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Pumpkin Loaf with Meringue Topping

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Ingredients for the cake:

  • 2 cups canned pumpkin
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground cloves

Ingredients for the meringue topping:

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Make the meringue: In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip egg whites, sugar and vanilla until glossy, stiff but not dry peaks form. Set aside while you prepare the cake.
  2. Heat oven to 325 degrees and butter a 9-by-5-inch (23-by-12-centimeter) loaf pan.
  3. Add the pumpkin to a bowl or stand mixer. Add the orange juice, oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar and salt and mix until well combined. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition; use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Add to egg mixture in stand mixer and combine on low speed just until smooth. (At this point you can add in anhy optional mix-ins, such as dried cranberries or nuts.) Transfer batter to the prepared loaf pan.
  5. Use a spoon to top the batter with the meringue, gently swirling it into the batter and pulling it back out a few times to create streaked peaks. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Let cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes before slicing and serving.

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