Halloween is upon us; the shops are bursting with pumpkins, cinnamon flavoured everything is here, and toffee and caramel is even more tempting a treat than usual. With all this in mind I’ve got the perfect cake that combines all these things for you this autumn!
200g softened butter
200g caster sugar
200g self-raising flour
1 small pumpkin or a can of pumpkin puree
Pumpkin spice to taste (or make your own with cinnamon, nutmeg and clove)
For the filling:
A good helping of runny caramel (you can make your own or buy ready-made caramel like me!)
For the candied seeds:
a handful or two of pumpkin seeds
a tablespoon of olive oil
two tablespoons of cinnamon
five tablespoons of caster sugar
- If using fresh pumpkin, cut it into large chunks, removing the seeds and stringy parts. Save the seeds for later and put the pumpkin in the oven to roast for about an hour at your usual cooking temperature.
- Once the pumpkin is soft, scoop out the flesh and blend into a puree with some double cream until smooth.
- I’m a big fan of the all-in-one method so beat together your butter, sugar, eggs, flour, and pumpkin puree in one bowl. (TIP: if your mixture is curdled/split, ignore it. It means nothing. This will solve itself in the oven.)
- Add the pumpkin spice mix to your cake batter.
- Pour the mixture into greased cake tins – use whatever size you have. Bake for 30 minutes at the same temperature you roasted your pumpkin. The cakes are ready when the sides have shrunk away from the tin and a skewer/knife comes out clean when inserted into the middle.
- Leave to cool completely and remove from the tin.
- Add salt to taste to the caramel and drizzle over your sponges. Do this with however many layers you have. This will depend on the size of your cake tins.
- Roast your saved pumpkin seeds in a drizzle of olive oil for about 25 minutes or until lightly golden and crisp.
- In a separate bowl, mix together your cinnamon and 3 of the tablespoons of caster sugar.
- In a frying pan, gently heat a tablespoon of olive oil and the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Add the roasted pumpkin seeds to the pan and coat them with the melting sugar. Cook in the pan for 3 minutes until deliciously sticky.
- Carefully remove the seeds from the pan and toss them in the separate sugar cinnamon mix you prepared earlier.
- Leave the seeds to cool and then break them apart. Sprinkle the seeds over your cake.
- Make a cup of tea or coffee, grab a slice of cake, and watch your favourite Halloween movie!
Let me know if you try this recipe at home! Happy Halloween everyone!