Its almost Halloween and these wheat and gluten free cake make a delightful gift if you are going to a party and want to serve something everyone can eat and enjoy. The mini pumpkins are really fun to make with children on half term who would like something to do to help.
I got the idea for this cake from my friends at Toast House, in Ilkley where I live who told me the sunken apricot cake by brilliant cook Harry Eastwood (she is a girl) was a best seller in their cafe. So I set to work and took out the apricots out of the original recipe- they are stone fruit and high in fermentable carbohydrates know at FODMAPS and may not suit some people and re-jigged some of the ingredients and came up with these easy but stunning Halloween cakes everyone will enjoy.
The other thing is this recipe contains no added fat. No butter, no oil, no margarine. Not a drop or a smear. The only fat the recipe contains comes from ground macadamia nuts and almonds. Yet the cake is very moist because it contains finely grated butternut squash and eggs. It is also gluten free.
This cake can be made in a large cake tin 23 cm across or ten mini muffin tins and if you have to make it ahead of time can be frozen without its icing. Just allow three to four hours to defrost.
- 3 free range eggs
- 180g caster sugar
- 200g peeled and finely grated butternut squash*
- 1 tsp almond essence
- 60g white rice flour
- 100g ground macadamia nuts*
- 100g ground almonds*
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- 2 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
For the topping
- 450 to 500g icing sugar
- 60ml or 4 large tablespoons fresh lemon juice
For the mini pumpkins
- 100g readymade marzipan
- orange food colouring gel
- cocktail sticks (to make the marks on the pumpkin)
- stalks for the pumpkin i.e. chocolate matchsticks, angelica, physalis stems
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/ gas mark 4. If you are using a large 23cm diameter cake tin line it with baking parchment. If you are making small cakes simply brush the sides of the muffin tins with a little oil.
Whisk the eggs with the sugar until pale and fluffy. This will take about 5 minutes. Add the grated butternut squash and the almond essence and stir well. Add the flour, ground nuts, baking powder and salt and mix the ingredients well. Pour the mixture into the prepared tins and place in the middle of the oven for 45 minutes or 30 minutes for the smaller cakes. Insert a skewer to see if the cake is cooked. The skewer should come out of the centre of the cake clean.
Once cooked remove the cake from the oven , allow to stand for five minutes and run a knife around the edge of the cake tin. The cake(s) should then be easy to turn out from the tin.
To make lemon icing
Mix the lemon juice and most of the icing sugar together to form icing the consistency of a thick batter. It should coat the back of a spoon. If mixture is too thin add more sugar until desired consistency is reached.
To make mini marzipan pumpkins
Squeeze a few drops of the orange food colouring gel onto the marzipan and mix well. When you have the colour you like, roll the marzipan into a long cylinder about cm in diameter. Cut lengths of marzipan 2 cm long and then roll each piece into a ball. Using a cocktail stick, mark the divisions of the pumpkin and then insert a stalk.