This lightly spiced pumpkin cake flavoured with orange is special. It’s spicy, it’s delicious, it’s moreish. On top of that, it’s dairy-free, made with wholemeal flour and also contains less sugar than many other equivalent bakes. Perfect for autumnal festivities, especially Bonfire Night and Halloween. More of a treat than a trick.
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I’ve made a few pumpkin and squash cakes in my time but I reckon this one is the best. It’s moist with a good crumb and you get all of the pumpkin flavour with the added bonus of orange and complementary spices.
Spiced Orange Pumpkin Cake
My pumpkin cake is really easy to prepare, especially if you can get hold of ready made pumpkin purée. But if you can’t or you want to make your own, see the section below for the homemade version.
Start by grabbing a large mixing bowl and a whisk. You won’t need much else in the way of implements other than a silicone cake mould or tin. So not too much in the way of washing up – hooray!
Whisk in the pumpkin purée, fold in the dry ingredients and pour into your prepared baking mould or tin. Baking times will vary according to what size tin you use, but the bundt cake I made took forty five minutes. The mixture is quite wet, so it takes longer to bake than some other cakes.
Then you just need to whisk the eggs, sugar, orange juice and oil together until there are no lumps of sugar to be seen. There’s no butter in this pumpkin cake, so it’s completely dairy-free. I also mix in the orange zest and salt at this point.
Allow the cake to cool for ten minutes or so, before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
You can bake it as a bundt-type cake as I have done, which means it needs little in the way of decoration. Or you can create a flatter traybake style cake and cover it with a cream cheese and orange frosting.
Don’t just keep this cake for Halloween, it’s a fabulous autumn bake for any time. Just omit the beetroot powder from the icing, unless you like the bloody look.
How to Make Your Own Pumpkin Purée
Our local shops don’t sell pumpkin purée, so I had to make my own. Luckily, it isn’t too much of a faff. The most difficult thing is peeling the pumpkin. Most pumpkin skins are quite tough.
- Peel your pumpkin, and cut it in half. Depending on what type of pumpkin or squash you have, you may be able to peel it with a vegetable peeler, but most likely you’ll need a strong sharp knife. Take care; save severed fingers for Halloween parties.
- Cut in half, then scoop out the seeds and accompanying stringy bits. Keep the seeds for eating, they’re delicious roasted.
- Chop the flesh into even sized cubes, around 2-3 cm (1′). The larger your cubes, the longer they will take to cook.
- Steam the cubes for about fifteen minutes or until soft. Test with a point of a knife and if they’re not ready, steam for a bit longer.
- Purée the cooked flesh in a food processor or blender. You can also use a masher, which will give a coarser consistency or press it through a sieve, though this is quite hard work.
My Froothie Evolve* is perfect for making pumpkin purée. It’s a power blender with a steamer attachment. So all I had to do was steam my pumpkin cubes in the jug and once they were cooked, I used it to blend my pumpkin.
To find out more about this wondrous machine, why not read my Froothie Evolve review?
Which Pumpkins Are Best for Making Pumpkin Purée?
You will need a firm fleshed pumpkin to make purée. Smaller ones are generally the best. If you don’t have a pumpkin, most squashes will be just as tasty, if not better. The pumpkins that are grown for lanterns are notoriously watery, stringy and flavourless.
Turns out, most tins of pumpkin purée contain squash and not pumpkin at all.
The following are all excellent for the purpose of making pumpkin purée: Crown Prince, Queensland Blue, Red Onion Squash, Munchkin, Acorn Squash, Japanese Kabocha, Hubbard. Even the humble butternut squash works well. We grow Uchiki Kuri, amongst others. It’s my favourite squash for texture and flavour and the one I used in this pumpkin cake.
Halloween Pumpkin Cake
You don’t have to make your pumpkin cake Halloween themed, but it’s a good one for people to sink their fangs into at the end of October. It doesn’t take much to dress it up and make it truly ghoulicious. After all, you’ve got to have a pumpkin or two in the house for Halloween.
I used beetroot powder mixed in to the icing to give that classic congealed blood look. Sadly, I mislaid my googly eyes, because they’d have looked fabulous strategically placed on the cake. Here’s looking at you, kid.
The rest I leave to your imagination.
Other Vegetable Cake Recipes You Might Like
- Beetroot brownies
- Courgette cake with lime and mascarpone frosting
- Golden beetroot cake
- Jerusalem artichoke cake with lemon cream cheese icing
- Parsnip & walnut cake with chocolate chips
- Spinach cake with lemon and ricotta filling
Keep in Touch
Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you try this spiced orange pumpkin cake, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. And do please rate the recipe. Have you any top tips? Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.
If you’d like more bundt cake recipes, follow the link and you’ll find I have quite a lot of them. All delicious, of course.
Spiced Orange Pumpkin Cake. PIN IT.
Spiced Orange Pumpkin Cake – The Recipe
Spiced Orange Pumpkin Cake
- 180 g light brown sugar or coconut sugar (I used muscovado)
- 3 large eggs
- 150 ml flavourless oil (I used sunflower oil)
- 1 organic orange – zest and juice
- pinch fine sea or rock salt
- 400 g pumpkin purée (I used homemade)
- 225 g wholemeal flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tsp mixed spice or pumpkin spice
- 50 g icing sugar
- 1 tsp beetroot powder (optional)
- Set the oven to 180℃ (350℉, Gas 4).
- In a large bowl, whisk the sugar and eggs together until any sugar lumps have disappeared.
- Add the oil, salt, orange zest and all but 1 tbsp of the juice (keep this for the icing). Whisk again.
- Add the pumpkin puree and whisk until everything is well incorporated.
- Sieve in the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and the spices. Discard any particularly large bits of bran that are left in the sieve. Ours goes onto the compost heap.
- Fold the dry ingredients in with your whisk or a large metal spoon until everything is just about blended.
- Pour into an oiled bundt-type silicone mould or tin. Alternatively use a 23cm (9") deep round cake tin or mould. For a traybake use a 23cm (9") square cake tin or mould.
- Bake in the centre of the oven for 40-45 minutes for a bundt or ring mould and 35-40 minutes for a square tin. The top should be firm to the touch and an inserted skewer needs to come out more or less clean.
- Leave to cool in the mould for ten minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Sieve the icing sugar and beetroot powder into a bowl. Then add enough of the reserved orange juice to make a slightly runny icing. Stir well.
- Drizzle the icing over the top of the cooled cake.
I’m sharing this recipe for my spiced orange pumpkin cake with Recipes Made Easy for #CookBlogShare.
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