Serious Eats: Recipes

Sunday Brunch: Pumpkin Tea Cake

[Photographs: Robin Bellinger]

It's been a while since I baked something I simply could not resist (I've been experimenting with applesauce-sweetened, bran-laden toddler "cookies") so it was a relief to bite into this pumpkin tea cake and discover that I can still test my own willpower mercilessly. Who can think about good health and sculpted upper arms in the presence of something so tender and fragrant? Only a heartless, stomachless monster, that's who, and if you're such a creature, well, I have a recipe for applesauce bran cookies for you.

The rest of us will be curled up with a slice of autumn and a mug of tea. We'll save the crunchy top for last and then decide we'd better investigate the cake's moist underbelly again, perhaps this time with a thicker piece.

If you're feeling generous, leave this loaf out with a knife for your brunch guests to nibble at while you finish whatever else you're cooking up. Just make it relatively light—maybe frisée with lardons and poached eggs—since the tea cake may have disappeared before the meal begins.

Pumpkin Tea Cake

Adapted from Tartine by Elizabeth Prueitt.

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