Nadiya Hussain's spiced pumpkin and golden linseed Halloween cake

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  • Serves: 20

  • Costs: Mid-price

  • Skill level: Bit of effort

This spiced spiced pumpkin Halloween cake from Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain is such a treat for kids, either for a Halloween party or a birthday party. You might find it a bit strange adding pumpkin or butternut squash to a cake, but it's no different to adding carrots to a carrot cake (and after all, who doesn't love carrot cake?). Pumpkin has a natural sweetness to it and it adds moisture to the sponge , making it light, fluffy and so moreish! This cake has a few steps to it, but trust us, it's actually really easy to make and the most fun bit is the decorating at the end. You can even get the kids involved to make the Oreo spiders and arrange them over the cake. This is a really fun project that's perfect for a special occasion and as it serves 20, it's great for a birthday or a party, if you're hosting!


For the sponge:
  • 450g pumpkin or butternut squash, grated
  • 80ml whole milk, room temperature
  • 4 medium eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • 350ml olive oil
  • 420g caster sugar
  • 500g plain flour, sifted
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1tsp fine sea salt
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1tsp ground ginger
  • 80g golden linseed
For the buttercream frosting:
  • 300g unsalted butter, softened
  • 600g icing sugar sifted
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
For the ganache:
  • 100g dark chocolate (70%), finely chopped
  • 2tbsp golden syrup
  • 25g unsalted butter, cubed
  • 50g mini green and blue Smarties
For the Oreo Spiders:
  • 4 Oreos, any flavour
  • 100g milk chocolate, melted
  • 8 liquourice laces, each cut into 4
  • 8 candy eyes


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190, fan 170 or gas mark 3. Line and grease the inside of 2 deep 20cm cake tins. In a large mixing bowl add the grated squash, milk, eggs, vanilla essence, olive oil and sugar and give it all a good mix until well combined.

  2. Sift over the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and spices and mix through until well combined. Add the golden linseeds and give it all another mix through.

  3. Divide the mixture equally between the two prepared tins and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 45-50 mins. The cakes are baked when they slightly come away from the sides but double-check by inserting a skewer - if it comes out clean, it's ready.

  4. Once baked, remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool - leave them until they are completely cold.

  5. For the buttercream frosting, using an electric whisk combine the butter with the icing sugar and cinnamon until light and fluffy. Once ready, sandwich the two cakes with a generous amount of buttercream and cover the top and sides using the remainder. 

  6. Next, make the chocolate ganache. Melt the chocolate, syrup, butter and 60ml water in a bowl over a pan of simmering water until the mixture comes together when stirred. Set aside to cool for 30 minutes before topping the cake.
  7. For the Oreo spiders, using a knife, separate the Oreo in two, so one half has all the filling and the other has none. Dab a little of the melted chocolate onto the centre of each half biscuit with filling and stick 8 pieces of liquourice onto it to create legs, top with the other half of the biscuit and leave in the fridge to set for 5mins.

  8. Line a tray with greaseproof paper and put the Oreos on a wire rack on top of the tray. Spoon melted chocolate over each Oreo and add the candy eyes then leave to set in the fridge for 15 minutes.

  9. Pour the chocolate ganache over the cake and gently spread over the top to create a drip effect, top with mini Smarties and Oreo spiders to serve.

Nutritional information per portion

  • Low
  • Med
  • High
  • Calories 665(kcal)
  • Fat 33.0g
  • Saturates 13.0g

This nutritional information is only a guide and is based on 2,000 calories per day. For more information on eating a healthy diet, please visit the Food Standards Agency website.

Guideline Daily Amount for 2,000 calories per day are: 70g fat, 20g saturated fat, 90g sugar, 6g salt.

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