Saturday, 1 December 2012

Pumpkin Seed Carrot Banana Cake

In October, Angela of The Charmed Cupcake organised a pumpkin seed oil giveaway on her blog, sponsored by Pelzmann. I was very pleasantly surprised to win the giveaway as I rarely win any lucky draws! Angela carefully packed the two bottles of pumpkin seed oil and sent it all the way from Austria to Singapore. Thank you so much, Angela.

I’ve experimented with the pumpkin seed oil several times in both savoury and sweet dishes and it was simply delicious. Before I talk more about the pumpkin seed carrot banana cake I’ve made using this oil, let me give a little introduction to pumpkin seed oil as it’s not common to find this in Asia. I recall only seeing it sold in specialty health food shops and organic sections of certain supermarkets. 

The Pelzmann pumpkin seed oil is extracted from the seeds of the Styrian  variety of pumpkin grown in certain regions of Austria. The seeds are then carefully pressed by oil mills in the southern Styrian region and bottled before it is exported to the rest of the world. Studies have shown that pumpkin seed oil is particularly rich in protective agents (antioxidants), which are capable of eradicating these free radicals which harm the body. The pumpkin seed oil has a rich dark green colour and smells wonderfully nutty, without being overpowering.

The pumpkin seed carrot banana cake I made with the oil has a mild nutty flavour from the pumpkin seed oil and just a slight hint of bananas. I love how the oil, carrots and bananas have made the cake so moist. My daughters could not tell it was a carrot cake and they ate it up really fast. What a great way to get kids to eat more vegetables! This is really a light and delicious carrot cake – the kind which you won’t feel bad about eating more of because you know its made of healthier ingredients and much better for waistline!

Pumpkin Seed Carrot Banana Cake (serves 12)
Recipe adapted from here
  • 120 ml pumpkin seed oil (or olive oil if pumpkin seed oil is not available)
  • 2 eggs
  • 175 g dark muscovado sugar
  • 2 tbsp marmalade
  • 225 g self-raising flour
  • 1 ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 225 g carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1 ripe banana, peeled and mashed (I used the large banana)
  • zest and juice 1 medium orange
  • 50 g pumpkin seeds (I sprinkled this on top)
  • 50 g raisins
For the icing:
  • 300 g full fat soft cheese
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • a few drops of vanilla essence
  • a handful of pumpkin seeds
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/Fan160C/Gas 4. Grease a deep 20cm/8inch diameter round cake tin and line with baking parchment.
  2. Place the oil, eggs, sugar and marmalade in a large bowl. Whisk together using an electric hand whisk for 2 minutes (or until the mixture is thick enough to leave a trail when the whisk head is lifted).
  3. Sift in the flour and bicarbonate of soda. Next, add the grated carrots, banana, orange zest and juice, seeds and raisins before gently mixing together.
  4. Pour the mix into the prepared tin and bake for 45-50 minutes (or until the cake springs back when lightly touched in the centre). Leave to cool in the tin.
  5. Remove the cake from the tin and peel off the lining paper. Mix all the icing ingredients together with a wooden spoon. Next, cut the cake in half horizontally then sandwich together with half the cream cheese mixture inside. (I did not make the icing, I spread a layer of cream cheese over the top of the cake before sprinkling with pumpkin seeds)
  6. Spread the remaining icing over the top of the cake and scatter the pumpkin seeds around the edge of the cake. Serve in wedges.

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