Maple Roasted Pumpkin and Allspice Babka with Cinnamon Icing

Pumpkin All Spice Babka with Cinnamon Frosting by Meeta K. Wolff

Strawberries, raspberries and cherries lie scattered on the countertop in the kitchen. The fresh asparagus glistening vibrant green in the sink waiting to be turned into a pesto. I consult my recipe and style sheet to make sure I have everything ready. The temperatures are mild outside, in my flip flops I take a step out on the porch, inhaling the clean and fresh air - it smelled just like it does in early Spring.

A lone leaf, amber in color, slips away from the maple tree swaying in the gentle breeze to land at my feet. I pick it up and for the first time I notice the leaves are turning their color.  I’ve been stuck in the wrong season you see. Truth is it’s October and my markets are proudly showing off pumpkins, figs, cranberries, quince and the sweetest dates. Truth is, I have not even wrapped my head around all of these favorites of mine. Truth is I am in Spring/Summer 2013!

Pumpkin All Spice Babka with Cinnamon Frosting by Meeta K. Wolff (0025)

With the temperatures in their 20s C and my recent photo shoot for a client’s Spring/Summer 2013 delicatessen catalogue I’ve been in the illusion of an extended Spring. For the past two weekends I’ve been getting deliveries of the ripest and sweetest Spring / Summer produce in my kitchen and spent the last weekend in Hamburg styling with the prettiest Spring/Summer props. It was dizzying!

It was confusing! As I packed away the last of the props and cleaned the up the raspberry and cherry spills I caught a glimpse of the golden maple tree glowing in the morning sunlight, I had to jerk my mind and body and mind back into reality.

The air cooled down and the blustery autumn winds swirled the leaves around my feet as I made my way to the market. I had pumpkins, cranberries, dates, plums, sweet potatoes and beets on my mind.

Pumpkin All Spice Babka with Cinnamon Frosting by Meeta K. Wolff (0018)

Back in my kitchen I began slathering the thick maple syrup over the vivid orange cubes of the butternut squash. As they gently roasted in the oven, the scent of spice mixed with the sweet perfume of maple syrup arose into the air wrapping the kitchen in a warming hug.

Just like that - the seasons changed in my kitchen from strawberry tarts to pumpkin cakes and outside from pastel colored Spring flowers to a carpet of golden leaves. And here I am - a little late but I am welcoming Autumn with pumpkin and spice.

Pumpkin All Spice Babka with Cinnamon Frosting by Meeta K. Wolff (0011)

On a cold Autumn day this would be the perfect cake to cosy up with. The roasted pumpkin adds a sweet intense flavor to the cake, keeping it moist while the warming allspice adds notes of nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves. The cinnamon icing is more than simply icing on the cake - it rounds off the aromas found in the cake so perfectly.

One of the other things I did while I was in Hamburg this weekend was attend a launch of a hot new print food magazine in Germany. Deli is the newest work from Gruner + Jahr (I worked with their publication Laviva last year) and it looks amazing. Meeting the team and having the cooks prepare several recipes from the first issue in the test kitchen was definitely a highlight this weekend. If you are in Germany make sure you pick up a copy - it's on sale as of this week.

Recipe: Maple Roasted Pumpkin and Allspice Babka with Cinnamon Icing

Printable version of recipe here

Pumpkin All Spice Babka with Cinnamon Frosting by Meeta K. Wolff (0024)

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Serves: 8

Ingredients:

  • 2 small butternut squashes, cut in large chunks
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 130 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 110 ml buttermilk
  • 210 g all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 100g muscovado sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 50g dried cranberries
  • 50g pecans, toasted and chopped
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C. Butter the Bundt cake form. line a baking tray with some baking paper.
  2. Toss the butternut squash chunks in the maple syrup and spread on the baking tray. Bake in the oven till soft, then puree in the blender. Transfer to jars and keep in the refrigerator until needed. You can make this ahead as it will keep for 3-5 days in the fridge. For the cake you will need about 150 g of the puree.
  3. Beat the soft butter until fluffy, then add sugar and continue to beat until thick and voluminous. Add the pumpkin puree and using the spatula fold it in. Add the pecans and cranberries, folding it into the mixture carefully.
  4. In a separate bowl sieve the flour, baking powder and all spice. Add half of the dry ingredients into the squash mixture, then pour the buttermilk and fold in using the spatula in a few quick folds. Add the rest of the dry ingredients. Combine everything making sure not not to over-stir the batter.
  5. Pour the batter into the Bundt form, evening the top with the spatula. Place the cake form into the oven, on the middle shelf and bake for approx. 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.
  6. For the icing, stir the icing sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon with a few drops of water to make thick but fluid icing. Pour the icing over the cake and let it set for a few minutes. Decorate with chopped pecan.

