Gluten free Sticky Pumpkin Spiced Cake

My secret love affair with pumpkin spice continues.  Who knew there was an actual spice that is based around a pumpkin!?  It really does add an extra element to a cake or bake. It’s not just for coffee.

This is a variation on a theme. Gingerbread cake meets sticky toffee pudding. Sticky Pumpkin Pie Spiced Cake. I guess you could even have this as a pudding if you thought about it enough…….

This one requires a little planning and forethought.

Preheat the oven to gas 3, 170c, 150c fan and line 2 x 7” cake tins.

250g stoned and chopped dates

250ml water

90g butter

90g soft brown sugar

90g Black treacle

90g golden Syrup

1 egg

100ml milk – I used semi skimmed

225g gluten free self raising flour

2 teaspoons pumpkin spice

Stage 1 – place the chopped dates and water into a pan, bring to a gentle boil, heat for a minute, then switch off and leave to cool. This could take around 15 minutes.

Stage 2 – in another pan – heat gently the sugar, butter, syrup and treacle until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Leave this too cool, again for around 15 minutes.  If these last two stages are too hot, the egg mix will scramble before it’s had a chance to even cook in the oven.

Stage 3 – whisk the egg and milk and set to one side.

Stage 4 – sift together the gluten free flour and the spice.

Stage 5 – once everything is in place and done and cool enough, add the egg mix to the date mix. Add this then to the sugar and butter mix and stir well.  Finally fold in the flour mix. Stir until everything is completely mixed in.

Pour the mix into the 2 tins and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until an inserted  skewer comes out relatively clean, with some crumb attached. The remaining heat will finish the cooking off. Leave to cool in the tins, before removing to fill.

For the filling;

130g soft butter

260g icing sugar

30ml milk (optional)

100ml caramel sauce

Beat the butter until light and fluffy, stir in the icing sugar, milk and 80ml of the caramel sauce. Beat further (I used a hand electric whisk) until you have a piping consistency.

Fill and decorate as you desire and drizzle the final 20ml of sauce over the cake to finish.

Gluten Free Spiced Pecan Cupcakes

Apologies for the slight delay in the latest recipe.  Its been a busy couple of weeks with the day job and with visiting grandparents. All very welcome of course and thanks for coming.

Now I thought that I had heard the last of the pumpkin spice. But oh no! it seems we have been enjoying it too much to put it away for another year! The best bit of course is that if you make a little extra of the pecan praline…… you have something else to enjoy as well as a topping for the cupcake! A little amuse bouche…

To start with make the pecan praline so that it cools enough for you to then break up (smash) and use as sprinkles.

  • 150g caster sugar
  • 50g crushed pecans

Firstly, line a small baking tray with greaseproof paper,

Then, in a heavy bottomed saucepan melt the caster sugar over a medium heat. Do not stir with a spoon or add water, just let the heat do the work through the pan and dissolve the sugar. You may need to, at times, remove then replace the pan onto the heat so that the sugar does not burn.  The sugar will quickly turn into caramel, so do not leave its side. If you are in doubt for the colour, smell it. Turning to caramel you will be able to smell when its right. Rich and sweet.  Watch it like a hawk though, as if it goes to far, you’ll end up with bitter and burn praline.  Or just start again.

Once you have the correct colour – no more than 5 minutes – tip in the pecans and remove from the heat, stir to cover the pecans then with a spatula pour onto the greaseproof paper and leave to cool.

For the cupcakes, preheat the oven to Gas 4, 180c, 160c fan and line a 12 hole cupcake tray with cases of your choice. I tend to use Wilton ones.

  • 115g soft butter
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g gluten free self raising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice

Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, beat in the eggs one at a time – until well beaten and combined. Sprinkle in the gluten free flour and spice and stir to combine. Ensuring no lumps and the flour is mixed through.

Bake in the oven for about 20 – 15 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool before removing from the tray and placing on a wire rack prior to icing.

For the buttercream icing;

  • 110g soft butter
  • 200g icing sugar
  • splash of milk
  • drizzle of maple sauce

Beat the butter until light and fluffy, stir in the icing sugar and milk before beating further to insure a good piping consistency and the mix retains its fluffy consistency.

Once the cupcakes are cooled, pipe on the buttercream, sprinkle over with the pecan praline and drizzle with the maple sauce if you so wish.