Pecan Spice Cake- grain free and refined-sugar free

I’m always experimenting with gluten-free, grain-free, Nourishing Traditions-inspired baking recipes using seasonal ingredients. Lately the ingredient of choice has been pecans. Despite the pecan shortage in Texas, our area received just enough rain for a good pecan harvest and there have been a few weeks now of nice fat pecans at the farmer’s market for about $7 a pound.  I’m hoping to stock up with several pounds this weekend.

Many grain-free recipes call for almond meal, which is expensive and no almonds grow anywhere near here that I know of. Well a nut is basically a nut, so why not substitute? South Georgia Pecan Company located in Valdosta, Georgia makes fine pecan meal, ground about the same fineness as almond meal. So far the only place in Gainesville that sells it is Publix, but you can always make your own pecan meal by carefully grinding frozen pecans until finely ground, stopping before they turn into butter.

Pecan meal- cheaper than almond meal, and pecans are better than almonds anyway. So there.

Tonight’s experiment was advertised as gingerbread, but a cake containing no molasses cannot rightfully be called gingerbread, and I fiddled with the original recipe anyway, so I’m changing the name to something closer to what I actually ended up with. You can substitute any liquid sugar for the honey: try sorghum molasses, cane syrup, maple syrup, agave nectar, or any combination thereof. The nuts can be substituted too. If walnuts grow near you, try walnuts. If you’re up North, try hazelnuts.

The honey I used here is Lynn & Jackie Herring's Gallberry & Palmetto honey, which is darker than orange blossom but much lighter than wildflower. I wouldn't use a dark honey in this recipe unless you really love the throat-catching sweetness of dark honey.

Pecan Spice Cake
inspired by Anja’s Food for Thought’s Gingerbread Bundt Cake

1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup pecan meal
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

3 eggs
1/2 cup honey
1/3 c butter, melted
3/4 c coconut milk
1 tsp frangelico or any liqueur

Heat the oven to 350. Butter a 9×9 cake pan. Whisk the wet ingredients together in one bowl until combined. Then in a separate bowl combine all of the dry ingredients. Coconut flour tends to clump up, so keep stirring until the mixture is completely combined. Then stir the wet ingredients into the dry until smooth and no lumps. Pour the batter into the pan and bake just until the edges are lightly browned and a skewer comes out dry, about 45 minutes.

See the slightly sunken center? This cake is just barely undercooked. I think with this cake it's better to slightly overbake than slightly underbake. This is an extremely moist cake and can take being slightly overbaked.

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