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Coffee & Pumpkin Cake

Millions of pumpkins are grown in the UK every year for carving at Halloween, but once you’ve hollowed it out and made the eyes, nose and scary teeth, what do you do with the flesh?

Because 18,000 tonnes of it is wasted here alone, which is around 8 million pumpkins. Around 58% of consumers buy pumpkins to hollow out and carve, but only one-third of these cook the leftover, edible innards, according to the annual #PumpkinRescue campaign.

Yet, environmental waste charity Hubbub found that 52% of Halloween pumpkin buyers in the UK would like to research recipes to help them make more of the leftovers.

If you are one of these people bothered about your waste, the below cake is fabulous for using up your pumpkin while indulging in some coffee flavour, too. The pumpkins we buy to carve are a bit fibrous and watery compared to the ones grown specifically for eating, but a cake like the one below is the ideal way to still make the most of it while not letting that bother you.

Pumpkin Puree Pumpkin and Coffee Cake

Use the pumpkin within 24 hours of carving, and keep it cool in the fridge. Or, steam these bits of pumpkin flesh and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days, or freeze them for another day. Inspect before use to ensure it is fine to eat – remember it may not have been grown with this in mind.

You can buy dedicated edible pumpkins from most supermarkets at the same time as buying your carving model however, in case you want to make sure everything tastes perfect.

The below batter will be quite thick, but this is because a) it will create a more moist cake and b) you need to balance out the moisture from the pumpkin. Don’t panic, and also don’t add a splash more liquid if it seems odd! Only mix together until just combined too – any more, and it will become too aerated, causing it to dry out when baking.

pumpkin cake recipe


  • 250g plain all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp mixed spice
  • 250g pumpkin, roughly pureed down
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 100ml vegetable oil
  • 60ml milky coffee



  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 9-inch baking tin
  2. Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices together in a large bowl until
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the pumpkin, sugar, oil, and coffee together until combined
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until they just come together
  5. Pour into the baking tin, and flatten to ensure an even cooking surface
  6. Bake for around 30 minutes, before inserting a toothpick to check if it is done. If not, cook for minute-long instalments


You can also make a crumb or glaze for the top of the cake – add the crumb before baking, and the glaze a few minutes after bringing it out of the oven

You can also add leftover seeds to the top of the cake before baking for decoration

It can be frozen for up to 2 months, in case you want to save it for Halloween night itself

If you don’t want to use mixed spices, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp of any other preferred spices will work