(EDIT: This one is good, but I’ve since made a pumpkin cake that I love even better than this, AND is healthier! Date Sweetened Pumpkin Bread Cake. If you have to choose just one to make, that’s the one I suggest.)
Thanksgiving is coming up – my first Thanksgiving while on this diet. I love food, and I love Thanksgiving food, and so I’ve been on a mission to find ways I can have Thanksgiving food that other people will also love. I mean, other, non-anti-inflammation diet, family members people.
Most of the meal is fine, but dessert has been a problem. I tried a pumpkin pie a couple weeks ago that was…okay. I ate it, but it’s not something a “normal” eater would really want when they can have the real thing. So that was scrapped, and I’ve since been trying different things.
People…I’ve found it. If you want a “real food” dessert for Thanksgiving that is at least not horribly inflammatory, look no further because this is the answer: Soaked Oat Pumpkin Cake. It’s pumpkiny, spicy, and really moist and tender, and is also gluten-free! (I used butternut squash that I’d roasted and pureed, which is why this isn’t orange. If you use canned pumpkin it will be more “pumpkiny” looking!)
Now, this does have sweetener in it. There’s 1/2 cup each of palm sugar and maple syrup in this, which technically is not allowed. However, they are “better for you” sweeteners (at least it’s not cane sugar), and so is the better choice for a special occasion dessert. And, I promise, this is one that even your non-healthy eating friends will like too. Please be careful not to overindulge, though. I’ve been eating a lot more of these sweeteners than usual for testing my recipes, and now my fingers are starting to ache again, so it does make a difference. Eat moderately!
This cake uses soaked oats. I’ve been learning an awful lot about the right way to eat grains so that they’re good for your digestion, and soaking is one of the methods. Soaking these oats makes them really tender, so that you hardly even know it’s all oats once it’s done. Its texture is just like that of a regular flour-made cake. It also makes it really easy on your digestive system!
All that’s involved in soaking is that, 12-24 hours before you plan to bake the cake, you take the oats and an acidic liquid and mix it up and let it sit on the counter. In this case I used buttermilk because buttermilk just works so well in bready recipes! You also want to add a little whole wheat or buckwheat flour to the mix too, for some sort of chemical reaction reasons I don’t fully understand, but I take their word for it. I used buckwheat flour to make it gluten free. Buckwheat flour is sold in most grocery stores – just keep it in the freezer after you buy it!
So, mix your oats, buttermilk, and buckwheat flour together in a bowl, cover it, and let it sit on the counter. After 24 hours, it looks like this.
When you get your oats ready, go ahead and put a stick of butter in another bowl at the same time, so that it’s all softened when you’re ready to make the cake the next day.
When the oats are ready and the butter is softened, put 1/2 cup each of palm sugar and real maple syrup in with the butter and mix it up. Grade B maple syrup is cheaper because it’s less refined, and also has a stronger flavor for the same reason, so that’s really good for baking. But if all you have is Grade A syrup for pancakes and whatnot, that’s fine too.
Mix it up, and then stir in the oats until completely combined.
Add 1 cup of pureed pumpkin or butternut squash, the eggs, all the spices, vanilla, and baking powder, and mix thoroughly. You want to make sure it’s mixed really well so that the batter doesn’t have any little lumps of baking powder in it or anything.
When you have it all mixed up, butter a 9×13 pan. BUTTER it, don’t Crisco it!
And then pour in your batter.
Pop in it the oven for 35-40 minutes at 350, or until the center springs back when you press it with your finger.
That’s it! Serve warm or cooled. You can have it plain or with some freshly whipped cream on top. (That’s how I plan to have it on Thanksgiving!) To whip cream, just put whipping cream in a bowl, and whip it up with an electric mixer until it’s firm. I like it just fine unsweetened, but if you want to sweeten it, you can add a little maple syrup or Stevia.
Yum! This got two thumbs up from both my kids, and I hope you enjoy it as well!
Soaked Oats Pumpkin Cake
- 2 1/2 cups rolled oats (NOT quick oats)
- 1/4 cup buckwheat flour or whole wheat flour (use buckwheat for gluten free)
- 1 3/4 cups buttermilk
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup palm sugar
- 1/2 cup real maple syrup
- 1 cup pureed cooked pumpkin or butternut squash (from a can is fine)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 eggs