for half an hour, ended up in a coffee shop for the next one hour. Coming to think of it, that's all we did there, walking and eating. I practically lived on desserts for the 10 days, we stayed there. I had cakes for breakfast, pies for lunch, some sort of dessert for dinner or may be a sandwich at times.
The portions there was huge, so we used to box it most of the time. Because of the jet lag, I used to get up at 3 in the morning initially. I still remember getting up at 3.30 in the morning and eating double chocolate cheesecake, needless to say I reached my record weight gain after that trip!
Ok, so coming to our recipe, I first had pumpkin cake during that trip. Though I came across many pumpkin dessert recipes including cakes, I never got a chance to taste them. Actually I never had any pumpkin dish other than Erissery, so somehow I always connected pumpkin with curry based dishes. I was very excited to try the cake for the first time and I loved it. While we were there in New york, I made it a point to eat it once in a day kind of, since pumpkin cakes aren't very common in this part of the world.
As soon as I came back from the trip, I started searching for canned pumpkin here, but it wasnt available. But from last year onwards, I see it in almost all supermarkets. I went and bought 3-4 cans, yeah I've a bit of hoarding issue.. Searched for a similar recipe and I was overwhelmed with the number of recipes available. After shortlisting many recipes, I ended up with this one. I always like plain cakes with some kinda topping. I prefer these kinda cakes to iced cakes. Btw, it's called a coffee cake because it goes well with a cup of coffee. If you look in the ingredients list, there is no coffee and I was a bit confused. Yeah that's when I realized a coffee cake is a cake, often cinnamon-flavored, with a drizzled white icing or crumb topping, and usually eaten with coffee. Yep, I didnt know that. I'm sure you know better :)
If you can get hold of canned pumpkin, please do try this cake. It's very moist and the crunchy topping is best! I've also mentioned the substitute for canned pumpkin in the notes, if you cant get hold of canned pumpkin.
Before, I go to the recipe, I want to share with you one more tidbit from our US trip. Since we stayed pretty close to Times Square and since I love watching world go by, I dragged Jose every night to Times Square, just to go and sit on those steps. After our trip, when we reached Bahrain, one of my aunts asked “so what you liked most about your trip”? I was all excited and told her about our night trips to Time Square and how you can see so many different kinds of people coming together and blah blah.. For a moment, she was like.. is that it? Then she said “if all you wanted to see was people moving around busily, you could as well go and stand near the Kacheripady bus stand in Cochin, why should you spent all this money and go to US”!!!!
If in case, you noticed, I'm posting after a small gap. I was away on a short trip, more about it later :)
Anyways, here you go with the recipe…
In a small bowl, combine sugars and cinnamon for topping. Cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in pecans/walnuts; set aside…
In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition…
Combine the sour cream/yogurt, pumpkin and vanilla; mix well…
Combine dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream/yogurt mixture. Beat on low just until blended…
Spread the batter into two greased and floured 8-inch round cake pans. Sprinkle with topping. Bake at 325 degrees for 40-50 minutes (mine took 45) or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean…
Recipe from here
- For the topping:
- 1/4 cup Packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup White sugar
- 1/2 tsp Ground cinnamon
- 2 tbsp Cold butter or margarine
- 1/2 cup Chopped pecans/walnuts
- For the cake:
- 1/2 cup Unsalted butter
- 1 cup Sugar
- 2 Eggs (@ room temp)
- 1 cup Sour cream / Full fat Yogurt (I used yogurt)
- 1 cup Canned or cooked pumpkin (I used canned pumpkin)
- 1 tsp Vanilla essence
- 2 cups All-purpose / Plain flour
- 1 tsp Baking soda
- 1 tsp Baking powder
- 1/2 tsp Pumpkin pie spice (I didnt have it, so I used 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon)
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- In a small bowl, combine sugars and cinnamon for topping. Cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in pecans; set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the sour cream, pumpkin and vanilla; mix well.
- Combine dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream mixture. Beat on low just until blended.
- Spread the batter into two greased and floured 8-inch round cake pans. Sprinkle with topping. Bake at 325 degrees for 40-50 minutes (mine took 45) or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.