Halloween pumpkin cake

Halloween pumpkin cake

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(127 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 (178)

    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!

    erica79's picture

    Excellent! The orange butter icing is delicious! I live abroad so had to substitute the mixed spice for 2 garam masala and 1 cinnamon, sounds weird but tasted great. Also the recipe works with a mix of white and cane sugar if you dont have muscavado.

    lindalu's picture

    this cake is amazing! Simple to make, very rich but with a fresh taste, I had to cook mine much longer because the pumkin was defrosted and much more watery, but the result was great. I also added chopped roasted hazelnuts as a topping, they went very well, a great success!

    01cookingmammax4's picture

    Wow!! Even better than a carrot cake!! This one will be an all time favourite with all the family!!

    francesca338's picture

    really nice cake, tasted even better next day but didnt ice straight away, moist and everyone loved it , have made it twice already and will definately make it again

    urbanwomble's picture

    Lovely moist and dense cake. I had to use a slightly smaller tin which made the cake taller but nevertheless it was delicious! It was easy to make and the icing was yummy too, although I might use less icing next time as the cake had a smaller surface area due to smaller tin. I also had to cook it for nearly an hour. You'd never know it had pumpkin in it!!

    ellenvernon's picture

    Very good recipe - makes a huge cake so could easily half the quantities or freeze half the cake. Very moist, good texture, good spice level, keeps very well. I did not bother with the frosting - it just didn't really need it. Children hate pumpkin and pumpkin pie but loved this!

    canarybird's picture

    This recipe is indeed easy but these ingrediants make a huge amount of cake batter and my cake took 1 hour to cook and it was still very moist. I didn't like the icing, it was too runny - i scrapped it off and make some with just cream cheese and icing sugar with the orange peel. I took some to work today and everyone loved it and my 3yr old grand-daughter couldn't get enough!

    hann77's picture

    I changed to half butternut squash & half pumpkin flesh and I also omitted the peel...very moist and yum. Will definately do this one again

    johannemica's picture

    Beautiful cake but did take longer to cook than stated. Used mascarpone cheese for the topping and pomegranate juice (had no orange!!) then sprinkled flaked almonds on the top - lovely!

    itybity's picture

    ive never ate pumpkin nor baked a cake!, i used a loaf tin so i could have 2 attempts n good job i did as the 2nd cake was superb, yummy n didnt last long, i was very pleased with it as was my 2yr old daughter who asked for "more cake please" :)

    lovecandyfloss's picture

    My son (7) made this for me (under instruction), very easy method and it tasted delicious. We used half dark muscovado an half light brown sugar. Also added a teaspoon of gingerbread syrup and a tablespoon of honey. It did take a long while to cook but definitely worth it!

    whidders's picture

    I made this as an alternative too Pumpkin Pie at Halloween and my kids absolutely loved it, a good way to get some veg in. The frosting however was too sweet for everyone so next time I will make it plain. The quantities listed makes lots of cake so we gave some away and 3 people have asked for the recipe so it must be tasty.

    izumii's picture

    -Made this with butternut squash as i didn't have the right pumpkin for baking with.
    -Took an extra 15 minutes than recipe stated.
    -Forgot to add the orange juice at the end after cooking. But didn't spoil the cake. Was still lovely and moist.
    -Used 'Betty Croker's cream cheese vanilla icing' out of the tub, as didn't trust the recipe for the frosting here, after reading the bad reviews about it.
    - Overall a good cake, will be taking it into work tomorrow!

    embles's picture

    Only cooked for 35 mins, but probably needed longer. Should have read comments first! Turned out a bit puddingy, but still cooked through.
    Also needed to add much more icing sugar to the frosting. More like 200g I think. I left out the orange zest from the frosting for personal taste, and was still very nice.
    Would cook again next year!

    schizofish's picture

    Toyotasmith - use the flesh, not the stringy bits with the seeds.

    We had scooped out two pumpkins for the kids to decorate, so I was looking for a recipe to use up the flesh. This seemed good. I stuck the flesh in my food processor as I would not have been able to grate it, then squeezed out as much water as I could - 1kg of flesh before turned into 850g after squeezing! Had enough to make double the quantities, but only used 6 eggs instead of 8.

    Turned out beautifully, and cooked in 30 minutes. Have frozen some for another day. Even my practically veg-phobic son gobbled it down and asked for more!

    claireandstuart's picture

    Cake is yummy, but needs more spice for flavour. Also 100g icing sugar is nowhere neqr enough to make the frosting as thick as the recipe suggests, however once you get it right it is delicious and easy, even for me, who can't help but incinerate all food!


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