Autumn Glory Snack Cake

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Autumn Glory Snack Cake

Guys. Seriously. Sometimes I really get happy with the desserts I make up.

If that sounds pretentious or immodest, please understand that I have a ton of baking fails as well, so whenever things go my way, I get super excited. This is one of those times.

This cake is autumn in a pan. When you bake it, your house will smell ah-may-zing. If we’re getting technical, this cake is the combined glory of cocoa, banana, pumpkin, and chocolate chips along with lovely fall spices like cinnamon and cloves. You’ve gotta bake it to believe it!

Autumn Glory Snack Cake

Before I get back to cake, I’m going to abruptly shift topic and talk about life 15 years ago.

As you all know, the 15th anniversary of 9/11 occurred two days ago. It occurred to me that I’ve never written down my own version of that day. You see, everyone has their own story about that day, just like people who were around the day that Kennedy got shot have stories. My story isn’t that interesting, but it’s mine. I wanted to write it down somewhere.

Autumn Glory Snack Cake

My original plan on September 11th, 2001 was to go to work and then move. As in, move into my first single-girl apartment ever in Washington, D.C. I’d never lived alone, and I had just started my job. Everything was new, exciting, and scary.

I remember being preoccupied by many mundane details. My futon was being delivered later that day, and I was hoping I’d make it back from my suburban high school to the new city pad in time to receive it. On the job end, I’d just started teaching high school seniors, and they were a tough crew. I was worried about it, and that’s kind of where I was mentally that day.

Autumn Glory Snack Cake

A lot of people remember a beautiful early September day. I don’t. I honestly was too much in my own head that day to notice anything. Well, until.

My problematic senior class had just ended when a student came back into the classroom and told me to turn on the TV. I had a typical teacher reaction; in other words, I said no. But he said, “You don’t understand. Please, this is important. Something is happening on the news.”

Something in his eyes made me reach for the remote and turn on the TV. The rest you know, because we experienced it together as a nation. Watching the first plane, then the second, followed by anger and confusion and worry. Hearing conflicting reports about which planes were touching down where. The Pentagon, the field in Pennsylvania. It all came together slowly and in a nightmarish, jumbled way.

Autumn Glory Snack Cake

Obviously, I didn’t move to D.C. that day. I moved on September 13th, where I looked around the undecorated walls of my tiny apartment and felt alone and afraid. New city, new job, new world. It was probably the most off-kilter I’d ever been at that point in my life, and the emotions alone had me in alt for quite a while.

That’s pretty much it. Not an exciting or distinctive story, but mine. I wanted to tell it sometime, and now I have.

Moving on to cake now seems absolutely uncalled for, but that’s the nature of life. It’s hard to know when to move from the serious to the frivolous, and it’s important to find balance in that spectrum.

Autumn Glory Snack Cake

This time of year, I find it comforting to bake with some of my favorite autumn spices: cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg. Another wonderful option is pumpkin pie spice. I don’t use that in this cake, but it’s also a great choice.

This healthier cake is butter-free. It also has hefty doses of both pumpkin and banana for extra moisture, so it’s a truly delightful experience. The chocolate chips don’t hurt, either!

Every September, I remember days gone by and look forward to the future. We all have memories and stories that make up who we are. Some of them are painful, while others are full of happy nostalgia. I hope that our more difficult times can help us appreciate all the good things in life that we’re lucky enough to experience.


Autumn Glory Snack Cake


1 and 3/4 cups oat flour (labeled gluten-free)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup mashed banana (about 3 medium ripe bananas)
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Spray an 8-inch pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients except the sugars and chocolate chips until well incorporated. Set aside.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the eggs and sugars and mix well. Add the pumpkin and oil and stir again. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and beat until a smooth batter has formed. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the cake is done, as tested by a toothpick. Cool and then cut into squares.


I fulfill many roles in life: wife, mother, teacher, everlasting learner. This site is dedicated to one role that expresses my creativity in ways that I find consistently challenging and rewarding: baker. Inventing new ways to enhance food, especially if that food involves chocolate or peanut butter (or both!), is a passion of mine. I look forward to sharing my ideas with you.

