Pumpkin cake with cheesecake swirls

Topped off with a creamy cream cheese frosting, this pumpkin cake can be paired perfectly with your cup of tea or coffee


For the cake

  • 230g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 200g packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 500g pumpkin peel end and roughly chopped
  • 250g plain flour
  • 1tsp baking soda
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • ¾ teaspoon salt

For the cream cheese swirls

  • 224g cream cheese, softened to room temperature 50g castor sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 32g pumpkin seeds


1.Steam pumpkin until soft (approx. 30minutes).

2.Mash until smooth and places in fine mesh colander to drain excess liquid. (you may leave to drain overnight or for at least a couple of hours) 

3.Preheat oven to 177°C. Grease or line the bottom and sides of a 9x13-inch baking pan with grease proof paper leaving an overhang. Set aside.

4.In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter for 1min on medium speed until completely smooth and creamy.

5.Add the brown sugar and beat on medium high speed until fluffy and light in colour. Beat in egg and vanilla on high speed. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the pumpkin until well combined.

6.In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt together until combined. On low speed, slowly mix into the wet ingredients. Do not overmix. The mixture will be thick. Spread 2/3 of the batter evenly into the prepared pan; it will be a relatively thin layer. The rest will be added later.

7.In a medium bowl beat the cream cheese with a whisker for 1 minute on medium speed until completely smooth and creamy. Add the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Beat on high speed until completely combined. Drop random spoonfuls on top of the pumpkin batter.

8.Drop the remaining pumpkin batter on top of the spoonfuls of cream cheese.

9.With a rubber spatula or knife, begin gently swirling the two together. Both mixtures are thick, so go slowly. Jiggle the pan back and forth to get the layers to settle into the pan. Don't worry if it looks messy; everything will come together in nice swirls as the bars bake. Sprinkle pumpkin seeds on top of the swirled batter.

10.Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached.

11. Allow to cool completely at room temperature, then transfer to the refrigerator for about 2 hours before cutting into squares.

12.Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.