Seeing as I don’t have anywhere to display a pumpkin this year but absolutely love carving them/Halloween I decided to do a pumpkin bake instead! This was probably best considering las years pumpkin lasted less than 24 hours – we woke up the morning after putting it out to find half our pumpkin gone and the other half smashed and scattered in the road! Motto of the story = don’t put a pumpkin out in a student area/next to a uni on the busiest sports social night of the week.
I absolutely love carrot cake yet and as I haven’t written about it yet I thought this would be the perfect autumny/halloweeny cake type for my Halloween bake! (I know adding a ‘y’ onto the end of the word isn’t grammatically correct but it works so well for describing things!)
So my go to carrot cake recipe is this great American recipe that my friends mum gave me years ago but unfortunately I don’t have it with me so I tried to remember and replicate it as best I could!
Firstly, I whisked 3 eggs and added around 200ml of oil to these. I don’t have any scales here so this was a very experimental guesswork bake. I usually use butter in my cakes and carrot cake is actually the only cake I use oil for instead, and that’s cause just I’ve never found a better recipe so I’ve stuck with using oil. Oil is also healthier than butter as it is a source of unsaturated fat (‘good’ fat) whereas butter contains saturated (‘bad’ fat) – although all fats should be eaten in moderation to avoid weight gain!
Okay that’s enough nutrition back to the baking! I grated 2 large carrots (if you wanted to make it really pumpkiny you could swap one of the carrots for the same weight in pumpkin!) and added allspice to this.
I then added the spiced carrot to the oil and egg, and added around 200g of self-raising flour and caster sugar. I had 500g packets so I added just under half of the bag. add a dash of vanilla essence and mix this all together (and yes I am mixing this in a saucepan as I also don’t have a mixing bowl!!).
I had wanted to have orange cake cases and draw little pumpkin faces on but I couldn’t find any orange cases anywhere! I also wasn’t sure about colouring the case in/painting it as this could leak into the cake in the oven!
Place the cake cases into a muffin/cupcake tray (or just a baking tray if you don’t have either of these but they hold their shape more in cake trays). My tray (we actually did have a cake tray!) was slightly too small for the cases so the cakes still lost their shape slightly but that didn’t matter too much.
Bake the cakes for around 15 minutes or until a knife/skewer comes out of the middle clean.
While the cakes are cooking/cooling make the icing using butter and icing sugar. Mix in orange food colouring until the icing is the pumpkiny colour you want. I used one of those gel colouring tubes (not the specialist ones just the normal supermarket/Dr Oetker ones) and it was called neon orange but I used the whole tube and it still wasn’t as bright as I wanted.
Once the cakes have cooled pipe/spread the icing on. You can do this any way you want; I went for big round piping as I didn’t have any nozzles. I also didn’t have a piping bag but I improvised by getting a large piece of tin foil, folding it in half for extra support and then rolling this into a piping bag.
I attempted using this to pipe the icing on for one cake but actually preffered how it looked just spread on. The piping bag also wasn’t as easy to use as normal ones as it kept scrunching up so would only last for a short while.
I then drew small lines in with the end of a teaspoon to look like the lines on the side of a pumpkin. Finally I put a green midget gem on top as the pumpkin stalk, although any green sweet/green fondant icing would work for this!
These are a great Halloween bake and as an added bonus it is 1 of your 5 a day as the cakes contain carrots!