Autumn is without a doubt my favourite season. I love the crisp orange leaves, warm thick coats and picking out the perfect pumpkin, and what is more seasonal than a pumpkin spice cake!
Pumpkin spice is normally used to flavour traditional pumpkin pies, however, over the past few years the spice has grown in popularity and is used in a variety of different ways, including the infamous pumpkin spice lattes - A must-have at this time of year! This recipe combines all my favourite warming spices with a delicious cinnamon buttercream, making it the perfect autumn bake to cosy up by the fire and enjoy.
Since there is an abundance of pumpkins at this time of the year I decided to make my own pumpkin puree rather than using tinned, it seemed like a waste not too! I roasted a large pumpkin and blended half to make this cake and the other half I used in salads, stews and soups. The fresh pumpkin puree adds a delicious depth of flavour and helps elevate the cake to the next level.
Rather than making a traditional shaped cake I wanted to experiment and make a pumpkin-shaped pumpkin cake, because why not right? Bundt tins are ideal to make the perfect pumpkin shape, and I used some ready-to-roll icing to add the extra details which help bring the pumpkin to life.
Pumpkin Spice Cake
Prep time: 60 minutes
Cooking time: 60 minutes
Total time: 120 minutes
For the cake
1 medium pumpkin (or half 1 large pumpkin)
750g plain flour
700g caster sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
700ml plant-based milk (I used coconut)
120ml vegetable oil
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the icing and decoration
200g dairy-free butter
600g icing sugar
4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
Orange food colouring
Green food colouring
Preheat the oven to 200 °C (or 180 °C fan assisted, like mine) and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Slice the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds and all the stringy bits. Place the pumpkin cut-side-down on the baking tray and bake until the flesh is soft (around 50-60 minutes)
Once the pumpkin is cooked, remove from the oven and wait to cool. Scoop out the flesh into a food processor and blend until smooth.
Add the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices to a large bowl and mix well, adjust the spices according to your taste.
In a separate bowl add the milk, oil, apple cider vinegar, vanilla and 500g of the pumpkin puree and mix well.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix gently until just combined, do not overmix!!
If you are only using one baking tin for both cakes only mix half of the wet and dry ingredients together at this stage, then mix the other half when ready to bake the second cake.
Pour half of the cake mix into the bundt tin and bake in the oven at 180 °C (or 160 °C fan assisted) for 50-60 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan, then to remove the cake flip onto a flat surface.
Whilst the cakes are cooling mix the butter, icing sugar, cinnamon and vanilla to make the buttercream icing. I used 4 tsp of cinnamon but you can adjust according to your taste. Gradually mix in the orange food colouring until you get a nice 'pumpkin' colour.
To make the pumpkin shape you need to bake two bundt cakes. Once both are fully cooled slice the bottom of both of the cakes (the larger side) to make them flat.
Spread a thin layer of icing on the cut edge of one of the cakes, then turn the other cake over and place on top to form the pumpkin.
Next, crumb coat the cake by covering the rest of the cake with a thin layer of icing and leave to set in the fridge.
Once the icing is set cover the cake with the rest of the icing and smooth using a palette knife.
To make the stalk roll a cylinder of chocolate royal icing and add the details using a cocktail stick. Using more of the chocolate icing, cut a large circular piece to cover the middle hole and extend parts to mimic the base of the pumpkin stalk and place the stalk on top.
Mix the white royal icing with green food colouring to make the pumpkin leaves and vines. For the leaves, I used a fondant leaf cutter and for the vines, I rolled the remaining icing into long thin pieces and places onto the cake in spirals.
You can tell when the cake is ready because the edges will start to pull away from the tin, the sponge should feel springy and if you put a skewer in it should come out clean - Even so, I still managed to under-bake one of my layers...
Don't throw away the pumpkin seeds, if you roast them with some mixed spices and a little oil for around 10 minutes they make amazing toppings for salads and stir-frys.
This cake is ideal for Halloween, just use some black icing to make faces on the pumpkin
Rather than making one large pumpkin, you can use mini bundt tins to make lots of smaller pumpkins which should take around 30 minutes in the oven.
This cake also works well as a traditional shaped cake - Simply half the recipe and bake in two 8 inch cake tins.
Thanks for reading, I hope you love this vegan pumpkin spice cake and have a lovely autumn. If you do try any of my recipes I'd love to know how they turn out - tag me on Instagram @josiewalshaw!