pumpkin spice cake with maple cream cheese icing

I've always loved pumpkin and cook with it all the time but I normally use it as a savoury ingredient. I rarely use pumpkin in my baking, though I used to make pumpkin pie years ago. I may come from the land of pumpkin scones but I've never actually eaten one.

When I was home in Brisbane last month, I looked through some of my old favourite cookbooks. I found a recipe for pumpkin spice cake which looked interesting so I scanned the page. The recipe comes from one of my Margaret Fulton cookbooks but I had a bit of a seniors moment and forgot to write down the title of the cookbook.

I made all sorts of changes to the original recipe, not the least the addition of some maple syrup flavoured cream cheese icing. Here are some of those changes. Instead of boiling or steaming the pumpkin, I oven baked the pumpkin for about an hour before pureeing it. I used golden caster sugar rather than regular sugar and cut down the quantity by ¼ cup. I used buttermilk instead of regular milk and I skipped the walnuts entirely. Instead of baking the cake in a rectangular tin, I cooked it in a 20 cm round tin so it needed an additional 15 minutes cooking time.

The icing I used was kind of inspired by one from Ottolenghi - The Cookbook.

The maple syrup cream cheese icing was kind of special so at the last moment, I decided to make a pumpkin spice layer cake. I topped the icing with some maple sugar flakes given to me by a friend.

I took the cake into work and I wasn't sure how the test audience would react. They love, love, loved it. In fact I think the word divine may have been uttered.

Here's the original cake recipe for you plus the icing recipe.

Pumpkin Spice Cake (a Margaret Fulton recipe).
125 gm butter, softened
1¼ cups sugar
2 eggs
2¼ cups self raising flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon each of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¾ cup milk
1 cup cooked, mashed pumpkin
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
½ cup chopped walnuts

Grease a rectangular cake tin about 33 x 23 cm (13 x 9 inches) and line the base with baking paper. 
Set the oven at moderate (180ºC/350ºF).

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Sift together the flour, salt and spices. In another bowl, combine the milk with the pumpkin and bicarbonate of soda. Add the flour and pumpkin mixture alternately to the creamed mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Stir in the nuts. 

Turn into the prepared tin and bake in a moderate oven for 50-55 minutes, or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Cool in the tin for a few minutes, and then turn out onto a rack to finish cooling. Ice with maple cream cheese icing or serve plain.

Maple Cream Cheese Icing (inspired by Ottolenghi – the Cookbook)
60 gm unsalted butter
190 gm softened cream cheese
½ teaspoon vanilla
⅓ cup light muscovado sugar
1 cup sifted icing sugar
1-2 tablespoons maple syrup

In a small bowl using electric beaters, cream the butter, cream cheese and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the sugars and gradually add sufficient maple syrup to form a soft icing. Makes sufficient icing to top and fill an 8 inch (20cm) round cake.

I hope you all had lovely weekends. I was busy researching things to see and do in New York and Montreal. Many thanks to my lovely readers for their NYC suggestions.

See you all later,


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