November 3, 2012


Late last year I spotted a beautiful bundt tin in a blog (used for a lemon and poppy seed cake recipe as it happens) and fell in love.  With some birthday and Christmas money burning a hole in my pocket I decided this was what I wanted to spend it on more than anything else.  I tracked one down at Amazon and could hardly contain myself until it arrived.

pumpkin cakeIt’s absolutely gorgeous and you can see the effect in the original post in the blog “DeliciousDeliciousDelicious” here.

I put it in my cupboard with all the other baking tins and there it stayed.  I was almost afraid of it.  Its beauty taunted me every time I reached for an ordinary round cake tin or a muffin tin, especially if I had to move it out of the way to get to the tin I wanted.

The truth is, I didn’t quite know what to do with it.  I have never made a bundt cake in my life and didn’t know if I could just use any old cake recipe – imagine how disappointed I would feel if the cake stuck to the tin, or sank, or didn’t work for some reason, perhaps because bundt cake mixture is different from other cake mixtures. 

Then the tin made another appearance in the same blog, this time used for a pumpkin spice cake – and the spell was broken.  I couldn’t wait to bake one for myself.

pumpkin cake5 I greased and floured the tin lovingly, followed the recipe precisely, and to my absolute relief and delight, the cake came out of the tin perfectly !! 

pumpkin cake2 pumpkin cake3

It was simplicity itself to make, the only tricky part being getting hold of all the ingredients.  The recipe uses a tin of pumpkin purée.  I searched in all my local supermarkets; Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrison’s and the Co-op.  None of them had it, or had even heard of it.

I was considering ordering it from Amazon when I mentioned it to a colleague at work and she said she had one at home that she got from Waitrose.  I immediately sent an email to Nick, who works in Sheffield where there is now a large Waitrose store, and off he toddled in his lunch break to grab the last two tins on the shelf.  That’s love for you, isn’t it !

pumpkin cake4 I took the cake to my friend Pat’s Macmillan coffee morning.  There were lots of other yummy cakes on sale, plus scones to die for, but my pumpkin cake won me the star baker award. It just goes to show what a difference a posh tin will make !

Pat recently visited her son who lives in Texas and she told me that all the American housewives used tinned pumpkin purée to make their famous pumpkin pies etc.  So I didn’t feel too guilty about not buying a real pumpkin and making my own.

pumpkin cake6 Not only did the cake look good, it tasted wonderful too.  I will definitely be making one of these for our Children in Need cake stall at work later this month.  It will be interesting to see how well it sells.  Normally, the best sellers are the glamorous cakes with lots of gooey icing on top, such as coffee and walnut or chocolate.  Cakes that are slightly out of the ordinary take longer to sell, apart from the good old carrot cake which the public seem to have a liking for.   Come to think of it, that is also usually slathered in a sweet frosting so maybe that’s the key.

Maybe I should decorate my gorgeous swirly cake with some gooey icing, or at least a drizzle of something……….but would it spoil the look ??

Here’s the recipe anyway.  I have the approval of DeliciousDeliciousDelicious to reproduce it and you can see the original post on his blog here.  I am most grateful to Peter for allowing me to pinch his idea, not only for the recipe, but also using exactly the same tin and a very similar photo !!  Which just goes to show that perfection is hard to improve upon.


200g plain flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
250g soft brown sugar
50g Brazil nuts, chopped
3 eggs, lightly beaten
190ml vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 x 400g tin pumpkin purée


Pre-heat the oven to 175°C/155° fan.  Grease and flour your bundt tin*.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, bicarb, salt and spices.

In a large bowl, mix together the beaten eggs, oil, sugar vanilla extract and pumpkin purée, until well combined.  Stir in the chopped brazil nuts.

Tip the flour mixture into the bowl and fold in, making sure everything is well combined.  Pour the mixture into the bundt tin and level the top.

Bake for 40 minutes, or until the cake passes the usual tests.  Cool in the tin for ten minutes then turn out onto a wire rack.