This Post Has 16 Comments

  1. Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice

    I remember very clearly where I was too that day…I was sitting in my dorm room in college, watching the news, hoping that my dad was ok in Chicago since he worked there. My classes were cancelled for the day, and I just remember being in shock. Thanks for sharing your version of the story! And this snack cake would make me very happy, too. Love the cozy fall flavors!
    Gayle @ Pumpkin ‘N Spice recently posted…Strawberry Mocha PopsMy Profile

    1. Mir

      It was a very shocking day, one after another. #neverforget

  2. Medha @ Whisk & Shout

    I have no memories of 9/11, but I’ve heard so many stories and it’s chilling every time. This snack cake is definitely something to brag about- that combo of chocolate/banana/pumpkin really sounds like it would make the house smell like autumn 🙂
    Medha @ Whisk & Shout recently posted…Vegan Spicy Sabzi Salad {Sweetgreen Copycat!}My Profile

    1. Mir

      That’s right! You would have been very little. It was my first year in MCPS, and boy, did that make for a memorable start to the year. Such a tough time.

  3. Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary

    Well I’m nosy, so I obviously love that you shared your 9/11 story! 😉 I think we all remember where we were that day and what we were doing… I was a freshman in college standing in my door room staring at the State Capital Building (FL) because there were threats that it was one of the next targets (because of his brother Jeb). That was a very sad day for our country. Anyways, I awkwardly digress. So this snack cake! LOVE it! You had me at the name – Autumn glory! You really packed this baby with all the yum… and ALL the fall! I bet this makes your house smell amazing.. and I bet it tastes even better than it smells! Cheers, chicka!
    Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary recently posted…Ham & Pear Sandwich {with Arugula & Manchego}My Profile

    1. Mir

      Such a sad day, one that we all share together in sadness. Hope we always remember!

  4. annie@ciaochowbambina

    Thank you for sharing your memory of that day, Mir. For me, it was the first day of my internship as a school counselor. I had just arrived to the office where I was to report. The radio was on and we were all listening and wondering if it was an accident…until we realized it was more… I remember it as if it were yesterday. I love this cake…so comforting… You had me at ‘autumn in a pan”!
    annie@ciaochowbambina recently posted…Italian Eggplant with Walnut StuffingMy Profile

    1. Mir

      What a memorable day on a new job. I was also in a new school building. Such craziness, even today, to think about it.

  5. Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom

    Mir, thanks for sharing this delicious looking cake! Glad I’m not the only one who brought out the pumpkin today! . . And, yes, that day is forever drilled into my brain. . I was actually at home. I had just moved from SF back home to Dallas for a short time . . and we had some friends over. I hear screaming coming from the living room as my brother and his friends are watching the TV. Needless to say, we stayed glued to the TV all day in disbelief. I still get shivers thinking about it.
    Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom recently posted…Pumpkin Flaxseed Chocolate Breakfast BarsMy Profile

    1. Mir

      It was chilling, and it still is. I can’t watch that footage without feeling incredible pain. We all went through that together in a way, and we will all never forget.

  6. Mary Pisarkiewicz

    Gluten free is always tricky when it comes to making it taste wonderful. You have done a wonderful job, I love it!

    1. Mir

      Thanks, Mary! I love my oat flour. 🙂

  7. Megan - The Emotional Baker

    This combination of ingredients is genius! (& I agree – it feels pretty awesome when your creations work!)

    Thanks for sharing your 9/11 story. We too often let the little things cloud our perspective and not see the big picture. Your experience no doubt influenced the person you are today.
    Megan – The Emotional Baker recently posted…Cranberry Pecan Oat CookiesMy Profile

    1. Mir

      For sure. The pain makes us who we are as well as the joy. It’s a part of life.

  8. Kate @ Framed Cooks

    Thanks for sharing your story Mir. I was in my Manhattan office that day, and I remember every minute of that day like it was yesterday. #neverforget
    Kate @ Framed Cooks recently posted…Shrimp Farro SaladMy Profile

    1. Mir

      That’s right, you were right there. I’m sure that day will be with you always. Such sadness, but also solidarity.

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