Sometimes the perfect combination of factors leads to a new recipe.
Consider the following:
My aunt gifted us a gingerbread man cake pan for an early Christmas present.
We were having guests over and the kids were going to make gingerbread houses but we weren't going to eat them right away, so we needed dessert.
We had a pie pumpkin on the counter that needed to be cooked before going to mush.
We had just processed our honey and had a jar of deep dark molasses-like honey (from straining out the last of the combs) sitting on the counter.
Faced with all of those delightful realizations, I set about finding a recipe that would combine them. After a few internet searches, adaptations, and calculations, a recipe emerged that combined all of these yummy factors and made for a scrumptious holiday dessert.
NOTE: This recipe is for a 9 inch round cake pan, but I actually doubled it to have enough for our gingerbread man pan (with a little leftover for a small side cake).
Recipe: Pumpkin Gingerbread Cake
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon each: ground cinnamon, fresh ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, diced small
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup apple cider
2/3 cup honey (molasses can be subsituted)
1/2 cup butter (softened)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup pureed pumpkin (fresh or canned)
1 large egg
Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 9" pie pan or square baking dish.
Mix dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, spices, salt) in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
Mix apple cider and honey in another small bowl. Set aside.
Cream butter and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add pumpkin and egg, mix until well blended (you may have some small chunks but those tend to work themselves out in the baking). Add cider/honey mixture, incorporate, then add dry ingredients and mix until combined.
Pour into your prepared pan. Bake 40-50 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
Top with whipped cream, or decorate with a simple frosting (1 cup powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 1-2 tablespoons milk).