Halloween pumpkin cake

Halloween pumpkin cake

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(122 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

      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…


    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 (175)

    ruthecurran's picture

    Used leftover pumpkin, this recipe is amazing! One of the best cakes I've ever made! Not sure about the frosting, maybe slightly less butter and more cheese?

    A must try.

    loopy08's picture

    This recipe is amazing, so moist, very similar to carrot cake only yummier than any i have tasted.
    I made the mixture into cup cakes as some previous posters suggested. It made 34, they took about 15-20 mins in my fan oven. I didn't drizzle any orange juice over the finished cupcakes as would have been too fiddly and messy. I did frost them though and they looked and tasted fab.
    My 2 year old 'helped' make them and inhaled two after lunch.
    The only downside is the time it takes to prep the pumpkin.
    I wonder could you use carrots instead?

    jkhoare's picture

    Mmmm...yummy. Had to cook it for about 55 mins but it was so moist and tasty. We also had it (without frosting) warm with cream as a pudding :)

    jools78's picture

    Excellent recipe, you do have to watch the water content though as it took quite a long time to cook!

    I used gluten free flour as I have coeliac disease and it works really well. Everyone enjoyed it!

    andrealphus's picture

    Interestingly, I did not rate this five stars, but that's what it came up as!

    andrealphus's picture

    Really easy to make, and had a nice texture... I ended up using carrot (with 2 tbsp pumpkin) as I got fed up with trying to retrieve the pumpkin flesh and grating my knuckles! I found the orange juice quantities in the recipe slightly hard to follow, in terms of what you drizzled etc. and had to read a couple of times, and I felt that the cake needed a bit more depth of flavour in terms of spices, as it tasted a little bland. I also added about 100g of chopped walnuts, and sprinkled some on top. All in all, a good recipe, but I'll be adjusting it next time I make it.

    evie0210's picture

    This is a wonderful recipe. The cake is moist and has so much flavour. It was also easy to do. It has gone down a treat!

    susannahgrammar's picture

    I can only agree that this is a moist, flavourful and most importantly really easy cake recipe. I also had the experience that it needed 15 plus minutes more than the stated baking time, and the frosting was unfortunately a disaster - runny (but tasty), then far far too sweet after trying to thicken it up with icing sugar. Maybe it is because I used a discounted cream cheese? Anyway, will try the icing again someday but the cake is also lovely, and far less rich, without.

    denmau123's picture

    Yummy! Can't wait to share with tonight's trick or treaters! Used half the recipe and made 18 buns. In oven for 25 mins. Perfect!

    francesbray's picture

    This is really yummy, but takes alot longer than 30 min in the oven. i had to cover mine in foil and bake for nearly an hour. Really tasty and moist.

    joannepd's picture

    Made muffins and iced with a thick orange and lemon glace icing. Moist and spicy and made a nice change from carrot cakes.

    milla_moo's picture

    This recipe is fab! I made fairy/cupcakes instead of one large cake but it still worked brilliantly and didnt take as long to bake. Instead of the frosting I used orange glacé icing - only because I didn't have the correct ingredients for frosting, but went down a treat. Lovely moist and tasty recipe i will definitely be making them again

    rachelwoolas1's picture

    Totally gorgeous and so simple to make.......Lush!

    emmabuckley's picture

    Made this cake for work colleagues and it was very popular! As others have said, it needed longer than 30 minutes in the oven - I gave it 45 and it was just right. The cake is lovely and moist, the pumpkin adds to the moisture but you really can't taste the flavour. It made a lovely big tray bake - I cut it into 18 portions and they were still on the generous side!

    The frosting ended up more like a sauce, even after doubling the amount of icing sugar and putting it in the fridge for an hour! If I were making it again, I'd leave out the orange juice and zest and try it with orange or vanilla essence instead.

    nicsawalker's picture

    This cake turned out lovely and moist but only after 55 minutes in the oven! the frosting went very runny too even with extra icing sugar and time in the fridge... was more of a cream than frosting.

    hampsthwaitebakery's picture

    Just Brill!!

    cecileb's picture

    Lovely light, moist cake. My 4 year old helper added the juice of the whole orange to the batter instead of 1 tablespoon, maybe this added to the moistness. Will definitely make again, but probably without the frosting as we found it a bit rich.

    pdavah's picture

    Much better when it has been in the freezer for at least seven days.

    pdavah's picture

    An excellent cake, but is better, much better, for spending at least 7 days in a freezer.

    rubyhurry's picture

    Absolutely amazing! When making it, I thought that 500g of butternut squash was way too much, but once it was made, it was delicious, my sister who usually despises any cakes with something 'healthy' in was totally won over by the creation. Of course I didn't tell her it had butternut squash in until she had complemented me on it!


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