Pumpkin Crumble Cake

Pumpkin Crumble Cake

Last night we ‘baby-proofed’ the house.

Properly this time.

Turns out an open plan home is a crap idea when you have children (who knew?!)

First time round, with one baby and a two-to-one ratio of adults to children, we managed to (slightly smugly) maintain some semblance of an ‘adult’ living space. Minimal toys stashed neatly out of sight, and only the essential security measures in place.

But now we are outnumbered and have resigned ourselves to the realities of life with three small movers (who apparently all have death wishes). Since the twins started crawling, just keeping them alive has become a full time occupation. With one utterly fearless 10 month old (and a slightly more cautious one) plus a mentalist toddler with no sense of consequences (whose favourite game is opening doors to help the babies escape, and enticing them to the top of the stairs with trails of wotsits) we needed to pull out the big guns.

So we spent the evening installing stair gates, door gates, corridor gates, cupboard locks, and removing everything possibly dangerous/grab-able from reach.

All I’m now missing is a device that stops the little sods opening the freezer door and defrosting my carefully hoarded stash of batch cooking. Anyone know if such a thing exists? oh, and something that stops them unspooling the loo rolls. Every. Single. Day.

In the meantime I will take a deep breath and bake something to cheer myself up. Something to fortify us for life in the high-security toy emporium we now call home. Something sweet. Something with custard.

Pumpkin Crumble Cake with lots of custard is clearly the only solution to this malaise.

……..If you want me anytime soon, I’ll be the one locked between two stairgates eating pudding.


Pumpkin Crumble Cake Recipe

Makes: 16 portions

Takes: 10 minutes to prepare plus 40 minutes to bake

Cake Ingredients:

200 grams soft light brown sugar

200 canned pumpkin (I like Libby’s brand, which you can buy in most large supermarkets)

200 grams soft butter

120ml milk

2 large eggs

400 grams self raising flour

1 heaped teaspoon baking powder

2 heaped teaspoons ground mixed spice

½ teaspoon salt

zest of 1 orange (optional)

Crumble Topping ingredients:

50 grams butter

25 grams plain flour

100 grams Demerara sugar

100 grams raw, shelled pumpkin seeds


  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (fan oven, or 190 degrees Conventional)
  • Prepare a square brownie tin (approx. 22cmx22cm) by greasing it with butter and lining the bottom with baking parchment.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat together the sugar, butter and pumpkin with a wooden spoon or electric hand whisk until it is smooth and creamy.
  • Add the eggs and milk and beat again until there are no lumps.
  • Add all the other ingredients and mix until the ingredients are just combined. Do no over-mix the cake batter.
  • Use a spatula to scrape the cake batter into the tin and spread it out evenly.
  • To make the crumble topping, you need to finely chop half the pumpkin seeds either with a knife or in a food processor. Use your fingers to combine the chopped seeds, sugar, flour, butter and the remaining half of the seeds (which should be left whole) to form a crumbly mixture.
  • Sprinkle the topping evenly over the cake batter before putting it in the oven.
  • Bake for 40 minutes until the cake is well risen and feels firm to the touch. It may need 5 minutes more if it isn’t cooked through.
  • Leave to cool slightly in the tin, and then cut into generous squares. Serve warm with custard as a pudding, or at room temperature with a cup of coffee.

Storage: this cake will keep well in an airtight container for 3 days. It also freezes well.