Loaf cakes are my baking anchor. They are sweet, sturdy parcels of reassurance. Sliceable. Wrap-able. Gift-able. When in doubt of anything I bake a loaf cake. Playing with pumpkin meant making cake and I went humble, unadorned and freshly baked. I made a cake to have with coffee. There is no reason why this mix cannot be baked in a round tin or a square tin or even into muffin cases. It would most likely appreciate a dollop of sour, cream cheese icing if you felt so inclined. The pumpkin doesn’t come through with a strong flavour, much like carrot or courgette, it bakes into the crumb adding only moisture and earthen undertones.
For my cake I actually used a couple of teaspoons of Arabic Coffee Spice which is a blend of cardamom, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla and pepper. If you can lay your hands on this stuff it gives a wonderfully rich, spiced aroma. If not, no fear, simply use what you have knocking around. This is a cake for rainy afternoons, it pairs well with a woolly jumper and a mug of something steamy.
Spiced Pumpkin Loaf Cake
(Make 1 loaf)
200g pumpkin pureé
250g caster sugar
125ml sunflower oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
225g plain flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp Arabic coffee spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon, ½ tsp ground nutmeg, ¼ tsp ground ginger
- Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/Gas Mark 4 and line/grease a 25cm loaf tin.
- Blend together the pumpkin, sugar, eggs, oil, milk and vanilla.
- In a separate bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and spices.
- Combine wet ingredients with dry and pour into the prepared tin.
- Bake for 50-60 mins or until a skewer comes out clean.
- Cool for a while in the tin before transferring to a cooling rack.
- Put the kettle on.