This has been a week of big changes, in which I did two things I didn’t think I would ever do: I joined Instagram and I got a blond pixie cut with a bit of teal thrown in. They’re not related, but you can see said haircut o’er there if you’re the curious sort :)
I am thoroughly enjoying both of these changes, but both come with a bit of learning curve. For Instagram, I have absolutely no ability to take a decent photo with a phone. For my hair, I’ve never had super short hair and have never had a funky colour before, so the styling options have completely changed. My talented friend who cut it did such a good job styling it that I’m kind of afraid to ever wash it in case I can’t make it look like she did…but today’s the day I’m going to have to brave it.
After the basics I need to master the pixie faux hawk, and then warn all my friends before they see me so they don’t all think I’m going off the rails :)
While it took me way too long to do it, I honestly can’t imagine ever not having a fun colour in my hair again. I am admittedly obsessed with colour in my daily life – bright clothes, vibrant walls, and row upon row of every-hued paint chips, the main thing I miss from my days of working in the paint store. Colour has always made me happy and given me the feeling of an instant energy boost, and now it surrounds me just a little bit more. I want to try purple, blue, pink, coral…my poor mother is cringing as she reads this, I know.
In light of all these changes (who am I even?!) I thought we needed a good comforting, easy recipe with ingredients you hopefully have on hand so you can whip this up for this afternoon’s snack.
Pumpkin takes over all the things in October, but by November it already seems nearly forgotten, left behind in the face of impending Christmas chocolates and holiday madness, a fickle trend quickly thrown by the wayside. Pumpkin needs to be less aggressive in October, and maybe then it could sustain its momentum a bit longer.
Coffee cakes with streusel toppings are one of my main baking weaknesses – I’d take this over pie or birthday cake or candy any day. This is a perfect cozy cake for a blustery, foggy day enjoying a cup of tea with a friend. If you’ve never had pumpkin and chocolate, you’re missing out – they are a pretty perfect pair. The crumbly brown sugar and oat topping makes this a cake I leave on the counter with a knife in the pan so I can cut myself a little piece every time I walk by. Danger cake.
But oh so worth the extra jumping jacks.
- STREUSEL TOPPING:
- ¼ cup regular or quick cooking oats
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup lightly packed brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ cup cold butter, cut into small cubes
- ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (see note for substitutions)
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- ¼ teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup lightly packed brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup pure pumpkin puree
- ⅓ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray an 8-inch or 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray (I used a 9-inch, but if you like your cake a bit taller, use an 8-inch pan - a square baking dish also works well if you prefer).
- For STREUSEL: combine oats, flour, brown sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or your fingers until it's evenly dispersed and the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Set aside.
- For CAKE: In medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- With electric mixer, in large bowl, cream together butter and both sugars until very smooth (about 2 minutes). Beat in the egg, vanilla and pumpkin until smooth.
- Add flour mixture to butter mixture and beat on low until just combined. Stir in ⅓ cup chocolate chips.
- Spread batter evenly into prepared pan and top with streusel topping. Sprinkle the ½ cup of chocolate chips over top of everything.
- Bake for 34-40 minutes (check after 34 minutes - if toothpick comes out clean, it's done). Let cool in pan on rack before slicing and serving.
- Store cooled cake in airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days, or let cake cool completely, wrap in plastic wrap and then foil, and freeze until needed. Let sit at room temperature for 4-6 hours to thaw before serving.
Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod.