Today’s treat was inspired by Austin Java Company in the Austin Bergstrom International Airport – the first place I stop after I go through security.
Austin Java’s coffee is pretty good, but the real reason I go there is because they have this cake I like to look at. It appears to be a pumpkin loaf with a big, drizzled matrix of white icing or possibly white chocolate. I’ve never actually bought a piece because I’m afraid it might look better than it tastes. Instead, I always tell myself I’ll make it at home. But then I forget about it, because I go away on a trip and come back thinking about other things besides pumpkin cake.
So yesterday, after finding a tempting pumpkin loaf recipe that called for molasses, butter and lots of spices, I decided it was finally time to make a loaf that looked like Austin Java’s. But because the recipe was for “mini loaves”, well, I did minis.
If you have some mini loaf pans, this one’s worth a try. It’s very moist so even though there’s less surface area, the loaves won’t be dry.
The original recipe called for 9 mini loaves (2 ½ by 3 ½ inches), but my mini loaf pans are somewhat bigger (3 by 5 and 3 by 6) so I used those and adjusted the temperature a bit.
- 2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened (150 grams)
- 2/3 cup packed brown sugar (140 grams)
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup molasses (75 grams)
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (300 grams)
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon baking soda (5 ml)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder (5 ml)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (5 ml)
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg (2 ml)
- 1 pinch allspice
- 3/4 teaspoon salt (3 ml) – if using salted butter, use ¼ tsp
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 14 ounces canned pumpkin puree (solid pack, not pie filling)
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (24 grams)
- 1 cup powdered sugar, plus more if needed
- 4-6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or orange juice
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray mini loaf pans with flour-added cooking spray or grease and flour. I used 4 loaf pans that were about 3 ½ by 5. You can make these smaller (see cook times at bottom)
- Cream the butter and brown sugar until light. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time; beat in molasses. Stir together flour, ginger, baking soda and baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, salt and pepper; stir one-third into butter mixture. Stir in pumpkin. Stir in another third of the flour mixture; stir in buttermilk, then remaining flour mixture.
- Scrape batter into prepared pans and bake on center rack. If using 2 ½ x 3 ½ loaves, check at 30 minutes. For slightly larger loaves, check at 37 minutes. For one giant 9×6 inch loaf, test at 40 minutes
- A toothpick or chopstick (I use a chopstick) inserted should come out clean. Let cool. Turn from pans and let cool completely. Ice when cool.
- To make the icing, melt the butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Add the sugar and stir to coat it with butter – it will be thick and pasty. Slowly add the lemon juice one tablespoon at a time, mixing well and adding more juice until you get the consistency you like. I mix it so that it flows off a spoon, then I let it stand for a bit so that it’s thickens up slightly. When the pumpkin loaves are completely cool, drizzle the icing on top or put it in a heavy duty zipper bag, snip off the corner, and drizzle it over in a lattice shape.