Saturday 23 July 2011

Pumpkin cake for Dolly's tea party

Last week Sylvia wanted a tea party.  Not for her, you understand.  For Dolly.  Every time we went shopping she would pick up something for Dolly's tea party.  She went down for her afternoon nap asking me to make so cakes for Dolly when she woke up. I made her cakes for the tea party.  Now she is telling me we need to make more cakes.

A tea party needs a place to pour tea and eat cake.  We bought a table and chairs from Ikea.  I managed to go in and only buy exactly what I wanted.  Quite an achievement.  Though I think I was too busy pulling Sylvia away from the little chairs and off the beds (in her gumboots) to focus on the other merchandise.  E put these together over a few nights after work.  He had a willing helper in Sylvia.   He couldn't do too much work while she was eating because she was far more interested in Dolly's chairs than dinner.

Next I made a cake.  Not quite what Sylvia was after.  It was a pumpkin tea cake from a recipe that I have been making for over many years.  I can't remember where I found it but I think I found it around the time I moved out of home.  I had some mashed pumpkin that that I forgot to serve with dinner.  The recipe called to me.

My loaf tin is slightly smaller than the tin in the recipe so I thought it would be an ideal opportunity to make a few extra little cakes with some surplus batter.  It was an easy cake to mix up while watching the telly in the evening.  Sylvia was very pleased to hear that I had made some cakes for Dolly.  We went to the city for some errands and on the train coming home, I promised her that we would decorate her cakes when we got home.

Plans were made for pink and white icing.  Dolly likes pink icing.  Sylvia likes white icing.  We also had a packet of icing flowers that Sylvia was given for her birthday.  I don't have great skills in creating elegant cakes so I was glad of the easy option of using the flowers.  We made an easy cream cheese frosting and used beetroot powder to make it pink.

Sylvia loved her cakes.  They were her constant object of desire.  "Could I have a cake for dolly?"  She sometimes ate the icing and sometimes ate all the cake.  I found the cake very sweet.  Decorating the cakes was fun.  However when it came to eating the cake, I preferred to spread slices with butter rather than further sweetening it with icing.  Sylvia ate the sugary flowers first.

I was pleased to find that the cake tasted as good as I remembered.  It is quite light and moist.  Even though it is sweet, it is so full of pumpkin flavour and spices that it is not overwhelming.  Ours lasted 5 days and was delightfully moist to the last slice.

I am off on holidays for the next week or so.  I have a few posts scheduled because I have so much in my backlog.  However I will probably be fairly quiet on the comments both on this blog and on others.  Though I regret to say that I haven't had as much time and energy for visiting others as I would like.  Hopefully I will return from holidays refreshed, if all the driving doesn't do me in.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
This time last year: Christmas in July Cupcakes
This time two years ago: Balancing Soup and Scones
This time three years ago: Chickpea cutlets and gluten strings
This time four years ago: Mulled Apple Juice for a Midwinter Birthday

Spicy Pumpkin Tea Cake

1 cup sugar (I used raw sugar)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 cup self raising flour
3/4 cup wholemeal self raising flour
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1 cup mashed pumpkin

Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F).  Grease and line a 23 x 16 x 6 cm or a 9 x 5 x 1.5 inch loaf tin (I used a slightly smaller loaf tin and made about 6-8 mini muffin sized cakes).

Combine sugar, oil and egg in a large mixing bowl (or in a food processor) until light and fluffy.  Add half of the flours and spices with half the pumpkin and then repeat.

Spoon batter into the prepared tin.  Bake for about 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out cleanly.

On the Stereo:
Days of Future Passed: The Moody Blues


  1. Yum! This pumpkin cake sounds great for wintery weather. :)

  2. I adore the first photo, Johanna! And this cake sounds right up my alley, with the spices and the pumpkin and the ease-of-making :)

  3. Sounds like the perfect cake for a tea party, and the cupcakes came out great!

    Hope you have a wonderful, fun and rejuvenating vacation. And we're all in the same boat, it seems, with not having enough time to frequent all of the blogs we wish we could!

    Looking forward to hearing about the vacation when you get back. :)

  4. Happy holidays, Johanna! Wishing you a restful break.

  5. Sylvia is lucky indeed with a tea party like this! What a beautiful looking cake and gorgeous little cupcakes. I hope they were enjoyed by Dolly :D

  6. It looks like a lovely cake - I must try baking with pumpkin/squash when it comes into season here again.

    I love the fact that Dolly likes pink icing best whereas Sylvia likes white!

    I hope you have a really lovely holiday and return feeling refreshed.

  7. Whee, that pumpkin cake is awesomely yellow! :D

  8. You've just reminded me to make my own pumpkin loaf! I usually make it in Winter and I even bought a whole pumpkin but just forgot about it-oops! :P

  9. I'd love to try these cupcakes - so much more exciting than plain buttercake. Im a huge fan of your first picture - it's simply the cutest photo I've seen in ages!

  10. LOL - I am glad that Sylvia and Dolly had a good tea party. This pumpkin cake sounds terrific - and I have a poor old pumpkin in the fridge that needs to be used.Cute cupcakes BTW!

  11. Those dollies can be quite demanding, can't they. Lovely looking cake - hope the dolly appreciated it.
    We are just back from driving to and from Melbourne - always a fun trip, but tiring.
    Enjoy your break!

  12. Aww how fun! And adorable. I'm so glad I still have canned pumpkin on my shelves so I can make this!

  13. Thanks Leaf - pumpkin always works for me in winter

    Thanks Hannah - if you have leftover mashed pumpkin this cake is very easy

    Thanks Ricki - was pleased to have just a few cupcakes - was all sylvia needed - will post about my holiday - and hope to catch up with some fellow bloggers posts soon

    Thanks Cindy - didn't get as much rest as I needed but lovely to have a break

    Thanks Kari - dolly had a lovely time - is now demanding more cakes (so sylvia says)

    Thanks C - it amuses me that Sylvia loves white icing too - pumpkin is great for baking - keeps everything moist and a little sweet

    Thanks Kath - isn't the colour great!

    Thanks Lorraine - time is running out before winter ends :-) hope you get that loaf baked

    Thanks Keely - I agree with you about buttercake - unfortunately am outnumbered in my house - thanks for your kind words on my photos - I liked the top photo too - I think I will enjoy photographing food on the new red table

    Thanks Cakelaw - yes try the pumpkin cake - it was every bit as good as I remembered - and great for poor old pumpkins

    Thanks Amanda - dollies are indeed very demanding - this one would eat me out of house and home if I wasn't stern with her :-) always great to get home after a long drive isn't it

    Thanks Joanne - I think canned pumpkin would go well in this though I am never sure it is as sweet as our pumpkin - must find a tin of it sometime

  14. What a yummy and simple pumpkin cake! I can't wait for autumn.


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