I started making this spiced pumpkin traybake last year and was amazed at how positive the reaction to it was. It’s very similar to a carrot cake but with a smooth texture – a damp spiced sponge that keeps for ages in the same way that a banana loaf does.
For the charity Halloween bake sale I held last Sunday, I wanted to make a cake that would go down well with the adults alongside the novelty cakes made specifically to appeal to children, like my own. This is a perfect Autumn bake topped with a delicate slick of vanilla buttercream. I’ve had lots of positive feedback about it so I’ll be making it again for next year’s sale with the aim of beating this year’s £280 profit.
I have made spiced pumpkin cupcakes with great success before, but not an actual traybake. After making bakes for school fairs, kids parties and sports fixtures I soon realised that a slab of something sweet involves much less effort than any individually baked efforts.
The one thing you’ll notice about this recipe is that I don’t actually use pumpkin in it. Instead, I have opted for butternut squash. I prefer it’s sweet and nutty flavour and also I find it less watery, which improves the texture of the sponge. If I lived nearer to a good grow your own farm/green grocers then I would be sure to use pumpkin but I find the supermarket varieties lacking in flavour.
I also made a version of this cake for last month’s supper club (minus the icing) and served it with a toffee sauce, home-made stem ginger ice cream, pecan crumb and candied squash. It was a smash – definitely got the best comments of the evening and makes a welcome alternative to a sticky toffee sponge.
Here are some more ideas for perfect pumpkin bakes from fellow bloggers:
Pumpkin swirls with a maple tahini drizzle – Rough Measures
Chewy pumpkin cookies – Supper in the Suburbs
Bacon pumpkin bread – Recipes from a Pantry
Spiced pumpkin cake in a jar – The Crafty Larder
Chocolate pecan pumpkin cake – Tin & Thyme
Spiced Pumpkin Traybake
- 225 g self raising flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1 inch piece of ginger peeled & grated
- 400 g butternut squash steamed & blitzed to a smooth puree
- 3 eggs
- 250 ml mild flavoured oil
- 275 g light brown sugar
- 1 tbsp honey/maple syrup
- For the icing:
- 125 g unsalted butter softened
- 250 g icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp milk
- Pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees
- Whisk the oil with the sugar, honey and eggs in a food mixer until well blended
- Sift in the flour, bicarb, salt and spices then beat the mixture in the food mixer until it forms a loose batter
- Fold in the butternut squash using a spatula
- Pour the mixture into a lined square baking tin/brownie tin and bake for between 45 minutes-55 minutes depending on your oven
- Let the cake cool completely before icing
- For the icing:
- Place the butter, icing sugar, vanilla and milk in a food mixer and beat well for at least 3 minutes until the icing becomes pale and creamy in colour
- Spread the icing over the cake
- Chill in the fridge until the icing is set
This cake keeps well in the fridge, covered with cling film or in a plastic box for up to one week. It also freezes well.