I'd never thought of using pumpkins in a sweet recipe before, but then I've also never had three of them to use up before, so extreme measures were called for. I know three's a bit excessive, but pumpkins are so autumnal and lovely, I think I have a bit of a compulsion and can't resist. (I actually have to stop myself buying them. Loser, I know.) So after a stint on display and looking pretty, the time came for them to be put to use.
This cake is very similar to carrot cake, and is amazing still warm from the oven, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or a dollop of double cream. It's a perfect autumn cake - good for round the bonfire, or after a long stomp around outside.
I used a Turks Turban (the ones in the background in the picture on the left) pumpkin for this recipe, but you can use any pumpkin or a butternut squash. Turks Turbans are delicious, but have really tough skin, so getting the flesh out while the pumpkin is uncooked is quite tricky. Next time, I'll probably just use a butternut squash.
Halloween Pumpkin Cake
Serves 15 hungry/greedy people
300g self-raising flour
300g light muscavado sugar
3 tsp mixed spice
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs, beaten
200g butter, melted
1 orange, zested
1 tbsp orange juice
500g pumpkin flesh, grated
Heat oven to 180C. Butter and line a 30 x 20 cm cake tin.
Put the flour, sugar, spice, bicarbonate of soda, sultanas and salt into a large bowl, and mix well. Beat the eggs in to the melted butter, stir in the orange zest and juice, then mix into the dry ingredients. Stir in the pumpkin.
Pour the batter into the tin and bake for 30 minutes or until golden and cooked through.
Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack and leave to cool completely.