If you are like us and missing all the flavors as Summer, but want all the warm and comforting Fall goodies, well we have the most perfect cake for you! We partnered with Da Vine Foods to bring you the best flavors of both seasons with this Pumpkin Passion Fruit Spice Cake!
What is a spice cake?
Spice cakes are cakes that incorporate a spice blend often including spices like cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, and sometimes ginger. They are very popular during Fall at the height of pumpkin and apple season, and we absolutely love them! Even if you aren’t typically a pumpkin or apple fan, there are many types of spice cakes that are incredibly delicious! But we are pumpkin/apple lovers in this house, and decided that a Pumpkin Passion Fruit Spice Cake recipe was exactly what the world needed this Fall.
Pumpkin Passion Fruit Spice Cake
Making this Pumpkin Passion Fruit Spice Cake is pretty easy and doesn't require any special tools. We mix the cake using our stand mixer, but you can use an electric hand mixer or whisk by hand. Use whatever tools you have to make the batter as smooth as possible.
This spice cake is similar to an applesauce cake making it perfectly moist once cooked. The apples in this recipe are first cooked in the microwave to make them soft enough to puree into an applesauce texture. They are then combined with the pumpkin puree for the base of the cake. The combination of apple and pumpkin adds to the flavor without overpowering the cake with either ingredient.
Canned vs Homemade Pumpkin Puree
We are all about using quality ingredients and doing our best to use fresh, natural ingredients instead of processed ingredients or packaged foods packed with preservatives. So the obvious answer to make the Pumpkin Passion Fruit Spice Cake is to make your own pumpkin puree. That being said, we made this with both homemade pumpkin puree and canned pumpkin with similar results in taste and texture, so do what is easiest for you whether canned or homemade.
How to make homemade pumpkin puree
It is actually super easy to make your own pumpkin puree by simply slicing the pumpkin in half with a little olive oil and roasting cut side down for about 45 minutes at 400° F. Once cool, the pumpkin flesh can easily be removed from the skin at this point and placed in a food processor to puree. You can keep the homemade pumpkin puree in the fridge for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 2 months.
What makes this pumpkin spice cake special?
There are many options for pumpkin cakes this time of year and it's hard to know what is best. This particular pumpkin cake is special with the addition of the Passion Fruit Mascarpone Whipped Cream frosting. This frosting is really what makes the entire cake shine, and brings the best of the tropics to the flavors of Fall.
Making the Passion Fruit Mascarpone Whipped Cream frosting is easy and requires a few key ingredients. You need heavy cream, vanilla, confectioner's (powdered) sugar, mascarpone, and passion fruit puree.
What's mascarpone you ask? Well, mascarpone is a delicious creamy spreadable Italian cheese that is similar to cream cheese in texture. The taste is much more mild than cream cheese and can be easily made at home if you cannot find it in the store (check out this recipe for Homemade Mascarpone).
Believe us, mascarpone will quickly become your newest obsession and replace cream cheese! It makes the perfectly creamy, yet light consistency for the frosting on this Pumpkin Passion Fruit Spice Cake. We prefer this light mascarpone whipped cream over any cream cheese frosting that tends to be heavier.
The most important ingredient in the frosting is the passion fruit puree. You will need to find passion fruit puree, such as the Lilikoi Puree we used in this recipe from Da Vine Foods. Make sure you use a high quality puree that does not have any added sugar for best results here.
What is Passion Fruit, or Lilikoi?
Passion fruit, or Lilikoi (its Hawaiian name pronounced like the lily flower and Koi like the fish), is a sweet and tart fruit found in tropical regions of the world. When cutting into these round, often yellow-skinned fruit, you will discover a pulp that contains small soft gel-like sacks surrounding black seeds. The seeds are all edible! There is a thin white layer inside the smooth and fairly tough skin. The skin and thin white sack aren’t eaten due to their bitter taste and tough texture. But you can dig into the pulp with a spoon for a delightful treat. Or squeeze and strain the juices to add to a variety of recipes.
Da Vine Foods has done all the work for you. They make high-quality and delicious passion fruit products fit for every meal!
The Passion Fruit Puree, which we used in the Pumpkin Passion Fruit Spice Cake, is a staple in our house. It is so versatile and can be used in a variety of recipes! Check out some of the following recipes using passion fruit products:
- Passion Fruit White Chocolate Mint Gelato
- Passion Fruit and Peach Waffles
- Polynesian Pulled Pork Tacos
- Passion Fruit Cocktails
If you want to try out the products, Da Vine Foods has given our users a special discount code. You can receive 15% off their products, and shipping is always free! Use code CWW15.
Baking Tips for the Pumpkin Passion Fruit Spice Cake
This spice cake bakes fairly true to described below in the recipe. Here are some tips for ensuring this turns out as desired when baking the cake.
- Make sure you preheat your oven before beginning the recipe. And position the baking rack in the center of the oven.
- Line your 9x9" cake pan with parchment and spray with cooking spray for easy removal. We use Baker's Joy, and it works every time.
- Set your bake time for the low end of the range, then use a wooden toothpick or skewer inserted into the center of the cake to check for doneness. If the skewer comes out clean, the cake is done. If it looks wet, add another 3-5 minutes and check again.
- Allow your cake to cool completely prior to frosting it so the frosting does not melt.
- Store the cake in the fridge if consuming within a few days to a week, or freeze for up to a month.
We hope you enjoy this recipe for Pumpkin Passion Fruit Spice Cake! This cake will replace your pumpkin bread and pumpkin pie this season, we know it! We also like to call this Breakfast Cake (think coffee cake), because it isn't overly sweet and pairs perfectly with your morning coffee or tea.
If you give it a try, leave us a comment below or tag us on Instagram @cooking_with_wine.