So basically, this pumpkin loaf came about because I follow a lot of American bloggers on Instagram. I’ve always admired the American ability to fully cherish each season, and to have exciting culinary traditions in that vein. Whether or not this merely a classic case of the grass being greener, I don’t feel Australia has as strong an attachment to seasons, particularly transitional ones.
Pumpkin spice, pumpkin loaf, pumpkin pie: these are all traditions I feel are worth embracing. Even if I’m going into Spring, while they are going into ‘fall’. This won’t be the last of my pumpkin based recipes, so fear not (or have fear, depending on your preferences.)
This loaf is gluten free, FODMAP friendly, and ridiculously easy to make. All it involves is mixing wet, dry, and then wet with dry. As for the chai spiced buttercream, well! It is a game changer, that’s for sure. Not only does it pair beautifully with the subtly spiced pumpkin loaf, but also the FODMAP friendly chocolate cake, the flourless chocolate cake, and the dairy free buttermilk banana muffins.
A note on the spices:
I’m a big fan of spices, and I like my food to be spiced right up. I’ve tried to temper myself on the buttercream, but take note if you don’t want to spice up your life. If you only enjoy a lightly spiced baked good, taste and adjust as you go, using less spice if you really have to. Alternatively, use more! The more the merrier was never more applicable than it is to chai spiced buttercream.
FOR THE PUMPKIN LOAF:
- 1 cup (130g) fine white rice flour
- 1/2 cup (50g) tapioca flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon and nutmeg (add 1/2 extra of each if you like it spicy)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground clove
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 (130g) cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup plant based milk of choice
- 1 tablespoon vinegar, apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
- 100g pumpkin puree
- 2 eggs (I always use 700g eggs)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil (you can also use olive at a pinch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
FOR THE CHOCOLATE CHAI BUTTERCREAM:
- 100g butter, at room temperature (salted or unsalted are both fine)
- 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
- 1/2 cup cocoa
- 2 tablespoons plant based milk (only use as much as necessary)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
CHAI SPICE MIX:
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ginger powder
- 8 large cardomom pods, husks discarded and seeds into the mortar and pestle
- 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon clove powder
- 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- Freshly cracked pepper, to taste
METHOD FOR THE SPICED PUMPKIN LOAF:
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the 1/2 cup plant milk for the loaf and the vinegar, and set aside to form a buttermilk. Don’t panic if it looks curdled and awful – that is the whole idea. It will create a light and fluffy loaf. Thanks buttermilk.
- In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients – flours, spices, sugars and baking powder/soda.
- Back to the buttermilk: add the remaining wet ingredients – pumpkin puree, eggs and oil. Whisk until a batter has formed.
- Add the dry ingredients into the wet, and stir thoroughly to combine. The batter should be smooth, and look slightly aerated, thanks to the combination of ‘buttermilk’ and baking soda.
- Pour the batter into a silicon nonstick loaf pan. I like to give my silicon pans a little spray of oil first, even though you’re not really supposed to. Rule breaker etc etc.
- Bake the loaf from 45 minutes to an hour. Mine needed the whole hour, and I covered them with a bit of foil towards the end, because the top looked perfect at 45. Once it’s cooked, allow it to cool for 10 or so minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
METHOD FOR THE CHOCOLATE CHAI BUTTERCREAM:
- Use a mortar and pestle to grind the cardomom seeds and fennel seeds into a powder. I PROMISE it’s worth the extra bit of work.
- Beat the butter until pale and creamy, before sifting in the icing sugar, cocoa, and spices. Add the milk, and continue to beat, starting on a low speed and building up. Continue to beat until incorporated and smooth, and adjust for your chai tastes.