Halloween pumpkin cake

Halloween pumpkin cake

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(177 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

  • un-iced

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 a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

    • 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 a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

    • 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, questions and tips

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    5th Nov, 2013
    Great tasting cake, great combination of spice and sweetness. However, as many of the comments below suggest, the water content of your pumpkin will be make or break. Unfortunately it would appear that our pumpkin was very water heavy; the cake had about 2 hours in total, and even then was a bit stodgy in the middle. My suggestion is to squeeze some water out of the grated pumpkin, then keep an eye on the cake after 25-30 mins.
    Mooching Mel
    4th Nov, 2013
    Delicious cake! I made a cake in a round 20" cake tin which was moist and tasty and as I had so much pumpkin left from my carving I made a half recipe and turned it into cupcakes which were very light. The frosting is too runny even after adding a lot more icing sugar so I'd use a different cream cheese frosting recipe next time.
    Mooching Mel
    4th Nov, 2013
    Absolutely delicious! Made a cake and then cupcakes using this recipe and b oth turned out great. The icing is too runny though so next time I would use a different cream cheese icing for this cake. MM
    2nd Nov, 2013
    Delicious! Easy to make and end result fab. Very moist and I loved the frosting, thought it complemented the cake perfectly. Will be making this again!
    30th Oct, 2013
    Brilliant cake. I believe I have the secret to success! - I think you need to get rid of as much excess water as possible to make sure it is light and spongelike and that it takes the cooking time stated. I used pumpkin that had been scraped out the day before ; because of this there was a lot of excess water as time had made it go quite pulpy, so I squeezed as much as possible of the liquid out and discarded this, weighed it and used a hand blender rather than grated (could not grate anyway because it had turned soft and pulpy) This was very successful, the cake took the exact time the recipe stated in my fan oven and was actually slightly overdone, but was a good excuse to eat the edge pieces straight away !! Amazingly light and very tasty - used a few chopped crystalised ginger pieces and made up the rest of the weight with raisins in place of the sultanas. I won't bother icing it at all, I really don't think it needs icing or frosting - could even make it over rich as it already has loads of flavour. Love it, may even make a second one to take to work as my daughter has come home with a second pumpkin she now wants to carve!
    Jo Goddard
    28th Oct, 2013
    this is a great recipe although i did use 2 swiss roll trays (30x20cms each) and baked for 50 mins. i used Betty Crocker Vanilla icing between the layers and on top. it was fantastic. i had lots of good comments at my Halloween party. i would recommend using BC - ok its probably not super healthy but so easy.
    28th Oct, 2013
    Great cake recipe! Baking time took like 20 min more than it was suggested and because the top of the cake was browning quickly, I simply placed a sheet of foil on top and carried on cooking until done. The end result was super - the cake turned out very moist and the orange frosting, paired really nicely with the cake.
    27th Oct, 2013
    Thoroughly disappointed! Read thro the previous comments and picked up some tips, ie baking times, runniness of icing, using full fat cheese etc, and so I made sure I followed these suggestions... Cake batter was ridiculously runny so I thought best not to risk baking a whole cake and to instead bake 24 cupcakes like another person suggested. An hour later, they still didn't appear cooked, rather soggy looking inside, so turned down the temp a tad and left for another hour - still soggy! Frosting also waste of time. Added 300g icing sugar as someone suggested to thicken up the "syrup" that the recipe created. It was ok, not great, left in fridge whilst cakes cooked. When they were cool I added the icing - half a dozen cupcakes in and the icing is becoming runnier and runnier. Complete waste of space, cannot use in lunch boxes as will just create a sticky mess, only suitable for leaving in fridge and serving immediately with a cup of tea and then hoping everyone eats them before they melt again!! Waste of an afternoon! Will try harder to find the other recipe I had for pumpkin cake!!
    23rd Oct, 2013
    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.
    13th Oct, 2013
    Has anyone tried freezing this cake?


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