Pumpkin and almond cake by Theo Michaels

3 pumpkin-spiced baking recipes to get you in the mood for the festive season

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Love a pumpkin spiced latte as much as we do? Make the most of the season with these three autumnal bakes.

Autumn: the season of woolly hats, burgundy manicures, Sunday night BBC dramas and – you guessed it – pumpkin spice lattes. The coffee shop favourite is now synonymous with the last three months of the year, and although Halloween has been and gone, we’re not ready to part with all things pumpkin-spiced quite yet. With the nights drawing in and cooler temperatures making themselves known, we’re clinging onto every bit of comfort we can find. And until we fully gear up for the festive season, said comfort will most likely take the form of richly spiced sweet bakes – which of course are best enjoyed fresh out the oven in front of the TV.  

Feel the same way? If you’re not quite ready to swap your PSL for a gingerbread latte, we found three baking recipes to celebrate the classic combination of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove to help you make the most of the season.

First up is Bettina Campolucci Bordi’s recipe for spiced pumpkin pie. A twist on the American classic, the pie is given a plant-based makeover with the chef using substitutions such as oat milk and vegan butter. Topped off with maple and vanilla-laced whipped cream, it’s sure to sate any PSL cravings. 

Though if you’re craving a cake, don’t miss Theo Michaels’ pumpkin and almond cake. Delightfully moist and more-ish, the cake is made with ground almonds and the classic pumpkin spice mix to create a bake that’s sure to be gone in a flash.

And if you’ve never tried a whoopie pie before, there’s no time like the present, with Lisa Nieschlag and Lars Wentrup’s American-style recipe catching our eye for incorporating pumpkin-spiced flavours. Falling somewhere between a cake and a biscuit, the soft,  chewy sponges are sandwiched together with lightly spiced, sweetened cream cheese for a delectable handheld bake. Because as we all know, you can never have too much pumpkin spice in your life…

  • Spiced Pumpkin Pie

    Bettina Campolucci Bordi’s Spiced Pumpkin Pie
    Bettina Campolucci Bordi’s Spiced Pumpkin Pie

    Bettina says:I couldn’t leave the pumpkin pie out, could I? This lovely pie includes a pinch of spice and has lots of creamy texture. It goes well with ice cream or some whipped cream! It’s a must in my humble opinion.”

    Serves 6-8

    Ingredients

    For the pastry:

    • 250g plain flour
    • pinch of salt
    • pinch of sugar
    • 115g vegan butter, chopped into small pieces, plus extra for greasing
    • 60ml plant milk (I like oat milk)

    For the filling:

    • 480g pumpkin purée (see Cook’s Tips)
    • 120g ground almonds
    • 100g brown or coconut sugar
    • 100ml plant milk
    • 60g vegan butter
    • 60g plain flour
    • 2cm piece of ginger root, peeled and grated
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1 tsp ground cardamom
    • ½ tsp ground cloves
    • ½ tsp baking powder

    To serve:

    • 280ml whippable plant cream
    • 1 tbsp maple syrup
    • 1 vanilla pod (bean), split and the seeds scraped out, or 1 tsp vanilla paste or extract

    Method

    Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a cake or pie pan (with a removable base so the pie will come out easily) with some butter.

    Make the pastry by adding all the dry ingredients to a bowl. Use your hands to rub the chopped butter into the flour mix. Then add the milk little by little and mix well to form a dough. You can either use the pastry straightaway or, if you have time, rest it somewhere warm for 15–20 minutes. Alternatively, keep in the fridge overnight.

    Roll the pastry dough into a disc that’s larger than the base of the cake/pie pan, with enough to go up the sides. Put the pastry in the pan and use your index fingers and thumbs to press into the base and sides so it lines the whole pan. Trim off any excess dough that comes over the edges with a knife. You can use the excess dough to create a criss-cross pattern on top of the pie if you like.

    Prick the base of the pastry with a fork and pre-cook in the oven for 10 minutes.

    Meanwhile, add all the ingredients for the filling to a food processor or blender and blitz until well combined. When the pie case is ready, remove from the oven and add the pumpkin filling. Smooth the filling flat with a palette knife and add a criss-cross pattern if using, then bake in the oven for 45 minutes.

    While the pie is baking, whip the cream with the maple syrup and vanilla. Chill in the fridge until you are ready to serve. Once the pie is ready, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before serving with the whipped cream.

