So speaking of baking, I conducted another chia seed baking experiment. Last time I made cookies and found they turned out too cakey (I was trying to make a chewy cookie). This time I made pumpkin cake, since I figured the chia gel would have less of an impact on cake or quick bread.
I think it was pretty much of a success. The chia gel gives the cake a bit of a crunch (makes sense, since the chia seeds are what make the gel), but I don’t think anyone noticed there was no oil in the recipe. Of course, it probably didn’t hurt that there was full-blown cream cheese frosting slathered on it, but come on, you just don’t mess with cream cheese frosting.
I used the recipe from an old Penzey’s Spice catalog, which makes an ample amount of cake, perfect for those 4th of July barbecues (except the frosting will probably slide off).
Read on for the recipe!
Frosted Pumpkin Bars with Chia Gel
adapted from Penzey’s
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp powdered ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup chia gel (the original recipe calls for a cup of vegetable oil. To make the chia gel, blend 1 part chia seeds with 9 parts water and let sit until it is a gelatinous blob)
2 cups sugar
1 15-oz solid packed pumpkin
PREHEAT oven to 350. Sift together the flour, soda, powder, salt, and spices. IN another bowl, beat together the eggs, chia gel, sugar, and pumpkin until well blended. Add the dry stuff in batches. Pour the batter into an ungreased jelly roll pan (NOTE: so because it said not to grease the pan, I didn’t, but then I panicked, because I was thinking, hey, they say not to grease the pan because there’s OIL in the recipe, but I used chia gel! Fortunately, the cake came out of the pan just fine and didn’t stick, but I was nervous. You may want to grease and flour the pan just in case).
Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes (do the toothpick test to check for doneness). Cool the pan on a wire rack. Frost with cream cheese frosting when cool then cut into nice squares.
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
1 brick cream cheese, at room temp (8 oz)
1/2 stick butter, at room temp
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk
4 cups powdered sugar
Beat together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and milk until whipped and light. Add the powdered sugar a cup at a time, beating well after each addition.