Trick or treat? A River Cottage pumpkin cake recipe

Our Food & Drink

Carved-out pumpkin flesh is often used to make soup or sweet pies, but this scrummy cake is another alternative!

Here’s one of our favourite recipes, from our friends at River Cottage. Sweetly perfumed, light and crispy in texture, it’s a wicked way to make sure nothing goes to waste.


20 minutes prep time, 40 minutes cook time
Serves 12 

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150g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and softened
300g caster sugar
3 eggs
340g self-raising flour
225g finely grated raw pumpkin flesh
150g amaretti or dry macaroons, lightly crushed
50ml whole or semi-skimmed milk

Orange glacé icing
Halloween sweets

23cm garland or ring mould, well greased, or a 20cm round tin lightly greased and base-lined with baking parchment

Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.
In a mixing bowl, beat the butter to a cream, using a wooden spoon or a hand-held electric whisk.
Add the sugar and continue to beat until well creamed. (It won’t be as light and fluffy as a classic sponge mix.)
Add the eggs, one at a time, adding 1 tbsp of the flour with each, and beating well before adding the next. Sift in half the remaining flour and fold in using a large metal spoon.
Fold in the grated pumpkin, crushed amaretti or macaroons, and the milk – to give a soft dropping consistency.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 45 minutes, until the cake is lightly golden, springs back to shape when pressed with a finger and is beginning to pull away from the sides of the tin.
Leave in the tin for 5 minutes before carefully turning out and placing on a wire rack to cool.
Variation: Add 50g mini marshmallows along with the amaretti for a gooey Halloween cake.

For children, trickle the cake with orange glacé icing and scatter with sweets.
For adults, serve it plain with hot mulled cider punch. It will keep in a tin for 5 days.