Pumpkin Semolina Cake


Although it’s one of my favorites, I haven’t had a piece of pumpkin pie yet this fall. Actually, in the spirit of full disclosure, I did have a few bites of a piece from Mission Pie but that doesn’t really count. I seem to have a tendency to over-do it with pumpkin pie and get a little tired of it before Thanksgiving.

So I wait, thinking of other ways to use pumpkin. I was leafing through my recipe binder the other night and stumbled across this recipe for Pumpkin Semolina Cake. Semolina flour is available in most supermarkets, so you shouldn’t have much trouble finding it. It’s often used to make homemade pasta and pizza dough because it has a higher gluten percentage, making pasta stretch easily rather than breaking apart. While Italians use it for pastas, it’s traditionally used in Greece, North Africa and the Middle East to make crumbly baked goods. Because of the high egg content in this recipe, the cake is almost pudding-like with a large, moist crumb (thanks to the semolina flour).

I’d never baked a cake in a water bath before, although I’d heard of people doing so with cheesecakes. It turns out, it’s a common practice with delicate foods and egg-based desserts (of which this is one) because it allows them to cook at a lower, even temperature. This cake is best served warm with a dollop of homemade whipped cream. And I think it’s especially nice served with cinnamon or mint tea. It should tide me over until Thanksgiving when I’ll savor my first real piece of pumpkin pie. However, I loved this cake so much that–dare I say–it could even be a nice substitute.

Pumpkin Semolina Cake

Pumpkin Semolina Cake

  • Yield: 10-12
  • Prep time: 20 mins
  • Cook time: 50 mins
  • Total time: 1 hr 10 mins

From: Cottage Living 

Ingredients

2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 cup semolina flour
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
6 eggs, separated
3/4 sugar, divided

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan, and dust with flour. Wrap outside of pan halfway up sides with aluminum foil, and place in a heavy-duty roasting pan.

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a small saucepan, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Slowly whisk in semolina flour until smooth. Remove from heat, and place in a large bowl to cool. Add the butter and pumpkin, stirring well.

Sift together all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; fold into pumpkin mixture until incorporated. Beat egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Clean mixer blades, and beat egg whites in a separate bowl at high speed with an electric mixer until frothy. Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and beat to form stiff peaks. Fold yolk mixture into pumpkin mixture; gently fold in egg whites.

Pour batter into prepared pan, place in a water bath, and bake at 350 F for 50-55 minutes or until set in the center. Out of the oven, remove cake pan from water bath. Cool slightly. Serve warm.

Comments

  1. Catherine

    Oh my! It looks divine. Thanks for sharing! Side note: Does high gluten content make breads crumbly? I make honey whole wheat bread weekly and it's too crumbly lately...too much added gluten? TIA for your tips! :)

  2. Megan Gordon

    Catherine: high gluten doesn't necessarily make breads in particular crumbly...in fact, usually the opposite. If your honey whole wheat has been too crumbly, I'd try switching to a white wheat flour (assuming you were using all whole wheat) which has more gluten and will hold your loaf together with fewer crumbs.

    Hope that helps!

  3. Kasey

    What?? This sounds ridiculous. And by ridiculous I mean ridiculously delicious. Semolina + pumpkin, I imagine it would create the most tender bite. Adding to my holiday repertoire!

  4. cook4seasons

    I am on a huge pumpkin AND semolina kick = making this recipe tomorrow!

  5. Sarah, Maison Cupcake

    This looks delicious. Pumpkin desserts are quite unusual in the UK so everyone would love this.

  6. Megan Gordon

    Kasey-Yes, ridiculous is the perfect word. I'm having some for breakfast this morning!

    Karen-Let me know how it turns out!

    Sarah-Really? I didn't know that about the UK. Interesting. You could start some new trends...

  7. El

    Love the baby pumpkins. This cake looks beautiful - a great alternative to pumpkin pie!

  8. ChristinaC

    I made this cake tonight and it is DELICIOUS!!!! So moist and tasty. I didn't have all the spices so I substituted with a bit of pumpkin pie spice and a pinch of chinese 5 space.

    Thanks so much for sharing this great recipe. I'll definitely be making it again.

  9. Sophie

    This looks delcious!! Absolutely stunning too!

    MMMMMMMMMMMM,...all the way!

  10. Dani

    I have confirmed that this cake is, in fact, RIDICULOUS!!!! I made this last night as a test trial and ate it with my husband, warm and with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Suffice to say he demolished it in a matter of seconds. I will be making it again this morning to bring to tonight's dinner gathering at my in-laws. And as of 5 minutes ago I called my mother in Florida and she has agreed to phone-bake with me (simultaneously baking, her in Florida and I in North Carolina). She is on her way right now to picking up semolina flour from the store.

    Megan thank you so much for such a delicious recipe!!!

  11. Megan Gordon

    Dani-I'm so excited that you enjoyed the cake...and that you're having a phone-bake with your mom. That rocks. Happy Thanksgiving, enjoy...and thanks for letting me know how it turned out!

  12. Viktoria

    My fav is a Better Homes & Gardens Recipe: Lemonade Roll. It's the same concept as Pumpkin Roll but obslvuoiy you replace the pumpkin with Lemon. It is light, fluffy & scrumptious. I'm actually going to be making it on Friday for the Visdos family Valentine's Day celebration. : ) I have a photo of it that I will put onto fb since I'm not sure how to post a pic to your blog.

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