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…


  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)

cranstoun1's picture

I made this recipe some years ago when it first came out with my son, fab cake which is very moist and tastes even better a few days later. Makes a huge cake so good for sharing, Going to make again this year for halloween!!!!!

workingmum's picture

I've made this every year since the recipe was published and it's delicious. One thing, don't use Light Cream Cheese, you'll just get a runny liquid instead of frosting!

bundysbird's picture

I made this for the children in my Nursery....didn't leave a crumb!! fantastic cake!

cookiemonster33's picture

Have made this several times, the cake always turns out fab but the frosting NEVER works! Usually end up with a runny sauce which tastes great but doesn't look good.

cookiemonster33's picture

Have made this several times, the cake always turns out fab but the frosting NEVER works! Usually end up with a runny sauce which tastes great but doesn't look good.

gervais's picture

My mixture was hardly what the recipe calls a 'batter' but i agree with all the comments about the cooking time it is much longer . That said it is a great recipe and i would do it again, I am wondering if it is a tin size problem because even though the dimensions are correct my tin is not that deep so rather than overfill I made some muffins with the left over mix, these were great for lunch boxes.

gervais's picture

A neighbour has just given me 2 pumpkins so I am looking for different ways to use it. I am about to go and try out this recipe i hope it lives up to expectations, will rate it soon.

my_dunh's picture

This cake is absolutely amazing, although I'll agree with Lacath that by mentioning pumpkin, a lot of people won't even try it!!! I left of the sultanas and added pecans and pumkpin seeds instead. It stays moist for ages. Yum!

lacath's picture

5 stars for this delicious cake. It has become a classic in my family. No one guesses what it is made of... Most of our friends think it's a kind of "pain d'épices". But i have noticed that you must not say there is pumpkin in it or some people will not even taste it... i make it with butternut because butternut keeps well so i always have one in the basement.
Absolutely gorgeous, so moist, so tender, so sweet, so yummy!

milney's picture

what a superb cake and so so easy, very moist and kept for a week in the fridge. was so delighted with it at halloween i am now getting it together for christmas and the house guests.

chips4me's picture

I have been making this cake for a couple of years now and everyone absolutely loves it. I have used both pumpkin and butternut squash and it makes absolutely no difference to the cake. No one in our family likes traditional christmas cake so I make this recipe and give as gifts.

loopi2k's picture

really tasty, a great seasonal cake, went down a storm. very similar to fruit cake but a bit more moist which is no bad thing. will definately make again.

kathryndavies's picture

Made this for Halloween absolutely delicious.

milney's picture

i made the cake for haloween and must say i uses butternut squash instead of pumpkin and it was a big success very moist and kept well in the fridge, everyone loved it and i will make it again and again rest assured

marianne44's picture

Sorry, got so over excited about this delicious cake that i forgot to give it a rating. Definately worth 5 Stars as it tastes so good but is so easy to make. Perfect!

marianne44's picture

I made this recipe with pumpkin and also with butternut squash. Both were really good, although i think pumpkin was slightly nicer as it seemed as if there were pieces of fruit in the cakes, i made individual cup cakes, and made 12 with half the recipe quantities. i iced them with some butter icing flavoured with orange and decorated with small pieces of fresh orange segments. My mother said they were so good they could win a prize, and just as good the day after. My daughter also made them at and got rave reviews. A really good recipe. Will definately make them again and again and again! Thank you Good Food

leelee66's picture

Me and my daughter made this on halloween after hollowing out her pumpkin. It was absolutely gorgeous - probably best cake I have ever made.Took about 45 mins to bake though, but so moist. It doesn't last long!

welshscouser's picture

Beautiful, I made some to take into work and everyone liked it :o)

basketcase's picture

This recipe is absolutely delicious-even the children couldn't get enough of it! Very easy to make, just added another 10 mins onto the cooking time. Will certainly be making again.

praslin's picture

it does take longer than stated by my experience 5 mins more, if you fall short on the weight of pumpkin or butternut squash i made it up with walnuts really tasty.


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