Pumpkin Spiced Loaf

It was the first day of Autumn at the weekend, I can’t believe that summer is over! Although I am sad to see the days getting shorter, I have to admit I love England as we head into the Winter months. There is nothing like coming in from a cold crisp Autumn morning and thoroughly appreciating the warmth of home. Nothing wakes you up like a run on a frosty morning! So, to celebrate the beginning of Autumn I decided to bake something that reflects the season and can be enjoyed with a cup of tea in the warmth of your kitchen as you admire the frost bitten morning.

The recipe is a combination of ideas. Most importantly, I wanted to recreate the flavours of a pumpkin spiced latte, as they are my sister’s absolute favourite drink!  I decided to go for a loaf style bake because there is minimum fuss. I wanted to keep the cake simple so we could enjoy the flavours. I wanted it to look pretty so I decided to cover it in buttercream, plus nobody ever turns down a bit of buttercream!  And then rather than using pumpkin flavouring in addition to the spice mix, I wanted it to be more natural, however dissecting a whole fresh pumpkin for a small loaf cake seemed like a lot of work. Instead, I chose to grate butternut squash into the cake mix; it was a lot easier to handle and gave sweetness and texture to the loaf.

Overall, the balance of spices was great and it definitely got a thumbs up from my sister! Success!

Serves 6-8

Ingredients: 

Loaf Mix: 

140g unsalted butter

140g sugar

140g self-raising flour

1tsp baking powder

2 eggs

half a butternut squash (grated with the skin on)

Pumpkin Spice (you will need two portions; one for the loaf mix and one for the buttercream):

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp allspice

1/2 ground cloves

Buttercream:

140g unsalted butter

280g icing sugar

2-3 tbsp milk

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Method:

  1. Preheat the oven at 180c. Grease and line a loaf tin with parchment paper.
  2. Place the butter and sugar in a food processor and cream together until light and fluffy.
  3.  Mix the eggs in a jug and then slowly add them into the mixture with a little bit of the flour. Mix well.
  4. Gradually add the remaining flour, stopping the mixer to scrape down the sides every now and then.
  5. Add the baking powder. Keep mixing until the mixture is completely combined and light and fluffy.
  6. Finally, mix in pumpkin spice and the grated butternut squash.
  7. Bake fro 30-4o mins, until a wooden skewer comes out clean.
  8. Allow the cake to cool for 10 mins, then remove from the tin to cool further. Make sure the cake is cooled completely before decorating with the pumpkin spice buttercream.
  9. Whilst your waiting for it to cool make your buttercream.
  10. Mix the butter and icing sugar using a food mixer. Add the milk if the consistency is too thick. You want it to be the consistency of a thick paste.
  11. Add the pumpkin spice to the buttercream.
  12. Once your cake has cooled, cove the loaf with a thick layer of buttercream using a spatula. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and a dusting of cinnamon.

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