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Recipe: How to make Nigella Lawson’s Pumpkin bundt cake

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  • Non-stick cooking spray (or sunflower oil and plain flour) for greasing 
  • 300g soft light brown sugar
  • 250ml sunflower oil
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange, preferably unwaxed
  • 3 large eggs
  • 400g plain flour
  • 2 tsps bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsps ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • 300g pumpkin purée (available from Tesco and Ocado)


For the icing :

  • 200g icing sugar
  • 2½ to 3 x 15ml tbsps orange juice (from orange above)
  • Small square of dark chocolate for grating
  • 10-cup bundt tin (2.5 litre capacity) or 20cm square cake tin (approx 5.5cm deep)

Step 1:  Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4. Spray your bundt tin with non-stick cooking spray, or make a paste by mixing 2 tsps of oil and 2 tsps of flour and brush it all over the insides of the tin, making sure you get into all the crevices. Leave upside down on newspaper or baking parchment to drain off excess oil while you prepare the cake.

Step 2:  In the bowl of a mixer (although you could do this by hand), beat together the sugar, oil, the finely grated zest of half the orange and 2 tbsps of its juice until smoothly combined. You’ll need to stop and scrape down the bowl once or twice.

Step 3:  Add the eggs, beating again.

Step 4:  Measure the flour, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and allspice into another bowl, forking everything together lightly so that it’s all mixed well.

Step 5:  Beat the pumpkin purée into the cake mixture before adding the flour and spices and folding to combine. Once you have a smooth cake batter, carefully pour it into the oiled bundt tin.

Step 6:  Bake for 45-55 minutes, though I always start checking at 40. The cake should be coming away from the edges of the tin and a cake tester will come out clean. Remove to a wire rack, leaving the cake to cool in its tin for 15 minutes.

Step 7:  Gently prise the cake away from the tin with your fingers, paying particular attention to the part around the funnel, then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

Step 8:  To ice the bundt, stand it on the plate of your choice, then sieve the icing sugar into a bowl and gradually whisk in the orange juice, slowing down after the second tablespoon to make sure you get the desired consistency. Once you have a smooth icing that’s thick enough to stick to the cake, but just runny enough to drip down the sides a little, start spooning it over the top of the cake, letting it move on its own: it will run down the grooves of the cake, rather beautifully, of its own accord; don’t worry if it drips a little onto the plate as – for me – this adds to its charm. If I have icing left over, I can’t stop myself doing a bit of a frenzied Jackson Pollock (as you can see from the photo).

Step 9:  Grate the chocolate on top, to finish: even a small square gives you too much, but it’s no great sacrifice to eat what you don’t use.


Extracted from Simply Nigella: Feel Good Food by Nigella Lawson (£12.99, Chatto & Windus, itunes.apple.com

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