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Pumpkin Apple Cake

Updated: Oct 21, 2019

Pumpkin Apple Cake

Our favourite caramelised apple pumpkin cake. This moist pumpkin apple cake is filled with well balanced mix of spices. However, what brings this cake to another level is caramelised apple layer. Chunky, mellow pieces of apples are pressed in soft cake and generously covered with spiced sugar topping. When baked, the topping forms beautiful, dark caramelised layer with mellow apples just underneath. It’s simple and it's delicious!

Brush the cake with melted butter straight after baking and dive in!

Pumpkin Apple Cake

Recipe calls for fresh pumpkin and gives directions on how to roast pumpkin and prepare purée. Some will say homemade purée is the best. Then, you will have other bakers loving the canned option. We leave it totally up to you - giving you precise measurements and directions for both. It’s handy to have two alternatives - especially after Halloween, when you will wonder what to do with fresh pumpkins!

For a good bake:

- Cream butter for 1 minute before adding sugar - add sugar 1 Tbsp at a time. It will take 4-5 minutes to incorporate sugars fully.

- Sift flour with spices, soda, baking powder for even distribution. Be exact when measuring baking soda - flat 1/2 tsp not more (and don't skip :).

- Pumpkin - whatever option you are going to choose - make sure pumpkin purée is at room temperature before adding to the cake batter.

- Eggs - use at room temperature. The mixture may split when eggs and pumpkin are added. Don’t worry and proceed. It will be grand!

- Don’t over-mix after adding flour. Few gentle stirs (or lowest speed - paddle attachment) will bring the batter together.

- Chunky apples = better flavour - cut into quarters and gently press into the batter. Go with semi-sweet apples - Gala, Pink Lady, Golden Delicious (or mix). Avoid cooking apples in this bake. If you love plums - use halves of cored plums instead of apples (place cut side up).

Pumpkin Apple Cake

This portion fits 21 or 23cm round tin (65min baking, thicker layer of cake) OR 22cmx33cm tray bake (55min baking, thin layer of cake and more fruit on top - add 1-2 extra apples and increase topping by 50%, all other ingredients and ratios stay the same).

Pumpkin Apple Cake

Pumpkin Apple Cake Recipe

Yield: 16 (round) or 20 (tray bake) servings

Active time: 30 min prep + 65 min (round) or 55min (tray) baking

Tin: 21 or 23cm round tin OR 22cmx33cm tray bake


- 320g all-purpose flour

- 1 and 1/2 tsps baking powder

- flat 1/2 tsp baking soda

- 1 tsp cinnamon

- 1 tsp nutmeg

- 1 tsp ginger

- 1/2 tsp allspice

- 1/4 tsp cloves

- 2/3 tsp coarse sea salt (1/3 tsp if using table salt)

- 215g fresh, peeled pumpkin, coarsely chopped, seeds removed (will yield approx. 160g pumpkin purée)

- 220g unsalted butter, room temperature

- 120g granulated or caster sugar

- 80g light brown sugar

- 3 large eggs, room temperature

- 3-4 medium apples, cored, peeled and cut into quarters


- 50g granulated white sugar (or split 25g granulated white and 25g demerara sugar)

- 2 tsps cinnamon

- 2/3 tsp nutmeg

- 1/4 tsp coarse sea salt (1/8 tsp if using table salt)

- 20g butter (to brush the top when baked)


1. Preheat oven to 180C (165C fan forced). Line the tin with parchment paper, grease bottom and sides with butter.

2. Prepare dry ingredients: Sift flour with baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt. Set aside.

3. Prepare pumpkin purée: If you have tinned pumpkin purée - use it. If you want to go with roasted fresh pumpkin: peel and cut pumpkin into chunky pieces, scoop out the seeds, place on aluminium foil and roast at 210C for 20-25 minutes (you want the edges to catch slightly burnt colour for extra flavour and the middle to be just soft enough for blending). Take out from the oven and wait until ready to handle before blending into a purée mass. If you don’t have time, take a shortcut: put chopped and peeled fresh pumpkin into a small pot and cook on medium heat. After 3 minutes add 25ml of water. Cook for another 10 minutes. The pumpkin mix should be then ready to process in a blender.

4. Combine: Beat butter with sugars until creamy (5 minutes). Add eggs, one at a time, then add pumpkin purée. Mix for another 1-2 minutes on medium speed. Add dry ingredients in two turns and mix on low speed until just combined. Don’t over-mix. Transfer cake batter to the baking tin. Press in quarters of apples. Mix cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and sugar and sprinkle on top of the cake.

5. Bake at 180C for 60-65 minutes (or 55min for tray bake). Check with the skewer if fully baked. When ready, brush top of the cake with melted butter and let cool in a tin for 15 minutes before serving.

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