Loretta Sebastiani

Loretta Sebastiani
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Pumpkin cake
( Torta di zucca )

Traditional recipe

This pumpkin cake is a typical Italian sweet, heritage of many regions. It is prepared in many different ways and so I can say that every family has its own recipe. This is a version that I learned to make from my grandmother who lived in Piedmont and then I corrected it with the addition of chestnut honey. My grandmother used normal honey and her cake was definitely sweetest than mine.

difficulty: easy

time: 1 hour 10 minutes

calories: 268 (kCal)

Ingredients / Serves 8

  • 500g (1.1 pound) pumpkin flesh, peel away
  • 100g (3 1/2 ounces) amaretti biscuits
  • 60g (2.1 ounces) peeled almonds
  • 50g (1 3/4 ounce) unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 20g (3/4 ounce) corn starch
  • 60g (2.1 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chestnut honey
  • 100g (3 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 100ml (3 1/3 fluid ounces) semi-skimmed milk
  • 16g baking powder
  • Half a tablespoon powdered sugar
  • A pinch of salt
easy recipe
preparation: 30 minutes
cooking: 40 minutes
total: 1 hour 10 minutes
How many calories in a serving?
Calories: 268 (kcal) 14 % - 1121 (kJ)
Protein: 6.8 (g) 14 % GDA
Total fat: 11.0 (g) 16 % GDA
Total carbohydrate: 36.6 (g) 14 % GDA
Sugars: 23.6 (g) 27 % GDA

Download free PDF version (130 download).

Pumpkin cake recipe

If you have a food processor I recommend you to use it to blend and mix.

Preparation and cooking

  • - Remove butter from fridge to soften it.
  • - Put apart the amount for pumpkin cake and grease a deep baking pan (16cm - 6in in diameter) with remaining butter.
  • - Chop almonds.
  • - Blend pumpkin flesh.
  • - Blend amaretti biscuits until fine powder.
  • - Combine cornstarch with milk by passing it through a sieve. Mix carefully.
  • - Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
  • - Separate yolks from whites.
  • - Add egg yolks, softened butter, milk with cornstarch, sugar and honey to amaretti powder.
    Begin to knead all ingredients, mixing well.
    Then add pumkin flesh and almonds too. Stir again to amalgamate well.
  • - Sift flour and baking powder over your dough.
    Keep stirring your dough until uniform.
  • - At this point, if you use a food processor, transfer your dough into a bowl.
    Whip egg whites until stiff and add to your dough with slow movements from bottom to top.
  • - Transfer dough into your greased baking pan.
    Bake, about 40 minutes.
    Control cooking with a toothpick.
    In any case, surface will crack and edge will be more dark. Do not worry, it's normal Look at our picture :))

Just before serving

  • - Let your pumpkin cake cool before overturn it onto a serving plate.
  • - Sprinkle its surface with powdered sugar.



  • - Chestnut honey is bitter but its presence in this cake is essential to decrease the sweet taste of pumpkin.
  • - Preserve pumpkin cake for two days at room temperature, in your fridge for three days (but remember to bring it at room temperature before serving).
  • - This cake does not have a soft structure certainly, given its amount of pumpkin flesh. Typical example of Italian cucina povera.

Menu planning

  • - Serve this pumpkin cake at the end of a fall menu.
  • - Prepare it for a kid party or a meal, buffet-style.
  • - I think it is fantastic for Sunday brunch menu too!
  • - It may be an idea to have breakfast but do not make it frequently. The reason why below!

Healthy eating

  • - Calories of pumkin cake can be deceiving. You could think it is not a high-calorie sweet but be careful. Sugars fall into the amount suggested by the European Community as you can see in our nutrition facts, but I remind you that WHO has been calling for several months not to exceed 50 grams per person a day =_^
  • - Fiber per serving: 1.1 grams


What's the right wine for " Pumpkin cake "?

Passito wine from Pantelleria is a fantastic choice.