Stress Baking Cake

Remember when I said I was going to lean into the Fall baking craze real hard? Never a better time to do it than the week of an election.

Today I tested what I thought was going to be an extremely Pinteresty-in-a-bad-way kind of baked good. See, I had all these homemade candied ginger marshmallows leftover from my Native Field Trip dinner, plus jars and jars of pumpkin puree leftover from various Fall things. And my brain isn’t exactly functioning at 100% after a week of political ups and downs (you’re a fucking goose feather pillow, Marsha Blackburn) so I set out to make the most obvious thing I could think of: Gingery Pumpkin S’mores Swirl Cake. It turned out tender and toasty, chocolatey and rich, with pops of spicy ginger. Every bit good enough to be worthy of replacing a Thanksgiving pumpkin pie. I’d suggest that you serve it with a dollop of boozy whipped cream- something with a little bite to cut its richness. Me, I’ll probably just eat it for breakfast like the sugar fiend Maggie Pate turned me into this year.

A couple notes: homemade marshmallows are likely to disintegrate into the cake batter. Burn the living heck out of them carefully to get that toasted campfire taste of a s’more. Or use store-bought ones alongside little pieces of candied ginger coated in flour with the chopped chocolate.

Gingery Pumpkin S’mores Swirl Cake
-serves 8

1/2 cup neutral oil
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cup raw cane sugar
1 cup homemade pumpkin puree
1/3 cup water or unsweetened ginger tea
1 3/4 cup AP flour, + 1 Tablespoon for dusting chocolate
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 of a batch Ina’s marshmallows with 1 heaping cup finely chopped candied ginger mixed in
1 3.5 ounce bar dark chocolate
2 graham crackers (optional)
9”x5” loaf pan

1. Get everything into place: cut marshmallows into pieces that are about 1/2” tall and line them up on parchment paper. Grease and lightly flour your loaf pan all the way to the top. Roughly chop dark chocolate and toss it with 1T flour until coated. Set over to broil on high.
2. Make the batter: mix the first five ingredients together until smooth. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Gradually add the dry ingredients into the wet until no lumps remain.
3. Carefully, so so so very carefully- never taking your eyes off them- broil your marshmallows. They will catch on fire in an instant! Make sure the whole surface is very dark. Set your oven to 350.
4. While the marshmallows are still warm, swirl them into the pan with the batter and chocolate in three layers, beginning and ending with batter. Crumble graham crackers on top.
5. Bake for 60-80 minutes, or until the loaf is a beautiful shade of brown and no longer wobbles in the middle.
6. Cool for at least 25 minutes before serving.