Notes: You can substitute the cranberries with dried sour cherries or raisins and add any other nuts instead of the pecans. I really like this using macadamia nuts too.


Verdict

Pumpkin All Spice Babka with Cinnamon Frosting by Meeta K. Wolff (0024)

Make sure you cut up a thick slice of this cake. The toasted crunchy pecans and the sweet, tangy cranberries add a divine flavor level to the cake. With such treats it becomes easy to let glorious Autumn step into the kitchen and take over. I hope you are enjoying it too.

If you need a little nudge then I’ve got just the thing for you. This month Dara of Cookin Canuck is my wonderful hostess and her theme fits perfectly into the season. Dara wants to see all your Squash creations so make sure you all join the party this month. The deadline is till October 31st!

Simone over at Junglefrog Cooking is also tempting us into the season with her latest photography and styling challenge. The theme is pumpkin and orange and this is my interpretation of the theme. Being one of the three judges of these challenges I cannot win but I do enjoy taking part as it gives me inspiration to try new ideas and keeps me practicing. Hope to see your submissions there too.

Dubai Food Photography and Styling Workshop Update

clip_image002We have partnered with the incredibly gracious team from Atlantis,The Palm again, who have put together an amazing field trip at their stunning locations. There will be a grand tasting at Asia Republic where we will be treated to cuisines of South East Asia, China and Korea. Form there we will enter the Zen-style gardens of Nobu where we will have access to the location for a on-site photo shoot. We then will arrive at Ossiano, a world of mesmerizing tranquility created by the captivating ocean life of the Ambassador Lagoon where we will sip a few pre-dinners cocktails to unwind and finally dine at the exquisite Saffron, a contemporary interactive buffet featuring International and Asian inspired cuisines.

If I have tickled your fancy and you have always wanted to hone your food photography and styling skills I have some good news for you. Due to 2 cancellations we have free spots open up on this workshop. We have put together a fantastic programme filled with a lot of photography and styling theory and several practical lessons. Participants will be treated to a variety of events which will be part of various assignments over the 2 day course. You will find all the details including the updates on the announcement page.

You might like these Autumn sweet treats from WFLH:

BananaBriochePudding05 HoneyAppleCrostata__0099-WM_thumb PumpkinCarrotCake07-framed[2]
Banana Brioche Pudding with Baileys Caramel Cream Honey Roasted Cardamom Apple and Brown Butter Streusel Crostata Pumpkin and Carrot Spice Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting


All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2012 Meeta Khurana Wolff unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

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70 comments:

  1. Ah yes the mixing of the seasons in photography... I've been up to my ears in Christmas cakes last week while - unlike Weimar - it is full on Autumn here. Even as I look outside my garden is shedding it's leaves and bright crimson is the dominant color at the moment. Love autumn and I love the look of this beautiful pumpkin cake! I've got to think of what other pumpkin dish to make for the Monthly mingle.. ;) Beautiful pics (as usual) Meeta!

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    1. I'm a bit ahead of you on that one. Luckily this year in terms of photography I only had a small project. But it was important to get myself back in our current season. The photo challange was great motivation!

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  2. Dizzying indeed! Well, with stores showcasing Xmas stuff and the weather being awful, I also have difficulties remembering that we are in autumn...

    A gorgeously seasonal babka!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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    1. I hope the weather improves. We're having an incredible warm Autumn. So it's been nice here. Glad you liked this!

