SPICED PUMPKIN CAKE.

With Halloween just passed, a celebratory seasonal cake was inevitable. This meant finally moving away from my apple craze to focus on the new abundant ingredient in our household, PUMPKIN. This cake is very similar to one of my all time favourites, carrot cake. The juiciness of the pumpkin results in a moist texture which is balanced by the cream cheese frosting. This cake keeps well in cooler temperatures so you can store it in the fridge without worrying about it going dry too quickly!

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INGREDIENTS.

FOR THE CAKE:

-220g butter (room temperature)

-220g soft brown sugar

-220g soft dark brown sugar

-350g pumpkin (blended, deseeded)

-270g bread flour (the moistness of the pumpkin requires a stronger flour to bind the cake)

-1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

-1 heaped tsp baking powder

-2 heaped tsp cinnamon

-1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

-1 heaped tsp ground ginger

-2 tsp vanilla extract

-4 eggs (well beaten for a lighter cake)

FOR THE FROSTING:

-280g cream cheese

-300g icing sugar

-1 tsp vanilla essence

– dark chocolate to grate on top

METHOD.

Preheat the oven to 180°.

Mix the bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.

In a separate bowl, combine the butter and both sugars, mixing until fully blended and light. You can use or an electric whisk, however I made this cake by hand as I feel it prevents over mixing! Slowly add in the blended pumpkin, removing any seeds you come across.

Fold the flour into the butter mixture. Then add the vanilla essence and finally stir in the spices.

Beat the eggs well together until the are light and beginning to froth. Add to the main mixture. Feel free to taste and add more cinnamon or whatever you fancy at this stage! Dark chocolate chunks could be nice!

Spoon the half of the mixture into a well greased cake tin, then the other half into another (I’m not sure of the exact size of mine but if the mixture is able to fill both tins until about 2 inches high then that should be fine.)

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Bake for 30-40 minutes, until when a skewer is poked in the middle it comes out clean.

Prepare the icing by combining the cream cheese and vanilla. Sift in the icing sugar to ensure there are no lumps and the frosting is smooth. Store in the fridge whilst the cakes are baking.

When the cakes are FULLY cooled (make sure to not ice too early or it will melt and separate) cover the top layer of one cake with icing. Place the second cake on top of this and then cover with the remaining icing. For the final touch, grate dark chocolate evenly over the top layer.

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You could also ice the sides of the cake but I prefer the effect of being able to see the layers!

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Enjoy!

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