So, before I get right into the amazingess of this loaf, I wanted to tell you about the cupcake decorating class I took last night! It was hosted by Crave Cupcakes – they really do have the best cupcakes in the city. They’re one of those companies where the minute someone sees their packaging their response is “oooh, Crave”!! WELL worth the pricey little tag for the cupcake.
I learned how to do a reverse rosette and the signature Crave swirl, using two different colours. Not only was the class fun and informative, but they supplied you with mini cupcakes to keep you going throughout the class. A great way to spend the night!! Although I feel a little sick from an overdose of buttercream, I definitely see more pretty cupcakes in the blog’s future 😉
Now – this loaf!!
How cool is that peekaboo pumpkin!? I wish I could take credit for the idea, but my inspiration came completely from my dear friend Kelsie over at The Itsy Bitsy Kitchen. She posted this hidden bunny cake for Easter earlier this year and I thought it was the neatest thing ever. The method for this peekaboo pumpkin loaf is a direct result of that bunny cake! It’s what I love most about the blogging world; I get so many inspirational ideas from all the amazing bloggers out there.
The loaf might look like it’s a little tricky to make, but it’s super easy; albeit, a little time consuming. I chose pumpkin for the inside because, well, I had a pumpkin cookie cutter. Plus it’s a pumpkin-y time of year and I figured it was time I jumped on that bandwagon. What better to compliment the pumpkin than chocolate? This chocolate loaf recipe is one of my go-to’s when I’m having serious chocolate cravings and I want to feel a little better about eating it by calling it a “loaf” instead of cake….
Before embarking on this peekaboo baking adventure, be sure to leave yourself enough time to bake two loaves, with the first one needing to completely cool before you can make the cut-outs. It’s kind of a half-day adventure.
Both of the loaves are baked in a standard 9×5 loaf pan. The most important thing to keep in mind for this whole baking journey is to choose a cookie cutter short enough that it will fit nicely inside the loaf – you don’t want to choose a cute pattern and have the top half cut off!
When the pumpkin loaf has totally cooled, cut it into 1″ slices and then prepare your cut-outs. Place the cut-outs on a baking sheet prepared with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and freeze the cut-outs for about an hour. Get your chocolate loaf batter ready in the mean-time!
When the cut-outs are ready, prepare the loaf pan by lining it with parchment paper and spraying really well with non-stick spray. Place a little bit of chocolate batter in the bottom of the pan, just enough to cover the bottom. Line up the pumpkin cut-outs in a row, leaving about 1 to 2″ at the ends. Pour the remaining batter over the top of the cut-outs and bake!
If you’re serving this loaf to guests don’t tell them about the surprise inside and slice it right in front of them – not only is the hidden image a fun trick, the two-toned flavour is something special!
Try this method with any flavour combination of loaves (any recipe designed for a standard 9×5 should work) and any cookie cutter that will fit. I’m thinking a Christmas themed loaf would be really fun too!
Hooray for the weekend ahead of us – I hope you have a lot of excitement planned (and maybe some Netflix watching).
Peekaboo Pumpkin-Chocolate Loaf
Yield 1 loaf
A delightfully soft and moist pumpkin loaf is hidden inside a rich, cakey chocolate loaf to surprise and delight guests!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp all-spice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 3/4 cup oil (canola, grapeseed)
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 3/4 pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup milk (1%, 2% or non-dairy)
- Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a 9x5" loaf pan with parchment paper and/or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, all-spice and salt. In another large bowl, lightly beat the eggs, then whisk in the oil, and both sugars. Add the pumpkin puree and stir thoroughly. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, stirring until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and place into the pre-heated oven for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow the loaf to cool for 10 minutes in the pan before removing and cooling completely on a wire rack. Once cooled, slice the loaf into 1" slices. Using your chosen cookie cutter, cut out the shapes and place them on a baking sheet prepared with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet. Place the shapes in the freezer for 1 hour.
- During the last 15 minutes of freezing time, prepare the chocolate loaf batter. Preheat the oven to 350 F and prepare another 9x5 loaf pan by lining with parchment paper and/or spraying with non-stick spray.
- Combine the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using an electric mixer, beat the butter on high until soft and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add in both sugars and beat until fluffy, 1-2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, and then the vanilla extract, beating in between.
- Add half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, with the mixer running on low. Add half of the milk, then the remaining dry ingredients, slowly mixing together. Add the remaining milk and mix on low until well combined.
- Remove the frozen cut-outs from the freezer. Add just enough chocolate batter to the prepared loaf pan to cover the bottom. Line up the frozen cut-outs in the center of the pan, leaving 1 to 2" at each end of the pan (you may have a few cut-outs leftover). Pour the remaining batter evenly over the top of the cut-outs, ensuring the pumpkin loaf is covered. Place the pan in the oven for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool the loaf in the pan for 10 minutes, before removing and cooling completely on a wire rack. Slice, and serve.
Loaf will keep at room temperature, in a sealed container for 3-4 days, or 6-7 days in the fridge. The loaf can also be frozen (once cooled) for up to 2 months.
- Choose a cut-out that is only slightly higher than the height of your loaf pan to ensure it will fit.
- Method from The Itsy Bitsy Kitchen.