Pumpkin, walnut and date cake with maple syrup and cream cheese icing

January 13, 2018 (Last Updated: March 3, 2020)
Pumpkin, walnut and date cake with maple syrup and cream cheese icing

This is a delicious cake for when you have friends coming over. Serve it with tea or coffee.

Recipe and styling by Taryne Jakobi

Photograph by Dylan Swart

Pumpkin, walnut and date cake with maple syrup and cream cheese icing

Serves: 12 - 14
Cooking Time: 1 hr 30 mins + cooling time


  • 450g raw pumpkin, grated
  • 200g dates, pitted and chopped
  • 50ml bourbon (optional; can replace with apple juice or water)
  • 4 eggs
  • 190g brown sugar/xylitol/coconut sugar
  • 250ml (1 cup) vegetable/coconut oil
  • 330g self-raising wholewheat flour
  • 10ml (2 tsp) bicarbonate of soda
  • 10ml (2 tsp) ground cinnamon
  • 5ml (1 tsp) nutmeg
  • 5ml (1 tsp) ground allspice
  • 2,5ml (½ tsp) salt
  • 120g raw walnuts, chopped

  • 100ml pure maple/agave syrup (do not substitute with maple-flavoured golden syrup as it is too sweet and not the same as pure maple syrup)
  • 1 x 250g tub full-fat cream cheese
  • 50g raw walnuts, chopped, to serve



Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Grease and flour a bundt tin.


Place the grated pumpkin in a colander and squeeze out any excess liquid.


Place half of the dates in a bowl with the bourbon, apple juice or water and set aside to soak while making the cake.


In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs until light in colour, about 5 minutes. Add the sugar and continue beating until the mixture reaches thick-ribbon stage, 5 – 8 minutes. Add the oil and beat for 2 minutes until combined.


Sift the flour into a bowl. Add the bran to the flour (from the sieve) along with the bicarbonate of soda, spices and salt.


Stir the dry ingredients into the egg mixture, and fold in the soaked dates with their liquid. Add the remaining dry dates, walnuts and pumpkin and fold into the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared bundt tin and bake until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean, 45 – 50 minutes.


Remove from oven and allow the cake to cool completely in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack.


For the icing, whisk the syrup into the cream cheese and spread over the cake. Decorate with chopped walnuts to serve.

ALSO TRY: Apple and sumac filo roses with date caramel sauce

AND: Vanilla nice-cream cups with cinnamon-and-date “caramel” sauce

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