Moist easy pumpkin cake with sultanas, mums favorite recipe

Moist easy pumpkin cake with sultanas, mums favorite recipe

By 09/11/2015

When I last visited my mum the first thing I saw on the table was this colourful  pumpkin cake with lots of sultanas. I could not resist the temptation of giving it a bite straight away! It was just like expected: a moist and delicious cake that tastes of "mamma", a real proper homemade goodness. This cake transported me straight back to my childhood .

The recipe comes from mum's friend Carla. I love hand me down recipes. I find it amusing how some of the ingredients often have to be guessed: "add flour as needed", "one bowl of pumpkin" but somehow they do turn out OK anyway. These mammas have been baking for all their lives, they are experienced and they do not need exact quantities. Lucky them!

Anyway, I got the right recipe in the end. To make this cake really perfumed mum has added some liquor: grappa, which is typical of the region Friuli. Of course you can substitute it with brandy or other types of alcohol or omit it altogether and just add a splash of milk instead and a tsp of vanilla essence too.

I have reduced the sugar content as I found that pumpkin and sultanas provide enough sweetness and also we want our homemade cake to be as healthy (but as delicious!) as possible.

I already made this cake 3 times. I cannot have enough of it!

mums pumpkin cake recipe


  • Prep Time : 20 minutes
  • Cook Time : 50 minutes



Whiz the cooked pumpkin and reduce it into a purée. Wash the sultanas in warm water, dry them well with a cloth and coat them with flour (this will prevent them from sinking at the bottom of the cake).

pureed pumpkin

In a bowl mix the eggs with the sugar. Add the liquor, the oil, the lemon zest and juice, salt, pumpkin, sultanas, sifted flour and baking powder. Mix well.

grating lemon zest

Some pumpkins contain more moisture than others and you might find the mixture is too wet. If this is the case add a little extra flour. The mixture should fall heavily from the spoon.

pumpkin cake with sultanas

Pour it onto a round baking tin measuring approx 24cm or 9 inch diameter.

Cook for 50 minutes at 180C or 350F or until golden on top.

pumpkin cake with sultanas

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16 Responses to Moist easy pumpkin cake with sultanas, mums favorite recipe

  1. Angie@Angie's Recipes

    Such a moist and beautiful cake for Autumn. I have been eating lots of pumpkins and still can’t get enough of it.

  2. La cucina di Molly

    Viva le mamme e le nonne, quante cose buone sanno preparare! Complimenti per questo dolce genuino e gustoso! Un abbraccio!

  3. Dottie Sauchelli Balin

    Dear Alida,
    What a yummy cake! I can imagine how it tastes, very inviting especially if it has some grappa, rum or brandy mixed in with the pumpkin. The cake has a lovely color to it, as it really shows the pumpkin throughout the cake. You are correct when you said that they really never put the right amount on a paper, a little of this and a little of that. When I was gathering my mom’s and grandmother’s recipes that is what I encountered..You really had to come up with the right amount, being they knew what they were doing, but they are no longer here to let us know the correct amount. You dear friend have fixed the figured out the puzzle and what a delicious cake you made. Have to try this one..I love the sultanas (in the states we call them raisins)… Thanks for sharing, Have a lovely and fun day!
    Dottie 🙂

    • Alida

      Thanks Dottie!

  4. speedy70

    Golosissima Alida.. lo sai che sono zucca-dipendente???? Magari averne una fetta ora!!!!

    • Alida

      Dai! Allora andiamo d’accordo, io sono uguale!

  5. gloria

    Alida this cake look absolutely beautiful and delicious cara.

  6. Diana

    Awww….I love the recipe photo!! Wonderful…looks delicious! Just in time for Thanksgiving (American) too!

  7. Choclette

    What a glorious colour this cake is Alida and how lovely to have hand-me-down recipes like this. I’m with you on the sugar, with all those sultanas and the squash, it shouldn’t need a lot.

  8. Katie

    This is such a wonderful colour! I can’t get enough of pumpkin either, it’s just so damned tasty!

    Katie xoxo

  9. Elisabetta

    Yum, I’ve seen carrot cakes but not pumpkin cake and it looks so moist too. Thanks for giving the flour quantity – I fondly remember mum also giving her flour measurements as “quanto basta” which always left me in doubt!!

    • Alida

      Oh yes I like the “quanto basta”.. then depending on the person making the recipe the cake will be different too 🙂

  10. Cheryl Chapman

    So glad for your recipe. My Mum gave it tome, but I lost that page when I moved house. Used to bake it when my children were small, now I can bake it for my grandchildren. Thanks so much for sharing. Cheryl

    • Alida

      You are very welcome. Happy baking! x

  11. Lara

    Can you tell me about “cooked pumpkin” – instructions for how to do? Also, as an alternative could canned pumpkin purée work? Pumpkins are very seasonal in my area.

    • Alida

      Hi Lara,
      I usually peel the pumpkin and then I steam it (otherwise it will absorb too much water) but of course you can use canned pumpkin too.

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