Pumpkin Cake

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pumpkin cake

I’m really not a morning person.  Life around me however starts really early in the morning.  Little by little I’ve shifted to being an early bird, but you’re not going to catch me eating worms anytime soon.  Skipping breakfast is not an option, and with little time to actually make something, an aversion to preparing stuff ahead of time, and an overall sour disposition in the morning, breakfast is a challenge.

I needed something that was super fast, not complicated, and would actually fill me up and hold me over for a few hours.  Who wants to mess around with measuring cups and 700 ingredients half awake?  While not totally measuring cup free, once you make this a few times, you could pretty much eyeball it.  Okay, so it’s super easy, but how does it taste?  Good enough that my teenage daughter will hug me for making her one.  Yes that’s right!  I got a “this is so good I have to hug you” from my teenager!  Her and I were blessed with lumberjack sized appetites and find ourselves completely satisfied after whipping up one of these perfectly balanced cakes.  You may want to find someone to share yours with, or not and squirrel it away in your purse for later.

Perfectly balanced?  Yes!  The typical minimum ratio for a low-carb diet, is 60-30-10 for where your calories should be coming from.  That’s 60% of your calories coming from fat, 30% from protein, and 10% from carbohydrates.  When using the protein powder I do, my figures come out as a 60-33-7 ratio.  With excellent sources of vitamins and minerals, you could almost call this a low-carb super food.  That’s right, cake as super food.

Protein powders come in a gazillion different varieties, and reading the labels every time you buy a new container is essential.  I learned this the hard way.  The protein powder I was using I thought was perfect.  It didn’t have shellfish listed as an allergen (a major problem for me), and had the lowest carb count of the different brands on the shelf.  It didn’t taste half horrible either.  I noticed though I’d feel kind of weird after having some.  Headachey and sluggish, I just chalked it up to other stuff going on around me.  Fast forward to the day I was buying a new container.  Nothing on the outside label indicated a change in the formula or “new and improved” but something was nagging me to check the label.  What do you know, the carb counts had suddenly jumped up and were just as high as the other brands I had passed up.  Ugh, I should’ve listened to my body when it said, HEY something here is not right!  So, I started to look through the other stuff on the shelf and came across whey protein isolate.  Checked out the label and woah!!  The vanilla had less than 1 carb per scoop and the chocolate had 1 carb per scoop.  I quickly threw them in my cart and hoped I was not buying some weird stuff I would never use.  A few rounds of various recipes using it, and I’m convinced this was definitely a great purchase.

Still have a giant container of protein powder you’re not using?  It’s alright.  My good friend Maria tested out this recipe for me using her regular protein powder and it came out perfect.  I will caution you though, if you’re using regular protein powder, your version will have significantly more carbs than mine, be less balanced and may not be as induction friendly as if you had used a whey protein isolate.  Don’t despair!  Have only half if your carb allowance doesn’t have enough wiggle room for the whole recipe and save the other half for breakfast the next day or share it with your teenager that really loves pumpkin stuff.  Hey, you might get a hug too.

Pumpkin Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
So, just how easy is it? Well, grab these things and see for yourself!
Serves: 1
  • 2 Tbsp of unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup canned pumpkin puree (I use Libby's, be sure it's just pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein isolate
  • ¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • teeny pinch of ground cardamom (optional, but my daughter suggested it - she's a big fan of cardamom - and I think it rounds out the flavor really nicely)
  1. In a microwaveable bowl, melt the butter. Add the pumpkin puree and spices and stir well.
  2. Add the scoop of whey protein isolate and stir very well until it's all incorporated.
  3. Taste it, and adjust for sweetness if necessary.
  4. Microwave on high for 1 minute and 45 seconds or until the center is set. Allow to cool for a minute or so, then enjoy!
For a chocolate variety, I use the decadent chocolate flavor of whey protein isolate, and change the pumpkin pie spice for just cinnamon and leave out the cardamom. Who doesn't love chocolate cake for breakfast? It definitely turns my frown upside down on an unseasonably cold morning.

A dollop of fresh whipped cream also goes great with this, especially when enjoying this for a dessert.

On a side note, I had a really hard time taking the picture for this post.  A very excited cockatiel was going out of his mind trying to have a taste, and even though I had put a small bit in his treat bowl, he wanted to have the big portion.  Almost every picture I took had his feet or his beak in the frame.  I finally distracted him long enough to get a decent shot, so I let him have at it when I was done.  Of course I don’t let him have much, but he was all happy and blowing me kisses after.  Got a bunch of grumpy people around?  Make a few batches…

pumpkin cake with george

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  1. Georgie looks so cute….I love pumpkin this cake must taste really great I’ll have to try to make some.

  2. Looks great! And I had no idea which Protein powder to buy so thanks for your advice on that! Cute birdie too:o)

  3. – 1 scoop vanilla whey protein isolate –
    One scoop equals = ??? cups/tbsp/tsp????

    i really would like to try the recipe.

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