Baking with Mrs Bouw

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

When my inlaws visited in early September they came bearing gifts from back home. One of the goodies I received from my lovely Mother-in-law was the Country Women's Association 'Cakes' cookbook (see below). It is filled with tried-and-true recipes from all around Australia, many of which require ingredients that you will most likely already have in your cupboards! These recipes are so simple and also act as a great base to then revamp them by adding certain ingredients that you might prefer. When I was flicking through it I came across this recipe for Pumpkin Spice Cake. I find it interesting how different countries around the world use certain foods for certain types of recipes. For example, in Australia pumpkin is mostly used in savory dishes, a good old personal favourite being oven roasted pumpkin served with a roast of your choice, or tossed through a salad.. YUM! However, in America (from what I have heard) pumpkins are mainly only used in sweet recipes such as pumpkin pie (which I have only ever tasted once in my life, and loved) and of course for hollowing out for Halloween. Given it is October and Halloween is just around the corner, I thought it appropriate to give this pumpkin recipe a try!

This recipe was super easy and baked to perfection... if I do say so myself :P Although I did have one hiccup along the way which resulted in me having to hand mix everything... yes, just like the good old days. As you can see below, one of the blades on my trusty mix master gave way :( I was more than happy to use a bit of elbow grease to mix the cake mixture, however, not having the electric beater for my creamcheese frosting was not pleasant... the consistency of the frosting wasn't quite as thick as usual so I couldn't pipe it on as I would normally do... but taste wise, it was it's usual sweet perfection :)

I could never quite justify spending the dollars on one of these babies whilst I had a perfectly good mix master... but with all the baking I do and now with my mix master throwing in the towel, an upgrade might be on the cards. There's only 65 days until Christmas... nudge nudge wink wink Mr B :)

Anyway my friends, I've rambled on enough... here's the recipe and a few pics of how it turned out!

Combine butter, sugars and zest...

And beat until smooth and creamy.

Combine dried fruits, coconut and pumpkin.

Sift together the flour and spice and combine all
three of the above mixtures.

Pumpkin Spice Cake

500 grams butter, chopped
1 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed soft brown sugar
2 tablespoons grated orange zest
4 large eggs
1 cup sultanas
1/2 cup chopped raisins
1/2 cup currents
1 cup desiccated coconut
1 cup cold mashed pumpkin
4 cups self-raising flour, sifted
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons orange juice

Cream Cheese Frosting
250g cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 1/3 cups (500g) icing sugar

- Preheat oven to 160°C.
- Grease and line a 28cm round cake tin (note: I had every size BUT a 28cm tin so I used a 23cm tin and instead didn’t quite use all the mixture).
- Cream the butter, sugars and zest until creamy and fluffy.
- Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Stir in the dried fruits, coconut and pumpkin.
- Mix in half the sifted flour and spices, half the milk, then mix in the remaining flour and milk.
- Stir in the orange juice.
- Spread mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for about 1 hour 40 minutes, or until cooked when tested with a skewer.
- Leave in the tin for about 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire cooling rack.
- Cover with a clean tea towel and allow to completely cool before icing.
Creamcheese frosting
- For frosting, beat cream cheese using electric beaters until smooth. Add vanilla and beat well.
- Gradually add icing sugar, beating until smooth and creamy and of a thick consistency for piping.
- Spread or pipe on cream cheese frosting as desired.- Enjoy!!!

I sent most of the cake off to work with Mr B (I always keep a few slithers, ok more like big fat slices, for the two of us) and he came home last night with the feedback that it was a hit! And I was chuffed to hear that apparently my baked goods have gained quite a reputation in the office :)

I wanted to do this post yesterday already but got distracted when hubby bought home x5 parcels for me on Monday night... x3 Etsy orders and x2 packages of baby goods... exciting!!! So I have been distracted working and playing in BB's nursery. It's almost done (yippee)! I'm off now to tidy up the mess I have made!

Have a brilliant day! x


  1. I noticed this book at the bookstore recently and thought it might be a good one as any CWA recipes are usually winners. Glad to know you would recommend it. I love that last photo you've taken with your pretty teacup and teapot. I love getting Etsy parcels in the post too - I had some prettily packaged fabric arrive yesterday. I can't wait to see your nursery!! Enjoy the rest of your week x

  2. Hi Amanda! :)

    Yes, I would recommend this book... it might not look that fancy but you'll probably find yourself using it more than your flashier cookbooks! Yes, gotta love Etsy deliveries! Is the fabric for a little home DIY? You enjoy the rest of your week too my dear! x

  3. Looks delish... and I have that very Kitchenaid in pink and it is so glorious on my banchtop. I got mine for Chrissie about 6 years ago and I still love it and use it all the time. Even my husband uses it to make pizza dough. Sure its an extravagence, but one you will keep for the rest of your life! At least, Im hoping so. So I say - go for it!!

  4. Get the kitchenaid!!! you will NOT regret it!
    the best thing i have ever aquired for my kitchen & seriously it will make you want to bake twice as much....i think i put on 2ks the week i got it hahah
    sal x

  5. Love old-fashioned baking like this, and those CWA ladies really know their stuff! I know Sal is thrilled with her Kitchenaid, (and she reminded me to pop back in and visit your lovely blog!) and if it wasn't for the mixmaster I got for mother's day a few years ago, I'd buy myself one for Christmas too. Thanks for the recipe, and I'll definitely check out the cookbook - with three teenagers and a husband with huge appetites, I could do with it! K xx


Hi there :)

Thanks so much for stopping by to leave a comment... I always love hearing from you!

Son xo


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