Pumpkin Spice Cake with Orange Zest Glaze

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Slice Cake With Orange Zest Glaze
You know it’s properly Autumn when you start thinking about pumpkins! Most pumpkins bought for Hallowe’en carving purposes are definitely not worth the effort of cooking (they are grown for size, not taste – although to be fair, pumpkin flesh tastes of virtually nothing anyway; I had a rant about this in my recipe for Pumpkin Pie) so for this recipe I strongly recommend you simply purchase a can of pumpkin puree. This cake is so easy to make – like most vegan cakes, you need just a couple of bowls, a wooden spoon and only a bit of effort! I really fancied something which tasted like pumpkin pie in cake form – and this is what I came up with. I’m so pleased with the result – it tastes of autumn and cosy afternoons indoors! My daughter was very suspicious about this cake as it had orange in the icing, and she is disproportionately disgusted by anything citrus. However she happily helped me to make it and went on to chow down several slices, so obviously citrus avoidance doesn’t count if it’s connected to cake…

I baked this in my standard 9″ square brownie tin because I like the square slices. You could bake it in a round cake tin instead if you wanted to – if you’re using an 8″ round tin make sure it’s a deep one – and you’ll need to add a few more minutes to the baking time.

Wet ingredients:
210g pumpkin puree (half a tin)
100g golden syrup (or maple syrup)
150g soft light brown sugar
150ml sunflower oil
200ml non-dairy milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Dry ingredients:
300g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves

Orange glaze:
200g icing sugar
2 tbsp orange juice and 1 tbsp zest
Cinnamon to finish

Preheat the oven to 180c/350f/gas mark 4. Oil your tin and line it with baking paper.

Like every easy vegan cake, this is a simple wet-to-dry mix: Simply whisk together the wet ingredients in a large jug, then in a separate bowl, stir together the dry ingredients.

Pour the wet mix on to the dry ingredients and quickly beat together by hand. Don’t spend too long doing this; it’s really important to get vegan cake batters into the oven as fast as possible before the leavening agents wear off. As soon as there are no more visible ‘dry bits’ and the batter looks relatively lump-free, pour it into the prepared tin.

Place the tin in the middle of the oven and bake for 35 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for about 30 minutes then gently remove and cool on a wire rack. When it is completely cold, you can make the glaze. Simply measure the icing sugar into a bowl and mix in the juice and zest. Pour on top of the cold cake and spread it all over. Dust with a little cinnamon. It will only set a little bit but this is supposed to be a messy, sticky cake so don’t worry about it!

Slice it up as you please (12 slices seems fair) and store in a tin for a day or two.

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