Halloween pumpkin cake

Halloween pumpkin cake

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(121 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 30 mins


Cuts into 15 generous portions
Like carrot cake? Then try using up your leftover pumpkin in this clever traybake for Halloween

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving (15 slices)

  • kcal408
  • fat21g
  • saturates13g
  • carbs52g
  • sugars37g
  • fibre1g
  • protein5g
  • salt1.33g
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For the cake

  • 300g self-raising flour
  • 300g light muscovado sugar
  • 3 tsp mixed spice
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, is an alkali which is used to raise soda breads and full-…

  • 175g sultanas
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 eggs, beaten



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • 200g butter, melted



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • zest 1 orange



    One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

  • 1 tbsp orange juice
  • 500g (peeled weight) pumpkin or butternut squash flesh, grated

For drenching and frosting

  • 200g pack soft cheese
  • 85g butter, softened



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 100g icing sugar, sifted
  • zest 1 orange and juice of half



    One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

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  1. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Butter and line a 30 x 20cm baking or small roasting tin with baking parchment. Put the flour, sugar, spice, bicarbonate of soda, sultanas and salt into a large bowl and stir to combine. Beat the eggs into the melted butter, stir in the orange zest and juice, then mix with the dry ingredients till combined. Stir in the pumpkin. Pour the batter into the tin and bake for 30 mins, or until golden and springy to the touch.

  2. To make the frosting, beat together the cheese, butter, icing sugar, orange zest and 1 tsp of the juice till smooth and creamy, then set aside in the fridge. When the cake is done, cool for 5 mins then turn it onto a cooling rack. Prick it all over with a skewer and drizzle with the rest of the orange juice while still warm. Leave to cool completely.

  3. If you like, trim the edges of the cake. Give the frosting a quick beat to loosen, then, using a palette knife, spread over the top of the cake in peaks and swirls. If you’re making the cake ahead, keep it in the fridge then take out as many pieces as you want 30 mins or so before serving. Will keep, covered, for up to 3 days in the fridge.

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Comments (174)

tanyarhodes's picture

Fantastic, i had to bake for a little longer than stated (but knew this from the tip) and it was a very moist and flavourful cake! Cut mine into the shape of a pumpkin for Halloween and roasted the pumpkin seeds (splash of oil and 15mins in the oven) to decorate.

disneydani's picture

Has anyone tried freezing this cake?

Cork home ec teacher's picture

I made 24 muffins with this recipe ( place batter in jug to pour out as its very wet). They took about 25 mins to cook fully. They really are amazing!! So moist and taste wonderful. I'm making them with my class for Halloween. I did however, find the icing very runny. Next time I'll make it this way... 100g of soft cream cheese, 100g butter, 450g icing sugar, zest of one orange, 1tablesppin of juice... I'll let you know how it goes

jeanlovesbeads's picture

I improvised on the mixed spice as I didn't have any (used a tsp each of nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon). I used raisins instead of sultanas and topped with buttercream icing as I didn't have any cream cheese!
It took more than twice as long as stated to cook (75 minutes) but it was WONDERFUL !

Romy93's picture

This is honestly the best cake I have ever eaten. I make it with butternut squash because pumpkin is hard to find outside of October, and it has become a family favourite. I also make it with standard buttercream rather than the cream cheese one because I prefer the taste. I will be making this cake forever now.

witchwind38's picture

So nice helped make it @ a party IT ALL WENT!!!!

jayney23's picture

Made this recipe with the kids and they absolutely loved it, despite claiming beforehand that there was no way that pumpkin cake could be nice. The cake was lovely and moist and very easy to make. The only complaint was that the frosting was a too runny, but this can be easily resolved. Will definitely be making this again.

cmtodd's picture

I made into muffins and got 24. Beautiful even without frosting which is in the fridge, little too runny. Wish I'd read tip about using full fat cream cheese!!
Will definitely try again

dagmar2601's picture

Baked this tonight with my children 4 and 7 - they loved making and eating it - although my daughter first said that she would never eat cake with butternut squash!!
Did not have any oranges so used a lemon instead. Also I did not have enough butternut squash so made the weight up with a carrot.
I used slightly less sugar and it is still more than sweet enough
But allover a lovely moist, yummy cake. Not so keen on the raisins. Would probably replace them with some walnuts next time.

MelanieCyp's picture

Lovely; mine wasn't dense at all. It was lovely and fluffy and spongy but moist. I turned them into cupcakes and they baked in 25 min.
I used plain flour and a teaspoon of baking powder alongside the baking soda and the remainder of the ingredients.
I added more cinnamon and omitted the orange juice but added the zest.
Used regular pumpkin. Also made the topping out of greek yogurt and icing sugar; they kind of had a more brunch muffin feel rather than desert feel as i didn't find them too sweet.

vintageabbie's picture

This was a huge success at work and for family! I used allspice instead of mixed, and my own buttercream icing instead of cream cheese, but the pumpkin and orange worked brilliantly! Was a lot of fun to make and delicious!

lucyupinthesky's picture

Forgot to rate sorry!

lucyupinthesky's picture

Made twice, both wonderful! Added carrots the second time 'cause I didn't have enough pumpkin flesh, a big hit all the same!! If you like it, try using crystallized ginger instead of raisins: delicious!!

donnamcdowell's picture

This was delicious and a very big hit at a dinner party. I divided the batter and made two layers, making a little extra frosting to sandwich them together.

marlyly89's picture

My first ever attempt at baking and boy this came out delicious! Was a huge hit in my house and would definitely make this again (and not just for halloween!). Very soft and moist and packed with flavour! Recommended 100%!

sooz_1986's picture

This cake is an absolute winner and delicious!

I would agree with many people's comments where the cake should be baked for longer - around the 45mins mark.

I too found the volumes for the icing made it quite runny. I tried the following amounts when making the icing for the second time which worked better:
125g soft cheese
50g butter
300g icing sugar
Dash of orange juice
Zest from ½ an orange

-clare-'s picture

I make this cake several times a year with both pumpkin & butternut squash. It's always a huge hit & I like to surprise people with what's in it! If you like carrot cake then you will LOVE this!

It ALWAYS needs longer cooking time than stated so keep checking on it. I've also had problems with the frosting but it works better with full fat cheese & remember to refrigerate it.

curlykath's picture

This cake was asbolutely fantastic and went down very well with myhusband and daughters work colleagues. However, I did have trouble with the topping as it was very runny and wouldnt set. I ended up using 4 times the amount of icing sugar, which made it very sweet. Dont know if it was my fault or the recipe but would still make the cake again.

floss101's picture

Really easy recipe and so tasty, who knew pumpkin would taste so good in a cake. My 3 year old loved it. I had some left over and made a few cupcakes. I didn't put icing on the cupcakes as my daughter loved the taste of them without it.

wordled_muds's picture

I've made this twice in the last week! Everyone at work loves it. The first time was with leftover carving pumpkin, and this time was with a harlequin squash (exactly 500g after peeling etc). As many have said it does take longer than 30 mins in the oven, mine take about 60-70 mins, so i've been covering in tin foil to stop the top from burning at about 30 mins in. Yummy though, may become a staple cake!


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