Pumpkin Cake – This one is a must!


If you’ re going to be carving out the flesh of a pumpkin this Halloween then I think I might have a recipe for you.  I know the idea of having vegetables for pudding freaks us Brits out a little; The carrot cake took a while to catch on but hey ….  It’s available in most good tea shops these days and I can equally vouch for the courgette cake.  I have recently experimented with beetroot for brownies which I have to say were surprising delicious and healthy and purple!

I think you should give this pumpkin cake a go….  It is a really smart way of using up the pumpkin flesh.  Pumpkins are highly autumnal and colourful and can take  a range of spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, paprika and sage.

I admit that pumpkin is a little watery and stringy at times, and almost lack depth of flavour.  However this makes it excellent for a pudding/dessert or soup.

Look out for the culinary type – often labelled as such.  And the trick is the roast the pumpkin in its skin, then when it’s cooked to de-skin it. Dice the flesh and then let it sit and drain in a colander for a couple of hours.  Alternatively at this time of year its easy to find the pumpkin puree (libby’s pumpkin puree is available in Waitrose/Tesco’s and other supermarkets).

This Pumpkin cake recipe is donated to us by the very lovely Margaret Knox – Co organiser of the Buckinghamshire Branch of the Clandestine Cake Club – she is an amazing baker and I have enjoyed some very delicious well justified calories.

Pumpkin Cake – By Margaret Knox

This is a great autumnal cake and it sneaks in a bit of your 5 a day.  You can use fresh pumpkin but if you are pushed for time then a tin of pumpkin puree is a great option.

You don’t have to have fancy Bundt tin to make this cake a 20cm loose bottom tin will also work

You can serve this cake with cream or top it with cream cheese frosting.


250ml vegetable oil

3 eggs

400g pumpkin puree

1 tsp vanilla extract

425g golden caster sugar

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp mixed spice

1tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

Pinch of salt

25g sultanas (optional)

Icing sugar for dusting


  1. Preheat oven to 160f/180c/gas 4
  2. Grease and line your tin
  3. Beat together the oil, eggs, vanilla and the pumpkin this can be done very quickly with an electric whisk.
  4. Sift the flour, sugar, bicarb, spices and salt.  Gently stir this into the pumpkin mix until just combined.  Stir in the sultanas if using.
  5. Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin bake in the oven on the lower shelf for approximately an hour.  To check if it’s ready insert a skewer in the middle and if it comes out clean it’s ready.
  6. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 5 mins before turning out and leaving to cool completely
  7. Place on a plate and sprinkle with icing sugar


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