Spiced Apple Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
If you like carrot cake then you will love this spiced apple pumpkin cake. The smell of this cake when it is baking is truly wonderful. It reminds me of spending time with friends and family, all sitting around a large table with mugs of coffee and tea, chatting about the good old days.
I have used the Thermomix for this recipe. Janie Turner from UK Thermomix demonstrated the new TM5 model to me. She made a chopped sweet potato salad and I was amazed with the results (potentially, I never need to use my grater again, so no more grated fingernails!).
I have a glut of pumpkins at the moment and I fancied a bit of cake, so the idea for this recipe came to mind. I thought, aha!, it’s a great time to test my new TM5 chopping techniques. I used the Thermomix to chop the pumpkin, apples and ginger, then I added the rest of the ingredients for the cake batter, whizzed it all together and in a jiffy the job was done – it’s pretty fast and impressive.
If you do not have a Thermomix, you can still make the cake, but you’ll need to use a grater instead (or a food processor with a grater attachment), then mix all the ingredients together in a bowl using a wooden spoon or an electric mixer.
Ingredients & Method
For the apple pumpkin cake
- 250g (prepared weight) raw pumpkin flesh (choose a dense and dry pumpkin variety, or butternut squash will work just as well), peeled, deseeded and cut into 4cm chunks (if you do not have a Thermomix, then coarsely grate the pumpkin flesh)
- 125g (prepared weight) eating apples (skin left on), cored and cut into 4cm chunks (if you do not have a Thermomix, then coarsely grate the apples, skin on)
- 20g fresh root ginger, peeled and cut into 3 even-size pieces (if you do not have a Thermomix, then coarsely grate the ginger)
- 300g plain flour, sifted
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 2 teaspoons ground mixed spice, plus extra for dusting
- 350g soft dark brown sugar
- a pinch of table salt
- 4 medium eggs, lightly beaten
- 250ml sunflower or groundnut oil, plus extra for greasing
For the cream cheese frosting
- 60g unsalted butter, softened
- 160g full-fat soft cheese (such as Philadelphia)
- 1 vanilla pod, split in half lengthways and seeds scraped out
- 580g icing sugar, sifted
Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4. Grease and line two 20cm diameter x 5cm high sandwich cake tins with non-stick baking paper and set aside.
To make the cake using the Thermomix, place the pumpkin, apple and ginger chunks in the Thermomix, Pulse for 30 seconds, then scrape down the sides and repeat the process another couple of times until the mixture is finely chopped but not puréed. Add the rest of the cake ingredients, set the Thermomix on the Dough setting for 2 minutes on speed 1, then scrape the sides down and repeat the process once more. (To make the cake mixture by hand, if you don’t have a Thermomix, see Cook’s Notes.)
Divide the cake mixture between the prepared cake tins, spreading evenly, then bake in the oven for about 1 hour or until a metal skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool in the tin for 2–3 minutes, then carefully turn out and transfer the cakes to a wire rack and leave to cool completely before applying the frosting.
For the cream cheese frosting, again you can either make it in the Thermomix or by hand. To make the frosting using the Thermomix, place the butter, soft cheese and vanilla seeds into the jug, insert the butterfly whisk and whisk for 1 minute on speed 4. Scrape the sides down and repeat the process once more. Add the icing sugar and whisk for 1 minute on speed 4, then scrape the sides down and repeat once more. The frosting is now ready to use. (To make the frosting by hand, if you don’t have a Thermomix, see Cook’s Notes.)
Once the cake is completely cooled, trim each cake so the top surface is flat, if necessary. Place one cake in position on a serving plate or cake stand, spread with half of the frosting, then place the second cake on top and spread the rest of the frosting over the top. Sprinkle a light dusting of mixed spice over the frosting and serve the cake in slices.
The frosted cake will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge (the cream cheese frosting needs to be kept chilled).
To make the cake mixture by hand (if you don’t have a Thermomix), place all the cake ingredients in a large mixing bowl (using grated pumpkin, apple and ginger), then stir together with a wooden spoon until mixed and combined, or mix together using an electric mixer. Divide the cake mixture between the prepared cake tins, then bake and continue as directed in the recipe above.
To make the frosting by hand, cream the butter, soft cheese and vanilla seeds together in a bowl until light and fluffy (either by beating together with a wooden spoon or using an electric mixer), then add the icing sugar and mix well to make a smooth frosting. Use as directed in the recipe above.