The story of a cake and then some more…

The minute I saw this month’s Daring Baker‘s challenge – Ruth from Makey-Cakey dared us to make something sweet with veggies hidden inside it – my mind started conjuring up a number of options. I wanted to try the Red Velvet cake with beetroot juice, I also wanted to make a simple carrot cake and even a chocolate cake with zucchini in it. Sigh! If only all these choices didn’t seem equally delicious, life would’ve been much more simpler.

I kept putting off this challenge because something or the other kept coming up. And then, it was the in-laws’ wedding anniversary a couple of days ago and I couldn’t decide what to get them. The husband and I thought, pondered and thought some more. Then I suddenly realised that the best thing I could do was to bake them something – both of them have a sweet tooth, are really warm and appreciative about the cakes I bake. Now it wasn’t so simple, there was another hitch: Whatever I decided to bake would have to be something that I could take along with me to the office and then take it to their place in the evening. So yes, the cake had to be, shall we say, durable enough!

With all these criteria laid out in front of me, I now had to decide what exactly I was going to make. Not an easy decision. I looked in the fridge and I saw this jar with some pumpkin puree that I’d made a couple of days ago. So I decided to go with that for the cake. Apart from a mild flavour and lending a lovely colour to baked goodies, pumpkin isn’t going to do much so I needed something that would add the zing to this cake. Orange zest was my answer. Since I didn’t want to do a cake with any icing (the mom-in-law despises icing, anyway) I wanted to do something that would make the cake a little different, so I decided to go with a jaggery-nut topping that I’ve done before.

I didn’t tell anyone that I’d put pumpkin in the cake, not even the husband. After it was warmed, cut, served and appreciated and the second helping had; I nonchalantly announced that I’d put pumpkin in the cake! I was met with mixed reactions – some didn’t believe and thought I was playing a Fool’s day prank, others thought the wine got to me and some more reached out for another helping!

Pumpkin-orange cake with crunchy, nutty topping

2 cups of whole wheat flour
1 tsp of baking soda
1/2 tsp of baking powder
1/3 cup of fresh curds
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
1 cup of jaggery, grated
1 tsp of fresh orange zest
3/4 cup of pumpkin puree
1 tsp of white vinegar
1 tsp of vanilla essence

For the topping
2tbsp of jaggery, coarsely chopped
3 tbsp of mixed nuts, chopped (I used almonds, walnuts & cashewnuts)
A pinch of cinnamon powder

Mix all the ingredients for the topping and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to use.

Sift the whole wheat flour, baking soda and baking powder together.

In a mixing bowl, put the curds, oil and jaggery together and beat well until all the jaggery has dissolved. You may have some small lumps of jaggery remaining but you can let them be because biting into these molten pieces later on gives a lovely texture to the finished cake.

Add the white vinegar and orange zest to this and mix well. Next, add the pumpkin puree and vanilla essence, mix well to incorporate it. Now slowly add the flour to this and keep folding the mixture until you have a smooth cake batter. Pour the batter into a greased baking tin and sprinkle the prepared topping all over it. Bake for about 40 minutes at 180 degrees celsius until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Serve warm with some vanilla ice cream, if you like!

We <3 this cake!

* Keep an eye on the topping, if the top coil of your oven heats up too much then you run the risk of burning the topping.
* If the batter is too dry, then add some milk to it but usually the moisture from the pumpkin puree takes care of it.
* In case you want to use sugar in the recipe replace the jaggery with 1-1 1/4 cup of sugar.


  • Hasna April 7, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    DELICIOUS !! thts the only wording comin iinto my mouth.. i too luv pumpkin cakes… the roasted pumpkins smells awesome!!

    Ongoing Event- Mummy Ka Magic

  • Julie April 8, 2013 at 6:45 am

    yummy cake,loved the topping!!

  • Gauri April 8, 2013 at 11:55 am

    Renuka, loved your header very very cute. The cake has all unique flavours, jaggery, vinegar, pumpkin puree.. very interesting!

  • Cathleen April 8, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    This cake looks delicious! I'm always looking for more recipes that are eggless for the days when I run out of eggs, Fantastic!

  • Rafeeda AR April 8, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    fantastic looking cake… i guess i've to try pumpkin in cakes very soon, i've been getting really good reviews about it… 🙂

  • Priya Suresh April 8, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    Wat a beautiful cake,looks gorgeous and fantastic.

  • Aara Shaikh April 9, 2013 at 12:09 am

    Hi There, Lovely Space you got with Wonderful Recipes and Presentation, I have a award waiting for you in my blog, pls do visit and collect it 🙂

    Happy Blogging

  • Nupur April 9, 2013 at 7:19 am

    Wow, !!What a colorful site. Interesting collection of recipes and posts

    glad to follow you Renuka 🙂

  • Gauri April 29, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    Thats a fab cake, cut me a slice please

  • Renuka May 5, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    Thanks everyone 🙂 If any of you do try this cake, do let me know how it turns out!


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