With plenty of pumpkins and winter squash stored away I’ll soon be reaching for my favourite cake recipe. Pleasantly spiced and warming this cake is a perfect chilly autumn day treat. This year I grew a winter squash called Sibley, said to be noticeably sweeter after the New Year it looks as if I’ll be making this cake well into 2019, providing they store well.
250g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
200g dark brown soft sugar
2 eggs, beaten
250g pumpkin or winter squash puree
4 tablespoons milk
Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas mark 4.
For the pumpkin puree I measure out 800g of roughly chopped pumpkin (skin and seeds removed), place in a pan of boiling water and simmer for 20 minutes or so until the pumpkin pieces are soft (test with a fork). Strain water and place cooked pumpkin pieces into a fine mesh sieve, try to remove as much excess water as you can by pushing down on the pumpkin pieces with a fork to strain. Scrape the contents from the sieve into a bowl and use a hand blender to puree. Measure and set aside.
In a mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, spices and bicarbonate of soda. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Mix in eggs, 250g pumpkin puree and milk. Stir flour mixture into wet mixture until just combined. Fold in raisins.
Pour into a 23 cm cake tin (lined with baking parchment) and bake for 35 – 40 minutes, test middle of cake with a skewer which should come out clean. You can’t really taste much of the pumpkin but the puree makes the cake wonderfully moist. Enjoy a slice with a mug of hot tea.