    Cook’s tips:

    An easy way to cook a whole pumpkin, skin and all, is to roast it in the oven at 180°C for one hour. Once cooked, simply cut off the top, remove the seeds and use the cooked pumpkin for this and other recipes, such as risottos and salads. The pumpkin will last a week in the fridge and you can dip into it whenever you need it!

    From Celebrate by Bettina Campolucci Bordi (Hardie Grant, £20), out now

  • Pumpkin and almond cake

    Pumpkin and almond cake by Theo Michaels
    Pumpkin and almond cake by Theo Michaels

    Theo says: “We’re big fans of cakes and desserts in our household and having a standby can of pumpkin purée in the cupboard is perfect for creating this sweet treat at short notice. I use ground almonds in the cake to keep it moist and you really do need to leave it to cool until fully set. And it tastes even better the day after it’s been baked, so cover it loosely with foil and enjoy any leftovers the next day. The next day? Ha! We’ve never actually seen it the ‘next day’…”

    Serves 8

    Ingredients

    • 220g caster/granulated sugar
    • 150g butter, at room temperature
    • 4 eggs, whisked
    • 175g plain flour
    • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
    • 1 tsp ground cloves
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 425g can unsweetened pumpkin purée
    • 100g ground almonds
    • 20-cm round cake pan, lined with parchment paper

    Method

    Preheat the oven to 180°C fan.

    Cream the sugar and butter together in a bowl, then add the whisked eggs and flour along with the spices and vanilla extract, mixing until smooth. Briefly whisk in the pumpkin purée, then mix in the ground almonds.

    Once fully combined, pour the cake mixture into the parchment-lined cake pan and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour. Leave to cool in the pan on a wire rack before serving. 

    From Canned by Theo Michaels (Ryland Peters & Small) £18.99), out now

  • Pumpkin spice whoopie pies

    Pumpkin spice whoopie pies by Lisa Nieschlag and Lars Wentrup
    Pumpkin spice whoopie pies by Lisa Nieschlag and Lars Wentrup

    Lisa and Lars say: “In the US, pumpkin purée is a popular ingredient for pies and cakes and is readily available in tins. You may be able to find it in a supermarket, but it is easy enough to make yourself. We recommend that you make a larger quantity because pumpkin purée freezes very well.”

    Makes 15

    Ingredients

    • 800g pumpkin
    • 200g plain flour
    • ½ tsp baking powder
    • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda 
    • ½ tsp salt
    • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
    • ½ tsp ground allspice
    • ¼ tsp ground cloves
    • ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
    • 100 g (3½ oz) dark brown sugar
    • 50 g (1¾ oz) sugar
    • 120 ml (4 fl oz) oil
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • Grated zest of ½ orange
    • ½ tsp grated fresh ginger

    For the filling:

    • 40g butter
    • 60g cream cheese
    • 1 tbsp maple syrup
    • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
    • 25g icing sugar

    Method

    Prepare the pumpkin purée and filling one day ahead. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with baking paper. 

    Cut the pumpkin in half and discard the seeds. Place on the tray, cut side down, and roast until soft, about 40 minutes. Scrape out the pumpkin flesh with a spoon and mash finely.

    Measure out 180g of the pumpkin purée and refrigerate overnight. Freeze the remainder or use it for another recipe (e.g. Cinnamon roll pancakes, page 111).

    To make the filling, heat the butter in a small saucepan until it browns. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Beat in the cream cheese, maple syrup and cinnamon until creamy, about two minutes. Gradually stir in the icing sugar. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

    Preheat the oven to 180°C and line two baking trays with baking paper. Combine the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and spices in a bowl and set aside. Whisk the two types of sugar with the oil for 1 minute, then stir in the eggs, one at a time, whisking about 30 seconds each. Add the pumpkin purée, vanilla extract, orange zest and ginger. Fold in the flour mixture in two batches.

    Use a small ice cream scoop or a teaspoon to divide the dough into 30 portions. Shape these into balls with moistened hands and transfer to the baking tray. Flatten gently and bake for about 11 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely.

    Spread the filling over half of the cookies, then top with the remaining cookies.

    From New York Christmas Baking by Lisa Neischlag and Lars Wentrup (Murdoch Books, £16.99), out now

Photography ©Louise Hagger; Mowie Kay © Ryland Peters & Small; Lisa Nieschlag

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