Pure comfort food for fall, these plates of leftover Spice Cake, Glazed Cranberries, and Cranberry Coulis were a hit with my family. The Thanksgiving Leftover Desserts base cake, a Spice Cake, incorporates just a quarter cup of pumpkin puree and is made using an unusual technique.
Baking Soda in Boiling Water
Dissolving the baking soda in boiling water is an old-fashioned instruction, one that my grandmother used. Maybe baking soda was harder to dissolve or didn’t disburse as easily as it does today. I channeled Grandma Ida today, but actually, since the sweeteners are thick, I figured the boiling water would help dissolve everything.
I couldn’t find any other information about dissolving the baking soda, but I had had an opportunity last weekend to ask the master of desserts, award-winning author Rose Levy Beranbaum Levy about this odd technique. Rose said it would actually diminish the leavening power! The fact that the cake rose as well as it did is still a mystery to me, but I served this cake with a drizzle of glaze to a few friends who gave it thumbs up, and I put froze the rest to bring to my daughter’s home for Thanksgiving.
Leftover Thanksgiving Desserts
Of course, Thanksgiving is tomorrow, but I got to thinking about the many articles I see with the headline: How to Use Thanksgiving Leftovers. So, why not apply the same to leftover Thanksgiving desserts?
This cake is mildly spiced and light tasting. It is a serve-from-the pan kind cake if you like, but I used a round cutter on half the cake and cut the rest into wedges.
I had both a cranberry sauce and a cranberry coulis, and I re-whipped some aquafaba meringue with the help of my 7-year-old grandson. This kiddo knows his way around the kitchen and like most first-timers to aquafaba meringue, he was in awe. Chickpea water??
Spice Cake made with Leftover Thanksgiving Desserts
I had 2 1/2 cups of thick and not especially active batter. The cake baked in a 9x9-inch pan for 28 minutes. The cake was fully baked, but the center was still shiny. I used SOOM Silan as the sweetener. https://www.soomfoods.com/product/soom-silan-1-pack/
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/4 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ginger powder
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 cup organic sugar
- 1/4 cup neutral oil (I used sunflower)
- 6 tablespoons Silan (date honey), or use sorghum molasses, barley malt or mild molasses
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, Grade A dark
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree, unsweetened (I used canned)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Set an oven rack to the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Oil a 9x9 inch baking pan and line the bottom with a piece of parchment cut to fit. Do not oil the paper.
- In a medium bowl, sift the flours, salt, baking powder and spices through a strainer, and whisk to aerate.
- In another medium bowl, whisk the sugar, oil, silan, and maple syrup until combined.
- In a small dish, dissolve the baking soda in the just boiled water and add to the liquid ingredients, whisking well. Mix the pumpkin in now.
- Pour the pumpkin mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk until thoroughly combined. The batter will be thick but pourable.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 23 to 25 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted in a few places near the center come out clean.
- Cool before cutting. Top with leftover cranberry sauce.
I found this cake tastier after a few hours. It freezes and defrosts very well. The texture is akin to a pudding cake.
To make a glaze, mix together 6 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, 1 tablespoon boiling water, and ½ tablespoon silan or sorghum, or regular molasses or maple syrup. I used SOOM Silan, which is available on the website (free shipping) and Amazon too.
The kids in the house gave two thumbs up to these desserts.
How do you use up your Thanksgiving leftovers- savory and sweet?