Earlier this year, I tried a recipe for a fat free pumpkin pound cake from Fast Food Fix, a book that specializes in making low-fat or fat free versions of restaurant favorites. The pound cake was tasty, but had one major flaw: it tasted a bit rubbery after the first day. At the time, I covered this up by toasting it, but the problem is one that is common to recipes that rely on egg whites in place of regular eggs and are low in fat. I began to wonder if I could take out those egg whites, eliminate the texture problem and still be left with a relatively healthy (low fat, in this case) loaf.
In cases like these, sometimes I’ll experiment to find a variation that I really like and other times I’ll shelve the idea for a later time. I shelved this idea at the time, but after only a few weeks I came across a recipe at the PPK that sounded like exactly what I wanted. It was low in fat, contained no eggs (it’s vegan) and promised to be both moist and flavorful. And it lived up to its promise.
Moist and very tender, the loaf was more like one you would serve with coffee or tea than one that would stand-in for a dessert, but the flavor was great. It has cinnamon, ginger, allspice and cloves and it is sweetened with maple syrup instead of regular sugar. Best of all, the ingredients it calls for are probably things that you have in your kitchen right now.
Pumpkin might be associated with fall and winter more than spring, but I doubt you’ll hear any complaints if you bake up a loaf of this in the morning.
Pumpkin Cranberry Loaf
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/8 tsp ground cloves
2 cups mashed pumpkin (canned)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup apple sauce
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease a 8.5 x 4.5-inch loaf pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
In a large bowl, stir together pumpkin, maple syrup, apple sauce, vegetable oil and vanilla. Stir in dry ingredients, mixing only until just combined and no streaks of flour remain. Stir in dried cranberries, then pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the loaf springs back when lightly pressed.
Cool loaf in pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 1 loaf.