This pumpkin tea cake is everything you would want a pumpkin bread to be – moist, spicy, and full of rich pumpkin flavor. It’s also easy to put together for a rainy day afternoon tea, and has a deep nutty brown color that looks great on a breakfast plate. This recipe is slightly adapted from the Tartine cookbook (sold at most local bookstores) by the great Elizabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson (owners of Tartine Bakery & Bar Tartine in San Francisco, CA). We love this cookbook, because every recipe we’ve tried, like the scrumptious Deluxe Double-Chocolate Cookies, adapts really well from regular all-purpose flour to our whole grain Hard Red Winter Wheat Flour.
1 2/3 cup Community Grains Hard Red Winter Wheat Flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup + 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
1 cup vegetable oil (such as sunflower or safflower)
1 1/3 cups sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar for topping
1/4 cup pepitas, toasted (optional)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly butter the bottom and sides of a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
In another mixing bowl, beat together the pumpkin puree, oil, sugar, and salt until well mixed. Add in the eggs one at a time. Mix well after each egg so it is fully incorporated before adding the next egg. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and mix until just combined. The batter should have the consistency of a thick puree. Be careful – if the batter is over-mixed, it will be tough and coarse.
Transfer the batter to the loaf pan and smooth the surface with a spatula. Sprinkle with sugar and pepitas (if using).
Bake about 1 hour, or until a cake tester in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 20 minutes, then invert onto the rack, turn right side up, and let cool completely. Serve at room temperature with tea or spread with sweet cream cheese.