Pumpkin Molasses Cake

Saturday 14 October 2017

One of the things I love most about Autumn is that I now have a free mandate to bake all things pumpkin!  Funny how pumpkin cakes and bakes are not as appealing at other times of the year.  I wonder why that is.  Just the natural order of things I guess! 

The recipe I am sharing with you today for this fabulous Pumpkin Molasses cake is one I adapted from one of my oldest and most favourite cookery books.  The BHG New Cook Book, published in 1982.  This book has travelled around the world with me and for good reason. It is quite simply an excellent recipe source.
You can serve the cake plain or dusted simply with icing sugar.  You can see both versions here.  It really needs nothing else . . . this cake stands well enough on it's own. 

Dense and moist with plenty of pumpkin, buttermilk and soft light brown sugar and  . . .

That  delicious warmth of molasses and of course the sweet baking spices . . .  ginger and cinnamon.  It is like a pumpkin gingerbread.

It is beautiful served warm, and it is beautiful served cold.  It also rises surprisingly high despite only having a tsp of baking soda as it's leavening. 

It does stand beautifully on it's own, served with a hot drink  . . . but for dessert, a nice dollop of softly whipped cream goes down a real treat! 

*Pumpkin Molasses Cake*
Serves 12
Moist and delicious.  Simply dust with powdered icing sugar to serve. 

350g plain flour (2 1/2 cups)
2 tsp finely grated orange zest
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
125g butter (1/2 cup)
300g soft light brown sugar (1 1/2 cups packed)
2 large free range eggs
180ml buttermilk or sour mikl (3/4 cup)
90g of tinned pureed pumpkin (1/2 cup)
60ml molasses (1/4 cup)
icing sugar to dust

Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4.  Butter a 9 by 13 inch baking tin and lightly dust with flour, shaking out any excess.  Set aside. 

Sift together the flour, soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger.  Whisk in the orange zest. Set aside. 

Whisk together the buttermilk, pureed pumpkin and molasses.  Set aside. 

Cream the butter until light.  Add the brown sugar and beat until well combined.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating for one minute after each egg is added. Add the flour mixture alternately with the pumpkin mixture, beating after each addition.  Scrape into the prepared pan. 

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven until the top springs back when lightly touched or a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.  Cool in the pan on a wire rack.  Dust with icing sugar to serve.

If you can get your hands on a copy of this cookbook, it is really a book worth having in your cookbook library!  You can sometimes pick them up second had at used book sales, etc.  (Although I cannot imagine anyone wanting to get rid of their copy!)  Happy pumpkin season and Bon Appetit!

Note - Here in the UK I have seen tinned pumpkin in Morrisons, Tesco and of course at online sites such as Skyco and Amazon.  I always pick up several tins when I see it!  I have even occasionally gotten it at Aldi. Molasses is a bit harder to come by, but you can get it at health food shops.  If you can't find it, just use golden syrup in its place and DARK soft brown sugar instead of the light.


  1. Hi Marie, another nice looking cake! I think I have that very same cookbook that I brought from the USA to England, but I never open it when there are so many interesting blogs like yours! About the Molasses, I find using half Golden Syrup and half Treacle works well.

    1. This is very true Mary! Equal amounts of Golden Syrup and Dark Treacle work very well in the place of molasses! Have a great Saturay and I hope you try the cake! xo

  2. Always so good of you to suggest subs:) Loos great Marie!

    1. It’s very good Monique! I think with my experience cooking on both sides of the pond, I can make pretty good subs for things! Xo

  3. I love the idea of this cake, so Autumnal :-) x

    1. Thanks Charlene! I hope you will give it a go! xo

  4. I borrowed this very cookbook from my mom recently (I am on a nostalgia kick with my cooking :)) and today made the pumpkin molasses cake. It smells wonderful and looks just like your pictures! Marie, I will definitely be back to your blog again--I stumbled on this post after google-ing the name of the cake recipe to see if anyone else was still making it. What fun!

    1. Aww thanks so much! I think I love the older recipes most of all! They are sound and simple and quite delicious! Thanks for visiting. I hope you will come back again! xo


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