On a recent visit to the Jucker Farm, a pumpkin patch just outside of Zurich, I treated myself to a slice of their famous pumpkin cake which was topped with lemon icing and pistachios.
My husband rolled his eyes at the sight of this city-slicker drinking a latté macchiato on a farm and indulging in an American-inspired cake. But the Swiss love American culture, and having spent a few years living in the US, I am rather grateful for it too.
Ever since the release of her first cookbook, How to Eat, Nigella has had a continued presence in my kitchen. Not a week goes by when I am not cooking from one of her cookbooks, and I’m not sure I could even name a favourite; they have all been useful to me in different ways and in the different phases of my life.
Nigella makes no secret of her love for all things Americana, so I wasn’t surprised to see a recipe for this Pumpkin Bundt Cake in Simply Nigella.
Nigella suggests grating dark chocolate over the orange frosting but, inspired by my recent afternoon tea at the Jucker Farm, I instead sprinkled chopped pistachios over the cake for a bit of crunch and colour. Nigella also uses tinned pumpkin in her recipe, whereas I am making the most of the newly seasonal pumpkins by making my own pumpkin purée (see Cook’s Notes below). In any event, tinned pumpkin is not readily available where I live, and having fresh pumpkin purée to hand is also rather convenient when preparing meals for my little ones.
I’m not sure how tinned pumpkin purée compares to fresh pumpkin purée in the finished cake, but as fresh pumpkin purée is usually more liquid (this also depends on what type of pumpkin you use), I daresay that it makes for a softer cake. The result I had was an incredibly moist and moreish cake, heady with autumnal spices. The children loved it so much that they had seconds 🙂 I only wish they ate their roasted or steamed pumpkin with the same enthusiasm!
The cake tin I have used is a Nordicware Heritage Bundt Pan, but you can use any other Bundt pan with a 10 cup or 2.4 litre capacity. As I have had many disasters with cakes sticking to the intricate grooves of various Bundt pans, I highly recommend using a special baking spray for Bundt pans, as well as flouring the pan for extra reassurance.
I can’t think of a more impressive cake to serve this autumn.
- For the cake:
- 300g (1½ cups) light muscovado sugar (or soft light brown sugar)
- 250ml (1 cup) sunflower oil
- zest and juice of 1 orange
- 3 eggs
- 400g (3⅔ cup) plain flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- 300g (1¼ cup) fresh pumpkin purée (see Cook's Notes below)
- For the icing:
- 200g (2 cups) icing sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons orange juice (from the same orange above)
- 3-5 tablespoons pistachios (shelled and unsalted), finely chopped
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Generously spray the Bundt tin with a non-stick cooking spray and then dust with flour. Invert the Bundt tin over the sink and give it a tap to shake off the excess flour.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sugar, oil, orange zest, and 2 tablespoons of orange juice. Beat on medium speed until everything is combined and smooth.
- Add the eggs, one at a time.
- Add the pumpkin purée.
- Add the flour, baking soda, ground cinnamon and allspice. Beat on light speed just until everything is well-combined.
- Pour the mixture into the Bundt tin.
- Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean.
- Leave the cake to cool in the tin on a wire rack for about 15 minutes.
- Gently loosen the cake around the funnel, and then carefully turn the cake out onto a wire rack. Leave to cool completely.
- Make the icing by whisking some orange juice into the icing sugar until you have a consistency which is runny enough to ice the cake, but thick enough to stick to the cake.
- Spoon the icing over the cake and sprinkle with the chopped pistachios.
To make your own pumpkin purée, peel and remove the seeds from about 500 g of pumpkin. Cut the pumpkin into large pieces of roughly equal size. You can either boil or steam the pumpkin. To boil, bring a large pot of water to the boil, add the pumpkin and cook for about 30 minutes until the pumpkin is tender. To steam, bring a large pot of water to the boil, place the pumpkin in the steamer basket and steam for about 50-60 minutes until the pumpkin is tender. Place the cooked pumpkin into the bowl of a large food processor and blitz until you have a fine purée. Leave the purée to cool completely before using in this recipe. Any leftover pumpkin purée can be kept in a covered container in the fridge for a few days.
Share your photos!
If you have tried this recipe, I would love to hear how it turned out! Please leave a comment below and share your photos on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using #eatlittlebird