Ginger-Spiced Pumpkin Loaf

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Sometimes you find yourself craving cake, but don’t feel like eating something that leaves you with a lingering sugar high. You have an urging desire for that delicate, soft crumb, to consume a scrumptious piece of baked goodness, just not of the sweet variety.

Pumpkin is a very versatile ingredient, with a high sugar content that makes it perfect for adding natural sweetness to your cooking. Having baked with pumpkin before (see this pumpkin pie post)  I love how it lends a vivid orange tint to baked treats, and using it in this way means that the refined sugar content of the recipe is nowhere near as high as it would be in something like a chocolate cake, for example.

This is where the idea of a savoury cake emerges. Or, to be more accurate, a savoury loaf. The recipe uses oil instead of butter, spiced with warm ginger and allspice – similar to the other classic vegetable cake, the carrot cake. But, instead of having to slave away at the grater for hours on end (arguably the most time-consuming part of making a carrot cake), instead pumpkin is steamed and then mashed before mixing in to the loaf batter.

To make it just that little bit better for you, we substituted half the flour for the wholemeal variety, which makes for a denser, more wholesome crumb, and flaked almonds on top add both a decorative and textural touch.

This loaf is delicious on its own, but even better with a dollop of double cream on top and a cup of hot tea. You could even toast it and spread with butter or honey for a bread-like snack. A wonderful, chewy golden crust forms during its hour-long bake in the oven, and the aromas which escape from the oven once it’s done are heavenly.

Ginger-spiced Pumpkin Loaf
Adapted from this recipe
  • 400g (about 3 cups) butternut pumpkin, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped (about 3 cups)
  • 1 cup (150g) self-raising flour
  • 1 cup (150g) wholemeal self-raising flour
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup (125mL) vegetable or canola oil
  • ½ cup (125mL) milk
  • 1 ½ tbsp slivered almonds

  1. Grease and line the base and sides of a 10cm x 21cm loaf tin with baking paper, leaving sides overhanging. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius. 
  2. Steam pumpkin for 10-12 minutes or until completely tender. Set aside to cool, then mash until smooth. You will need about 1 cup of mashed pumpkin for this recipe.
  3. Sift the flours and spices into a large bowl with the sugar. Whisk the eggs, oil and milk in a separate jug, then pour into the flour mixture, alternating with the pumpkin. Use a wooden spoon to stir until just combined.
  4. Pour mixture into prepared loaf tin, smooth the surface and scatter over flaked almonds, pressing them in lightly
  5. Bake 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. If it gets too dark on top, cover with foil at the 50 minute mark. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely, or enjoy warm. 

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  1. mm~~ a dollop of cream with this sounds perfect!!

  2. Love this idea. Pumpkin and ginger sounds perfect together.