Spiced Pumpkin Cake

Having pumpkin purée in my freezer allows me to sleep well at night. Because then I know that at a moment's notice, I can pull some out of the freezer to stir through stews, add to scrambled eggs or turn into something delicious like this Spiced Pumpkin Cake.

If you haven't baked with vegetable purées before, they add nutrients to your baking and impart a nice moist texture. Pumpkin also adds a subtle sweetness, which I love. I make pumpkin purée by chopping half a pumpkin into quarters (removing the seeds but leaving the skin on), then placing the quarters onto a lined baking tray and roasting in a 200°C oven until soft. Then I scoop the flesh out of the skins, mash with a fork and freeze the purée in 1 cup portions in ziplock bags (freezing the purée in portions make defrosting a lot easier).

Pumpkin purée is the key ingredient in this cake. I've added spices like cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg, which I think are pumpkin's best friends. It's quite a thin cake because I personally like a cake to icing ratio approaching 1:1 (ok, maybe 2:1, but you get the idea). A measly layer of icing is a disappointment, in my opinion. And cake should never be disappointing. 

i n g r e d i e n t s

for the cake:

  • 1 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon (gluten-free) baking powder
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 x 20ml tablespoons tahini (or nut butter)
  • 2 x 20ml tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 2 x 20ml tablespoons rice malt syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk *
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour

for the icing:

  • 1 x 400ml can coconut cream, refrigerated overnight
  • Rice malt syrup, to taste
  • Ground nutmeg for dusting

p r e p a r a t i o n

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C and line a loaf tin with baking paper (I used a 22 x 11 cm loaf tin).
  2. Place the pumpkin purée, cinnamon, allspice, vanilla extract, baking powder, nutmeg and sea salt into a large bowl and beat together with a spoon. Beat in the egg, and then beat in the tahini, melted coconut oil, rice malt syrup and coconut milk. Sift the coconut flour over the mixture and then beat it in until combined.
  3. Spread the mixture into the prepared loaf tin, smoothing the top with the back of a spoon. Bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes until the top is lightly browned and springs back when lightly touched. Allow the loaf to cool completely before icing.
  4. To make the icing, spoon the thick portion of the coconut cream out of the tin and place in a small bowl (it's important to make sure that none of the liquid gets into the bowl). Beat the cream with a spoon or electric beaters until thickened, adding a little rice malt syrup to sweeten (you can leave it out if you prefer). Spread the coconut cream over the cooled cake and top with a dusting of nutmeg. Cut into squares to serve.
  5. Store the cake in an airtight container in the fridge. If you're making the cake ahead of time, I like to keep the icing separate and spread on the cake when ready to serve.

Makes 8 squares.

* I just use the liquid portion of the can of refrigerated coconut cream (which you use for the icing).

Want more dessert recipes? My Raw Desserts ebook includes 23 fast and simple healthy desserts. Check it out here