Usually, right after Thanksgiving we take the pumpkins from the front porch and toss them into the woods for the squirrels. Well, not this year!!! We beg you to keep a pumpkin handy just to make this cake. The grated, fresh pumpkin (a food processor does this in a jot) creates a lovely moist and dense texture in this subtly-spiced, raisin-studded cake. Add to that orange cream cheese icing, and this easy cake will become a favorite.
BBC GoodFood Magazine notes that you can use grated butternut squash instead of pumpkin with equally great results.
For the cake:
10.5 oz. self-rising flour (2 1/3 cups)
10.5 oz. light brown sugar (1 1/2 cups)
3 tsp. mixed spice
2 tsp. baking soda
6 oz. raisins (1 1/4 cups)
1/2 tsp. salt
4 large eggs, beaten
7 oz. butter, melted (14 tbs.)
zest of 1 orange
1/3 cup orange juice
17.5 oz. grated, peeled pumpkin (4 cups packed)
For the icing:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 oz. butter, softened (6 tbs.)
3.5 oz. confectioner’s sugar (3/4 cup plus 1 tbs.)
zest of 1 orange and juice of half
Heat the oven to 350°F and butter a 13×9-inch pan.
Pu the flour, sugar, spice, baking soda, raisins, and salt in a large bowl and stir to combine. Beat the eggs into the melted butter, stir in the orange zest and juice, then mix into the dry ingredients until combined. Stir in the pumpkin and pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden and springy to the touch. (Do note that the water content in different pumpkins varies, so check the cake often near the end of its cooking time.) Leave to cool completely before icing.
To make the icing, beat together all ingredients until smooth and creamy. Using a palette knife, spread over the cake in peaks and swirls. If making ahead, store in the fridge and bring to room temp for 30 minutes or so before serving. The cake will keep, covered in the fridge for 4-5 days.