Healthy Pumpkin Cake





Introduction: Healthy Pumpkin Cake

The UK never used to celebrate Halloween in the way that the USA does so when I was younger, I didn't know what Trick or Treating was until I emigrated to Canada in my late teens. However, it has slowly caught on in the UK over the years and now, kids here do the whole dress-up thing and go out Trick or Treating. I live back in the UK now and each year there are more and more big pumpkins in the supermarkets for carving out. This year, I got to thinking about what UK people do with the flesh they scoop out; I remember my Canadian friends and family used to make pies and soups etc. I know pumpkin is really good for you and so I got to thinking about making a cake.

As I can't eat conventional sugary cake or wheat flour, I have to think of more creative ways to make cakes. So for this one, I used barley malt extract and sultanas to get some sweetness. And I used sugar-free, dairy-free muesli along with oats to create the cake. I also put eggs in it to bind the ingredients.

The result wasn't too bad; I really enjoyed the cake because it was plenty sweet enough for my taste. It is a very moist cake even though there is no liquid (apart from eggs) or fat in it and I have nicknamed it a 'pudding cake; because of the consistency. It does come out 'set' and it can be cut into slices but it isn't 'cakey'.

I have made two batches of this now - hope you like it too. Any suggestions on how to vary it would be welcome. Thank you.

Step 1: Get Your Ingredients Together

You will need:

  • 1medium pumpkin
  • 2 medium sized mugs full of sugar-free, dairy-free muesli
  • 2 medium sized mugs full of rolled oats
  • 8 ozs of Sultana raisins
  • 1 12 oz jar of barley malt extract
  • 4 eggs
  • Butter to grease the tins

You will need three shallow 7 inch cake tins (round)

Step 2: Prepare the Pumpkin and the Muesli the Night Before Baking

  • Cut the pumpkin into chunks and peel.
  • Steam the chunks until soft.
  • Mash the chunks into a smooth mixture

On the two occasions I have made this cake, I steamed the pumpkin in the evening and left it overnight. I mashed it in the morning when I made the cake.

  • Put the muesli in a glass bowl and pour in enough boiling water to just cover and leave overnight.

Step 3: Mix the Muesli and Pumpkin Mash

After soaking overnight, the muesli should have swelled and be moist enough for a fork to stand up straight in it without falling over.

  • Add the muesli to the pumpkin mash and stir well
  • Take the sultanas that have been soaking over night and simmer in fresh water for 10 minutes

Step 4: Add the Sultanas and Oats

  • Drain the simmered sultanas thoroughly
  • Add to pumpkin and muesli mixture
  • Add 1 mug full of rolled oats to the mixture and stir well
  • Take the other half of the oats and grind to flour in a coffee grinder
  • Stir into the mixture

Step 5: Add the Barley Malt

  • Stir in the whole jar of barley malt and mix well

Step 6: Add the Eggs

Ok - this is where I get freakishly fussy about the eggs! I have a thing about the stringy white cord that holds the yolk and white together - I hate them! So this is how I deal with my eggs.

  • Put the four eggs into a beaker with a screw-top lid and shake them until they are mixed
  • Strain the beaten eggs through a mesh strainer
  • Use an electric whisk to mix the eggs thoroughly into the cake mixture to get lots of air in there.
  • Pour the mixture into three 7 inch well greased cake tins.
  • Bake in medium oven for 1 hour 30 minutes (I did mine at around 160 degrees)

I checked my cakes after 30 minutes and turned the oven down to about 145 degrees to stop the top getting too brown before the inside was cooked. Then I baked them for another half hour and stuck a knife in the middle of one to see if it would come out clean - it didn't so I put them back for another 30 minutes. You will see from the next picture that I did one of mine in a loaf tin. I wouldn't recommend that because the mixture needs to be spread out thinner to cook well. The loaf version was nice but not as well cooked as the two I made in the shallow round tins.

Step 7: Remove From Tins and Allow to Cool

  • When done let the cakes sit cooling in the tins for an hour
  • Then tap the tins firmly on the worktop to loosen cakes completely
  • When you are sure the cakes are completely loose, turn them out onto wire racks
  • Allow to cool until completely cold before eating - they get firmer as they cool and slice better

You could sandwich these cakes with cream cheese and honey frosting or a filling of your choice. I didn't bother as the fruit sugar from the sultanas and the barley malt is all the sweetness I can cope with.

Let me know if anyone has any tips on how I can vary or improve this without adding flour or sweetener of any kind.

Thank you for reading!

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    I really like that you are extremely fussy about your eggs. That kind of obsessive attention to detail is a good sign for this cake!

    That made me smil Wilgubeast! My family thinks I'm bonkers but I live in fear of the stringy white bit! :-)