Pumpkin cake, image by Mike English

Pumpkin cake

  • serves 12
  • Easy

Dotted with nuts and flavoured with maple syrup, this seasonal special (made with real pumpkin) is finished with a zesty soft cheese topping. Perfect for Halloween or Bonfire Night


Make this impressive pumpkin cake, then check out our pumpkin pie, vegan pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup and more pumpkin recipes. The un-iced sponge cake can be frozen.

Looking for more Halloween baking ideas? Try our Halloween cakeHalloween biscuitsHalloween cupcakes, toffee apples and plenty more.



  • rapeseed oil 225ml, plus extra for the tin
  • sultanas 175g
  • orange 1, zested and juiced
  • self-raising flour 200g
  • spelt flour 100g
  • baking powder 1 tsp
  • mixed spice 1 tbsp
  • soft light brown sugar 250g
  • maple syrup 50ml
  • large eggs 4
  • pumpkin or butternut squash 350g, peeled and grated (prepped weight 285g)
  • walnuts or pecans 100g, chopped (optional)
  • milk 1-2 tbsp (optional)


  • slightly salted butter 100g, softened
  • icing sugar 300g
  • soft cheese 100g
  • maple syrup 2 tbsp, plus extra to drizzle
  • orange 1, zested
  • walnuts or pecans to decorate (optional)


  • Step 1

    Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Butter and line a 30cm x 20cm cake tin. Mix the sultanas with the orange zest and juice and put to one side.

  • Step 2

    Mix the flours, baking powder, mixed spice and sugar in a large bowl. Whisk the oil, maple syrup and eggs in a jug. Tip the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk for 1-2 minutes with an electric hand whisk until just combined. Tip in the sultanas with the juice and zest.

  • Step 3

    Gently fold in the pumpkin and nuts, if using. If the batter is very thick, add the milk to loosen. Scrape the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 30 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin.

  • Step 4

    To make the icing, beat the butter until pale. Sieve in the icing sugar in batches, beating well between each addition. Beat in the soft cheese and maple syrup. Swirl the icing over the top of the cake with a palette knife. Decorate with the orange zest, a drizzle of maple syrup and a sprinkling of nuts, if using. Cut the cake into 12 squares. Will keep for three days in an airtight container in the fridge.

Head here for more ways with pumpkin

Pumpkin pie spiced muffins

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 622
  • Fat 30.3g
  • Saturates 7.6g
  • Carbs 79.7g
  • Sugars 60.3g
  • Fibre 2.2g
  • Protein 6.6g
  • Salt 0.6g