I must confess, I only made this because I had a pumpkin that needed to be used as it was taking up too much room in my fridge and had been sitting there for too long. I have pumpkin laziness as I find cutting it to be tedious and somewhat nerve-racking. One it’s always too hard to cut through and two one slip and I’ll be down a digit.
Facing my fears (and laziness) I hopped to it and baked this cake for my Grandmother’s birthday. Beautifully spiced, with a dense, tender crumb all topped off with a maple buttercream. Worthy of any celebrations. By all means simply boil the pumpkin (or grab a can) but roasting it with spices beforehand really does make all the difference.
150g unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup self raising flour
1 cup plain flour
3 eggs (room temperature)
1 cup mashed roasted pumpkin (approx 400g whole pumpkin cut into chunks)
2 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tbl milk (sometimes you will require more dependant on the moisture within the pumpkin)
50g unsalted butter (room temperature)
2 tbl pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
2 cups icing sugar mixture
a good pinch of salt
Preheat the over to 200 degrees Celsius. Grease and line two 20cm round sandwich tins in preparation of the cake batter.
On a large baking sheet spread the cut pumpkin evenly on the tray. Sprinkle over 1 tsp of the mixed slice and half a tsp of the cinnamon. Drizzle a little oil over and coat evenly. Be sure to use an unflavoured oil such as vegetable. Roast for 30 minutes until the edges have caught and the spices are fragrant in the house. Cool slightly and mash.
Lower the temperature of the oven to 180. In a bowl, combine the butter, sugar and vanilla bean paste. Beat for a few minutes until the mixture is creamy and the butter has turned pale.
Once this is done, add the eggs and combine once again. This should only take a few minutes.
Next, sift the flours and remaining spices. Gradually add this to the butter, sugar, vanilla and egg mixture.
At this stage add the milk and combine. The mixture will appear stiffer than a traditional cake mixture but the mashed pumpkin will add moisture.
Once this is done, add the mashed roasted pumpkin and gently fold through.
Spoon the now golden cake batter between the prepared cake tins. I do this by using an ice-cream scoop. One for one pan, one for the other, a little finger dip for me…
Bake for 30-40 minutes. These cakes do not rise spectacularly but what you do get is two, shallow, golden discs of moist cake. They will also have a dimpled, almost cellulite appearance, do not let these looks fool you. Once a toothpick comes out clean, transfer to wire racks and cool.
While the cakes are cooling get started on the maple buttercream. In a large bowl combine butter and vanilla bean paste. Beat for several minutes until fluffy.
Next, perilously try and pour maple syrup into a measuring spoon, while looking through a camera…
After this, add a pinch of salt. Adjust to your own personal taste here.
Next take one of your cakes and upturn it onto your chosen serving plate or cake stand. I add small blobs of the icing mixture on my cake stand to act as a glue. Spread a third of the mixture over this cake and spread to near the edges of the cake. Top with the other cake, bottom side up.
All that is left to finishing icing the cake however you wish!
The spices in this, along with the rich pumpkin make this cake strangely comforting. The smokey depth from the maple syrup in the icing matches perfectly. Great with a cup of coffee and perfect for any celebration. Please let me know if you give it a try! What are your favourite things to do with pumpkin?