Torta di zucca (pumpkin cake)

Valentina Harris's grappa-spiked pumpkin cake makes a mouth-watering dessert or teatime treat
By Valentina Harris
Torta di zucca (pumpkin cake)
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Effort: medium



  • 50 g sultanas
  • 100 ml grappa
  • oil, or greasing
  • 600 g pumpkin, preferably Barucca peeled, deseeded and cubed
  • 150 g unsalted butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 150 g sugar
  • 50 g almonds
  • 50 g candied lemon peel, finely chopped
  • grated zest of 1 lemons
  • 80 g plain flour
  • 1 heaped tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs, yolks and whites separated
  • icing sugar, for dusting


1. Put the sultanas and grappa in a bowl and leave for 20 minutes or until the sultanas are swollen.

2. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4.

3. Grease and line a 20-23cm shallow cake tin.

4. Put the cubed pumpkin in a saucepan with the butter and cook over medium heat until soft. Mash it thoroughly with a pinch of salt.

5. Stir in the sugar, almonds, candied citron, the sultanas and the grappa and the grated lemon zest. Beat all this together very thoroughly.

6. Sift the flour and the baking powder together. Then sift this into the mix and stir.

7. Beat the egg yolks until light and foamy, then fold into the mix. Beat the egg whites until stiff, then fold in lightly using a large metal spoon.

8. Spoon into the cake tin and bake for about an hour, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Turn out on to a cooling rack and then dust with icing sugar to serve.

Rate This Recipe