Pumpkin cake – an easy Halloween treat that tastes as good as it looks

This pumpkin cake is the perfect Halloween treat. Easy to make, delicately spiced and frighteningly flavorsome

Pumpkin cake
(Image credit: Sainsbury's)

If you're carving Halloween pumpkins this weekend, this pumpkin cake is the perfect use for all the pumpkin flesh, seeds and extra bits – and WOW is it delicious! It's the perfect fireside treat, with four layers and scrumptious icing.

Plus, if your kids aren't trick or treating this year, it's a great activity to get them involved with. It doesn't take much work to make either, it can be ready in just one hour (including 20 minutes prep time), and it serves 12, so there will be plenty to go around.

Find tons more food ideas on our dedicated page, and hop to our Halloween page for lots more treats, too!

Pumpkin spice celebration cake

(Image credit: Sainsbury's)


For the sponge

  • 250g soft polyunsaturated margarine
  • 4 eggs
  • 200g/8oz/1 and 1/8 cups caster sugar
  • 50g/2oz/1/4 cup soft light brown sugar
  • 225g/9oz/2 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 450g grated pumpkin (alternatively, you could use carrot or squash)
  • 75g/1/2 cup sultanas
  • 100g/1 cup pecans, roughly chopped

For the icing (and decoration)

  • 250g/9oz mascarpone
  • 4 heaped tbsp icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • Handful chopped pecans


1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC. Grease and line two 7 inch cake tins with baking paper.

2. Place the butter into a large bowl and add the sugars, then cream these together until it is light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beat these well. Between each egg you add you can also add a spoonful of the flour at this stage too if you’re worried about the mixture curdling.

3. Once the eggs are incorporated fold in the remaining flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt, baking powder and spices. Stir through the pumpkin, sultanas and pecans. 

4. Evenly split the batter between the cake tins and bake them for 30-40 minutes or until your skewer comes out clean.

5. Leave the cakes to cool completely in the tins. 

6. To make the icing whisk the mascarpone, double cream and icing sugar together until you can pipe them. 

7. To assemble the cake, slice the two cakes horizontally to create four even layers. To pipe your icing, pile it into a large piping bag and snip a 1cm hole in the end. We would recommend piping small peaks all over the surface of the first cake layer, then add the next and repeat the process until you’ve used up all of the cake layers and icing. Alternatively, if you don’t want to pipe just spread the icing in an even layer between the layers.

8. Decorate the top with pumpkin seeds and chopped pecans (and any fun Halloween decorations you might have).