Introduction: Healthy Pumpkin Cake

About: Self-employed YouTuber, creator and maker working from studio at home. Running craft workshops and making instructional videos for YouTube. Also manufacturer of craft tools and templates.

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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