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  3. When watching your photos I definitely know, it is autumn, great!! I just love the mood of these pictures. And thanks for telling about Deli :)

    Hugs
    Eva

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    1. Eva, glad you liked the images and yes you must go out and get Deli. It's a lovely magazine with cute and nifty little extras!

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  4. A wonderful recipe, never had a babka, but I definitely should give it a try! Unfortunately I don't have so much time to go out for long walks and picking up mushrooms. I would love to see you soon again, hearing the news from your Hamburg-Trip and chatting a bit (maybe with our husbands around).
    Oh, and I think I know this orange styling prop ;-)?
    Hope I can join Simone for the orange theme, your pictures are so beautiful as always my big food-photography-idol!
    Hugs, Sandy

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    1. HA! Yes the orange fabric does look familiar - hey I always say the world is your prop box!! Shame about the mushroom walk would have been great. And I look forward to your photo for the challenge!

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  5. WOW!
    Meeta, I'm definitely falling in love with this recipe. I love Babka, but this version is so cool :)
    Great job my dear!

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  6. I love the tone of your pictures, Meeta! Your pumpkin babka looks gorgeous and the cinnamon drizzle is just heavenly! :)

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    1. I love the cinnamon drizzle here too. It adds a lovely sweet touch at the first bite! Thanks for the comment.

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  7. What a perfect fall dessert! I am trying to imagine that workshop in Dubai and it just read so fabulous. Have a wonderful time with food styling!

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    1. Thank you Sarah. Yes I love visiting Dubai it's always an intriguing place and I always come away learning new things and meeting exceptional people.

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  8. Oh my, this looks like the best cake ever! I'm currently on a pumpkin high in the US, eating everything pumpkin flavoured (from pumpkin spiced ice cream to pumpkin beer) and even bought some pumpkin spice pancake mix. So, I'll have to make this cake when I'm back! Hope all is well, you seem to be hanging out quite a bit in Dubai these days :-) Let me know when you're passing through London again and we'll meet up!

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    1. I can so imagine the the US is in pumpkin season full force! Great to see you hear and I hope the next trip to London will bring us together again. Would love to see you again!

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  9. This has to be the most delicious way to enjoy butternut squash I've ever seen! What an amazing fall treat!

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    1. Thank you! It was dense and moist and just the right balance of sweet and spice. Glad you like it!

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  10. They look absloutley delicious and looks so moist too.

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  11. You have such a rich and distinctive style for photographing your dishes and getting your head into a theme. Artistic you are, yes. Just exquisite. And as you have been, I've been in denial about autumn's arrival.

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    1. Robin, I love reading your comment. It takes me straight to the evening we spent in Tuscany looking at photos and eating good food. Thanks for your lovely comment. I think we both need to dive a bit deeper into Autumn.

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  12. Oh the joy of seasons running into each other - then your realize you missed one or two of your favorites. I am happy that you took a step back and made this cake for us. Love maple. Love pumpkin. Definitely see this in our new future.

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    1. Yes it was good that I realized it soon enough. I do love the wonders of Autumn and now that I have started with the cooking my kitchen and I are having a ball. Hope you like this when you make it in your future ;o)

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  13. Oh, Meeta - this is so lovely! Your photos make me want to wrap a blanket around my shoulders, and nestle down onto the couch with a piece of this lovely babka. I'm so excited to be hosting this Monthly Mingle and can't wait to see everyone's recipe ideas.

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    1. Ahh ... just what I want to hear. I wish we could enjoy this together. So happy to have you host the Monthly Mingle and I too am looking forward to everyone's awesome submissions.

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  14. Hi Meeta, I saw your babka on Pinterest and it led me here :). This is so gorgeous, I'd love a slice along with my afternoon tea!

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    1. Laura welcome to my little space. Glad you found your way here and thrilled you like the babka. Make sure it's a big slice you cut out. ;o)

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  15. very promising recipe ! I miss some information about the size of the baking form, or is there a standard size ? I'm from germany and I hope I will find an appropriate form.

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    1. I used a 20 cm bundt cake form for this. If you want to use on that it bigger you can too it will just nit rise as much. I bought mine in Germany at a large supermarket.

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  16. Amazing! I could eat this entire thing myself! :)

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    1. HA! Yes I know I had to resist that urge too!