Cuts into 12-16 slices.

*If you haven’t got a bundt tin, use a 25cm square tin.  Otherwise you will find the tin at Amazon here.


  1. That really is a stunner! Must say I am coveting that tin. Might even try to purchase it for my Mother-in-law's Christmas.

  2. Another stunner, Jean. Bravo!

  3. What a gorgeous tin! and so satisfying that you produced such a great cake in it.

  4. Oh gosh, Jean, that looks and sounds marvellous. would it taste the same, I wonder, if I made it in my plain ring bundt-type tin?:-)

    1. Perpetua, I don't see why not, it's worth a try anyway.
      There are plenty of recipes on the internet for making your own pumpkin purée, too.

  5. Jean that looks amazing. I am also surprised to see you have pumpkin in a tin, I have always used fresh pumpkin as I have never seen tinned in the UK, or here for that matter.
    That tin is something else, but I would be worried that it would leave half behind when you turn it out. Obviously this did not happen with you though. Have a good weekend Diane xx

    1. Diane, that was my worry, too. But the cake came out perfectly, leaving the tin almost totally clean.

  6. Beautiful, just beautiful! I have been coveting that particular tin for years now, but it was out of stock for ages on Amazon and I had forgotten about it. Perhaps I will have to have another look now.... I like the sound of the recipe too it sounds moist and lovely.

  7. ooohhhh. I love that tin - but I know what you mean about not using it. What a great cake to break the 'duck' with though. Please thank Nick too for going the extra mile for the pumpkin - I too have something delicious in the oven as a result just now ;-)

  8. That's a fantastic tin and a great cake to make in it. There are a lot of Americans living around here, so there's no shortage of pumpkin purée in tins but I've never tried using it in a cake. Clearly I'm missing out.

  9. This looks so pretty, Bundt tins really turn out some impressive looking cakes! I made a pumpkin cake last week with Libby's Pumpkin Puree and it was so moist and delicious! Your cake sounds like it's got a wonderful array of ingredients too! :-)

  10. It looks perfect!

    I think the coating on these tins is brilliant. Nothing seems to stick, even really moussey batters like this one.

  11. Jean... tricky I know... but how about doing a thick lemon cream or buttercream and either put it in the valleys of along the ridges... or, once it is on the plate, filling the middle and just dragging a little into the valleys... or a caramel icing... or just simply dust with icing sugar... those peaks and troughs just ask for that sort of treatment.

    1. Thanks for the ideas Tim, I am thinking of baking a plain cake and decorating it as a trial run to see how it looks. Otherwise I will have to keep trailing to Sheffield or Newark to get more pumpkin from Waitrose.

  12. My Pumpkin icecream recipe specifies tinned pumpkin instead of cooked fresh pumpkin because the latter can be too watery. I find steamed butternut or Crown Prince, mashed up, works fine. I bet Auchan would have tins of pumpkin...

    1. Pauline, I read that somewhere else about fresh pumpkin. Maybe one day I will try it with a butternut to see what happens.

  13. What a stunning cake! You've just started my own love affair with that tin too - I'm off to amazon now to have a look...

    1. Katharine, to make it easier I have put a link to the right Amazon page at the end of the recipe !!

  14. Hi Jean,

    I'm admired the beautiful shape of your cake. This tin is absolutely great purchase for baking.

    This is my first time visiting your blog and there is so much for me to browse and learn from you. I'm now your latest follower :D


  15. What a beautiful cake tin. Will have a look in my local Waitrose. Have a pumpkin to use up so will try out your recipe - I know it's easier to use a can, but I've got to use the pumpkin up as my daughter bought it for me!

  16. I have this tin (I call it my Sydney Opera House tin) and use it to bake Linda West Eckhardt's "Tunnel of Fudge" cake. It's slightly more difficult than your standard bundt cake as it needs to be baked until the outside is firm enough to hold the gooey, fudgy interior without cracking and bursting like an erupting chocolate volcano when it's de-tinned!