You don’t have to wait for celebrations and festive occasions to bake a really nice fruit cake, just like this delicious pumpkin fruit cake. It’s light, moist and keeps well and perfect with a cup of tea or, packed into a lunch box or picnic basket. This recipe is from fellow blogger Glenda whose blog is Passion Fruit Gardens, it was her Mum’s pumpkin fruit cake recipe… but not always Glenda’s favorite.
I’ve used butternut squash and not pumpkin in the recipe (both are from the same family and taste similar) and will continue to refer to the cake as a pumpkin fruit cake… it just sounds better. This was my first time adding pumpkin/butternut squash to a fruit cake and was really pleased with the outcome… so much that i have baked it twice and for sure, it wont be my last. On second time baking my cake turned a little more yellow (not as yellow as Glenda’s), that may have been due to using the part of the butternut squash that contains the seeds and is more of a vibrant orange with a few stringy bits.
Like Glenda, I didn’t use a box of mixed fruit like her Mum would use and instead used what dried fruit was available in my store cupboard. Vanilla extract, cinnamon and grated nutmeg are extra flavors I added, but also trust this cake is equally delicious without them… so are completely optional. You will need to steam, mash and cool some pumpkin/butternut squash before proceeding with this recipe. Hope you enjoy Glenda’s Mum’s pumpkin fruit cake as much as we have.
Pumpkin Fruit Cake
Recipe adapted from Passion Fruit Garden blog.
- 340g packet of mixed dried fruit or use; 125g stoned and chopped dates 100g glace cherries, quartered, 50g raisins, 50g sultanas and 25g finely chopped homemade candied orange peel
- 150g plain flour
- 150g self-raising flour
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- 175g butter, softened
- 225g caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 225g of mashed pumpkin or butternut squash, cold
You will need: Line the base and sides of a 20cm square cake tin with non-stick baking parchment.
How to make:
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350F/160C Fan/Gas mark 4.
Sift the plain flour, self-raising flour, cinnamon and grated nutmeg together and set aside. Add a tablespoon of the measured flours to the prepared fruit, to coat and separated the fruit so it doesn’t stick together, set aside
Add the vanilla extract, butter and sugar into a mixing bowl and with an electric mixer, beat until the mixture is pale and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well between additions.
Using a large spatula, mix in the pumpkin/butternut squash until just combined. Next, add in the combined flours with spices, followed by the fruit. Mix together until combined.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for about 20 minutes on a wire cooling rack before removing and completely cooling the cake. Store in an airtight container.