I have a confession to make. It is pretty bad and I should be thoroughly ashamed of myself. I have found a new love! One that is currently stealing my heart and taking up all my thoughts, all day, every day. And no, the BF shouldn’t fret, my new love is my sewing machine. It has been in my life for a few years now, gathering dust on a shelf, unsure of how to use it. My awesomely skilled crafty friend Laura Cherry had been inspiring me for some time with her beautiful bunting so when a sewing session was suggested to show me how to use my machine, I was super excited. And in those few hours one Saturday afternoon, as I learnt to thread the machine, refill my bobbin and how to stitch straight, I fell head over heels. Since then I have spent many an hour dreaming about what I might create, getting lost in haberdashery departments and raiding my local charity shop for vintage fabrics. So far, I have kept it pretty simple. I’ve made cushion covers using 1970’s bed spreads and replaced the BF’s jean pockets with 80’s curtains. My next project is still dealing with cushions (perfect the simple before moving on) but replacing all the BF’s cushion covers (currently battered and garish Ikea numbers) with John Lewis 1950’s archive print fabric which is just to die for! My new obsession takes time (of which I have little) and sadly, so far I have been taking this time away from cakes and cookies which is why I haven’t been posting much lately but I have noticed how much I have been neglecting my baking and have dedicated myself to coming back with a bang so keep your eyes peeled for some very exciting new cakes coming soon….
This pumpkin cake is just a dream, so very moist and tasty! You can make your own pumpkin puree with your reject Halloween pumpkin or buy tins of ready pureed from most supermarkets. Alternatively, if you can get hold of neither, butternut squash would also create a perfect puree to use in this cake. Just chop your pumpkin or squash in half, scrape out the seeds (but keep hold of them!!) and place on a baking tray, roast for about an hour (40 minutes for a squash) at 170 degrees until soft, scrape out the flesh and blitz in a food processor until smooth. Any unused puree can be bagged up and frozen for up to three months. I bought my gigantic pumpkin from a farmers market, not realising before it was too late that I couldn’t actually carry it…
The tangy cream cheese icing complements it perfectly and the maple seeds are a great texture creator. If you don’t have maple sugar to roast them in, just use demerera sugar and a teaspoon of cinnamon. The spelt flour adds a nutty flavour but if you don’t have spelt flour, you can use all white flour. In my cake, I doubled this recipe and baked two lots to create four layers, this recipe will give you two layers.
Pumpkin cake with cinnamon cream cheese icing and maple roasted pumpkin seeds
- 240 g slightly salted butter, softened
- 175g light brown muscavado sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 400ml pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 100g spelt flour
- 260g plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
Cinnamon cream cheese
- 250g full fat cream cheese
- 200g slightly salted butter, softened
- 300g icing sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
Maple pumpkin seeds
- All the seeds removed from your pumpkin, rinsed and dried
- 3 tbsp maple sugar
- Preheat the oven to 170 degrees, grease and line two 8 inch cake tins.
- Start by making the roasted seeds by placing them in a bowl and coating in the sugar. Lay out onto a baking tray and pop in the oven for around 8-10 minutes, checking regularly as they will burn easily and shake the tray each time you check to stop them sticking to the tray. Remove once they start to brown and leave to cool.
- Beat the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated.
- Sieve together the flours, baking powders and spices. Add half to the mix along with half the pumpkin and mix until just combined, repeat with the other half. Divide equally between your two tins and put into the oven for around 17-20 minutes, it should be firm to the touch and a skewer should come out clean. Leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool.
- While your cake is cooling, add the cream cheese to the butter and beat until smooth. Add the cinnamon and add the icing sugar, a bit at a time until desired sweetness is achieved (it may take a little more or less icing sugar).
- Once your cakes are cooled, sandwich them together with the cream cheese icing and cover. Liberally sprinkle with the seeds. Will keep for around 3 days in a sealed container.