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I was recently on a mission to find a bird bath for my mother in law’s 80th birthday and having not found any my daughter and I decided to visit the farm on the same site and take a look at all the glorious pumpkins they had for sale. Meanwhile my husband and son drove off to another garden centre to look for the bird bath. To kill the extra time we had my daughter and I went back into the garden centre and I found myself flicking through all the cook books they had for sale. The one on Budget Meals by BBC GoodFood immediately jumped out at me and there I found a recipe for a Fruit Cake using apple. I memorised the recipe and wrote it down when I got home. My family is divided where dried fruit is concerned so I tend to avoid using it as only myself and my son love it. A few days later I was fortunate enough to win a box of assorted flours from Marriages via the Tea Time Treats Challenge run by What Kate Baked and Lavender & Lovage. My flour arrived by courier at 5.30pm and by 8pm I made a snap decision to make my mother in law a birthday cake based on the recipe I’d seen. Having just celebrated Halloween I had a bowl full of pumpkin off cuts from the pumpkin my daughter carved so I decided I was going to use this as I was bored of making soup. I peered in my box of flours and decided the Light Brown Organic Self Raising would be perfect for the job instead of white flour. Then I remembered a box of Sainsbury ready-to-roll icing which I hadn’t used up yet and I had a block of marzipan which had been on offer plus some currants which hadn’t been opened yet. This was all coming together nicely I thought. I baked the cake and it came out of the oven smiling – so far so good. The next morning I set about decorating it. This is where I got a bit stressed. I had googled cakes and was thinking of doing something on a par with my Fondant Rose Biscuits but my icing had other ideas. I think I over blitzed it in the microwave and my Wedgewood blue turned into cracked looking plasticine – oops. My white had turned into a brick as I hadn’t covered it properly so I was left with all the really bright colours. Oh well this cake hadn’t been planned so why fret over a change of colour I thought – let’s just go with it! As I didn’t have enough of any one colour to ice the whole cake I had to ice it like I’d done the marzipan – top and sides separately. The leaves were therefore to cover the seam. I think I’ve made a Christmas cake twice in my life and so my knowledge of decorating is zero so this was very much a make it up as you go along exercise. Once decorated I then had the worry that it might not taste any good. Did people even put pumpkin in cakes, I googled after the event and saw that they did! I surprised my mother in law with the cake when she came round for tea and half apologised that it might not taste any good. I needn’t have worried – she loved it and I have to say it was great. My Christmas cakes were always dry so I gave up making them but this was moist and fabulous. The following day we all went out for lunch with numerous family members and everyone was raving about the cake when we had tea later, even people who don’t normally eat fruit cake! As this cake was made from leftover pumpkin and ingredients that I had in my cupboards that needed using up I am entering it into Credit Crunch Munch which I run with Fuss Free Flavours and being hosted by Dinner with Crayons this month. I am also entering Tea Time Treats which is hosted by Lavender & Lovage this month & alternately with What Kate Baked as the theme is dried fruit and I think it’s very fitting as my flour came about from my winning entry from last month! I am entering Made with Love Mondays run by Javelin Warrior as this cake is made from scratch. Then finally I am entering the One Ingredient challenge where the theme is fruits of the vine run by Franglais Kitchen who is hosting and How to Cook Good Food.
- 200g Unsalted butter, softened
- 200g Dark brown muscovado sugar
- 200g Light brown self raising flour (I used Marriages Organic)
- 1 tbsp Black treacle
- 3 Eggs
- 2 tsp Mixed spice
- 1 tsp Baking powder
- 150g Pumpkin, grated
- 300g Currants
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
- Grease and line a 20cm round baking tin with baking paper.
- Mix the first 8 ingredients together in a food mixer until well combined.
- Fold in the currants.
- Bake for 50 mins – 1 hour until a skewer comes out clean and firm to touch.
- Decorate if required.