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  17. I am lucky enough to be shooting 'just' Christmas, so nothing too extreme now, even though it's still a late summer weather here! This is my kind of cake, I just discovered pumpkin in dessert and they quickly become my favourite ones! Beautiful beautiful pics!

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    1. Thanks Juls! Christmas came and went too fast for me. HAHA! Pumpkin is so fantastic and versatile!

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  18. Looks fantastically delicious, Meeta! It is a good idea to use pumpkin and spices together.

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    1. Thanks Anna! I t enhances the flavor so much!

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  19. I've been itching to make pumpkin bread with a nice glaze... I'm about to s scratch. This one looks lovely.

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  20. Wouldn't mind being in Spring or Summer at all! Funny to hear these behind-the-scenes stories, Meeta:) And I'm so proud of you for rocking all these workshops, so cool! And a new P2P-website coming up, exciting!!

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    1. Thanks Denise! Yes Spring Summer can stay a bit longer for me too! P2P Ireland - we're excited!!

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  21. hello
    i like your blog
    its really very amazing


    thanks


    dainik bhasker

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  22. I love the way Americans use pumpkins and squash for almost everything!! I absolutely have to try this out!

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    1. It's versatile so it works in both savory and sweet. Hope you like it!

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  23. You have mentioned 3 tablespoons of maple syrup two times,is it correct? The cake looks delicious and I am going to bake it nex week.
    Maria

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    1. Hi Maria, thanks I corrected that! Hope you enjoy it and come back and tell me how it went!

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    2. Done.Disappeared very quickly.All spice gives really fantastic
      taste.I have added an egg at the stage 3- to butter/sugar mix.is it ok?

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  24. I am loving the fall colours in the picture. I love pumpkins in dessert and this recipe is very do-able. Thanks for sharing it Meeta.

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    1. Thanks! Glad you like this and hope you enjoy it!

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  25. Thanks for bringing a little bit of autumn for those of us who don't get seasons :) Lovely imagery and a lovely recipe to jumpstart your fall dishes!

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    1. Sending Autumn colors and crisp mornings your way!! Glad you liked this!

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  26. Your babka looks heavenly Meeta! The tone of your photos and that glaze drizzled over the top make me feel all warm and cosy and wishing we were heading into Autumn here instead of the very warm, almost summer like spring we're having at the moment.

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    1. AHH! My work is done here. I love to hear what impressions my recipe/images has on readers. Thanks for the feedback!

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  27. I like that this recipe calls for fresh veggie..have been browsing many canned pumpkin bakes...it does take extra effort to make homemade puree..but am sure it makes a lot of difference. Never had Babca before and will be baking it this weekend. Love...love the pictures!

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    1. I never liked the canned stuff so always roast my pumpkin. The effort is so minimal for the end taste so it's really worth it. Let me know what you thought of it!

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  28. Today is one of the first cool and overcast days we've had recently that makes me feel like autumn is finally here. I could go for a nice slice of this and a warm cup of tea.

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  29. I'm sure it is confusing shooting for a season yet to come but exciting too creating for the future. We are in spring here in NZ but your Babka cake would be perfect for our rather miserable spring weather just now.

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    1. The mixed seasons of our hemispheres puts me off track sometimes too. I think this cake is fit for both fall and spring though.

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  30. You make it all look amazing through your camera. Loved the recipe and pictures. Perfect for adding deliciousness to my diwali food platter.

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    1. Thank you Neel for your kind words. I hope you enjoy it and Happy Diwali!

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  31. I made this cake twice in the past 10 days...and everyone said it was marvellous! It's one of the most delicious babkas I have ever tasted, thanks for sharing it!
    One question: is it possible to freeze the pumpkin puree?
    Fran

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    1. Oh Fran so glad to hear that this cake was a hit. That puts a huge smile on my face.
      Yes of course the pumkin puree freezes easily. Place in air-tight containers and should last up to a month in the freezer. Defrost to room temp. before using it.

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  32. I have always been amused to be here....simply an awesome post..

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  33. I'm a bit confused. The recipe lists squash, not pumpkin.

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Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.

Hugs
Meeta