CheflingTales has been completely surreal to me this winters. I found my childhood friend through this platform. In fact, she found me on the Chefling tales Instagram page. Back in the day, we used to write letters to each other, however, as soon as mobile phones and social media became common, we disconnected. Ironic! Isn’t it? It was implausible for me to think that I would be talking with her after almost a decade. Today’s blog is dedicated to her and to our long-lasting friendship. Let’s celebrate with Pumpkin Spice Cake!

Pumpkin Spice Cake

Chilly and cold winter nights of January brings joy and festivity with holiday break from tedious school and work routine. Family and friends pour in from abroad for reunions which means endless sessions of munching dry fruits, sipping beautiful pink Kashmiri chai, eating fried fish, soups and warm curries, and last but not the least, halwa cooked with love by our mothers and grandmothers.

Today’s blog is about Pumpkin, a beautiful produce easily available in Pakistan. Petha / Kadu/ Pumpkin Halwa is a fine delicacy in Pakistani cuisine that is typically served in winters. The beautiful golden-brown pumpkin halwa is relishing and very satisfying to eat. I have never used pumpkin in my cooking so naturally, I was not sure about what I could make with it. I wanted to try something other than the usual halwa and I decided to make Pumpkin Spice Cake.

To start off, I prepared pumpkin puree. It is extremely easy to make. Now that I have tried it I can say it with more confidence. The pumpkin puree can be stored in a freezer for months. So, you can make a good batch of pumpkin puree in advance and then use it to make halwa, cakes, pie or even coffee. The major step is done. Next step is to make the cake.

Pumpkin Spiced Cake turned out to be super moist and delicious flavored with cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. I topped it with a cinnamon cream cheese frosting which perfectly compliments the pumpkin cake. My house was filled with the beautiful aroma of cinnamon and pumpkin tempting us to have more. I made it twice in a week’s time just because we loved it beyond our expectation. My three years old son loved it and said, “mama very acha” while munching it.

I hope I am leaving you behind inspired enough to try this pumpkin cake in your kitchen.

Ingredients:

  • Sugar – 1 cup
  • Butter – ½ cup
  • Pumpkin Puree – 1 cup
  • Eggs – 2
  • Flour – 1 ½ cup
  • Baking powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Baking soda – ½ teaspoon
  • Ginger powder – ½ teaspoon
  • Cinnamon powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Nutmeg – ½ teaspoon
  • Salt – ½ teaspoon

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Cream Cheese – 6 oz
  • Butter – 2 tablespoon (softened)
  • Icing Sugar – 2 cups
  • Cream – 2 tablespoons
  • Cinnamon powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Preparation time : 20 Minutes
  • Cooking time : 40 Minutes
  • Number of servings (yield) : 4 – 6

Instructions:

Preparation for the Pumpkin Puree

  • Preheat the oven to 200 C
  • Take a pumpkin and cut it into the half. Remove the seeds from the pumpkin with a spoon. And cut it into wedges.
  • Place a baking sheet or foil on the baking tray and place all the pumpkin wedges on the tray.
  • Bake them for 60 – 90 minutes or until they are soft. (Yes, the hardcore skin will be completely soft)
  • Remove it from the oven. Let it cool.
  • Peel off the skin from all pumpkin wedges.
  • Use a hand blender to puree the pumpkin in a beautiful silky golden puree.

Pumpkin Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 180 C.
  • Cream butter and sugar together. Add pumpkin puree and eggs one at a time giving the batter a good mix.’
  • Mix all the dry ingredients and add into the cake batter, mixing it on a slow speed now. Mix together unless flour is fully incorporated.
  • Grease your baking tin with butter and flour and add the cake batter to it.
  • Bake your cake for 30 – 35 minutes or until the toothpick or knife comes out clean from the center.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and let it rest for a while in the pan. Let the cake cool completely before frosting.
  • Decorate with cream cheese frosting or just serve it without. Either way, it tastes just amazing.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Whisk cream cheese and butter for a minute with an electric beater.
  • Add icing sugar and whipped cream. The frosting will start getting thicken once you add icing sugar.
  • Beat until the desired consistency is reached.

Fatima Ali

I am trained to be an IT professional. I served National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) for six years after graduating from the same university. As long as I can remember, cooking good food has been my passion and it makes me happy. My cooking lessons were a bit unusual though. Back in the day when digital did not mean much, my father would record cooking shows (knorr ka kitchen, kaukab khuwaja and Zee Khana Khazana – Chef Sanjeev Kapoor) for me to watch endless times later on, before trying the recipes out. I would make brownies and cold cake almost every day while my mother was asleep. This was my way of surprising her every evening. My mother cooks amazing food too and I have tried many of the recipes written in her recipe book. I draw inspiration from a number of chefs from televised cooking shows such as Late Chef Farah, Chef Rahat, Chef Mehboob, BBC Food, Masala TV, Chef Shai, Chef Sharmeen, Master Chef Australia and my ultimate favorite Chef Shireen Anwer. I would not be as good a cook I am now without passive guidance from each one of these.