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Spiced pumpkin cake


Spiced pumpkin cake



Pumpkin Spice

  • 5 Tbsp Cinnamon
  • 4 tsp nutmeg
  • 4 tsp ginger
  • 2 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 tsp allspice

Pumpkin Cake

  • 900g fresh pumpkin, peeled, seeded and diced into 1 inch chunks, OR 2 cups of canned pumpkin
  • 3 ⅓ cups (550g) flour
  • 3 tsp (15g) baking powder
  • 1 tsp (5g) baking soda
  • 2 Tbsp Pumpkin spice
  • 2 cups (500ml) neutral oil
  • 1 ¼ cups (280g) sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups (250g) brown sugar
  • 1 tsp (4g) salt
  • 6 eggs

German buttercream

  • 1 ½ cups (375ml) milk
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla bean paste, extract, or the scrapings of one vanilla bean
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp (255g) sugar
  • 3 Tbsp (24g) corn starch
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 cups (675g, or 6 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature. 
  • pinch of salt

Flowers to decorate if desired. (ensure that they are edible, or tape the stems before placing onto the cake)



  1. Mix all ingredients together in a jar. 


  1. Preheat the oven to 325f/170c. Grease and flour three 8 inch cake tins. 
  2. If you are making your own pumpkin puree, add the diced pumpkin to a large pot, and cover with water. Bring to the boil, and boil for 10-15 minutes, or until the pumpkin is tender. Drain, and either mash well with a fork or masher, or transfer to a food processor and blitz until smooth. Cool slightly before using. Measure out two cups - you may have a little left over. 
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and pumpkin spice. 
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in another bowl,  mix together the pumpkin puree, oil, sugar and salt either with the mixer or a whisk/electric mixer. Beat until well combined. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition to ensure it is incorporated.
  5. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture a third at a time and mix until just incorporated. Ensure that there are no dry parts. 
  6. Divide the mixture between the tins, and bake for 40-45 minutes, checking for doneness after 40 minutes, and giving it 5 more minutes at a time if necessary. Cool in the tins for 15 minutes then turn onto a wire cake rack to cool completely.


  1. In a bowl, whisk together the sugar, corn starch, egg, egg yolk and salt. In a medium non-stick saucepan, heat the milk and vanilla to just shy of a simmer. Remove from the heat.
  2. Using one hand to whisk constantly, pour half of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture. This helps to temper the eggs and stop them from scrambling. Whisk until incorporated, and then pour the whole lot back into the saucepan. 
  3. Heat the milk and egg mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it begins to bubble. It will thicken quickly. Once it has thickened, cook for one minute, then remove from the heat. Pour into a shallow dish or bowl of a stand mixer and press some plastic wrap over the surface to avoid a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cold. If you are in a hurry, you can speed up this process by placing the custard mixture into a bowl, and placing the bowl into an ice bath, stirring frequently.
  4. Fit your mixer with the whisk attachment. Whip the custard mixture on medium until creamy and lump-free. Begin adding the butter, a few cubes at a time, until fully incorporated. Switch to the paddle attachment and beat for a few minutes until smooth and silky.


  1. Level your cake layers using a cake leveler or a bread knife. Place the first cake layer on a turntable or cake stand. Smooth a thick layer of buttercream over the layer using an offset spatula. Place the second layer on top, and again smooth a layer of buttercream. Place the final layer on top, ensuring that the edges are straight and aligned. Using an offset spatula, give the whole cake a coating of buttercream, then use a scraper to remove most of it from the outside of the cake to give a 'semi naked' effect. Smooth the top of the cake, then decorate with flowers. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Remove from the fridge an hour or so before serving to allow cake to come to temperature. 


Cake Adapted from Tartine