Easy, One-Bowl Pumpkin-Ginger Bread

IMG_2209Easy, one-bowl Pumpkin Ginger Cake | Wandering Spice

‘Tis the season of pumpkin in the Northern Hemisphere, and while I admit to a bit of pumpkin spice overload while in the US last month, I do adore the cheery vegetable and welcome it into our home each year.

This pumpkin cake, spiked with ginger and studded with crunchy toasted pepitas and sunflower seeds, is easily mixed in one bowl for a fuss-free afternoon tea, Thanksgiving, or anytime treat.

Easy, one-bowl Pumpkin Ginger Cake | Wandering Spice

Since moving to Australia, I’ve been making pumpkin cakes and pies using fresh butternut squash that I’ve roasted or steamed, in place of the large, round American pumpkins since they’re not easy to find. This year I was able to find some good old Libby’s pumpkin pie mix at a nearby expat foods store, and went for it. I advocate for any product that simplifies holiday cooking, especially if it’s all natural and preservative free. Guns blazing, I walked out with two big cans: one for this pumpkin-ginger cake and morning oatmeal, and the other for our upcoming Friendsgiving celebration.

It’s worth noting that the canned pumpkin I used in this recipe is pumpkin pie mix, which contains sugar and spices. Pure pumpkin puree or homemade pumpkin puree can absolutely be used. Simply double the sugar quantity from 1/2 cup to 1 cup, and add the extra spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice listed in the recipe below.

Easy, one-bowl Pumpkin Ginger Cake | Wandering Spice

To make pumpkin puree from scratch, chop a pumpkin in half or quarters and scoop out the seeds. Lay face down on a baking sheet, and bake for 40 minutes at 180C/350F until soft. Or, for a faster option, peel and chop the pumpkin into large cubes and boil until tender. Then, mash and use immediately or wrap well and freeze until ready to use.

Easy, One-Bowl Pumpkin-Ginger Bread

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Serving Size: 1 loaf - can easily be doubled


  • 3/4 cup plain flour
  • 3/4 cup wholemeal flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar*
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup pumpkin pie mix*
  • 1/2 cup mild-flavored oil, such as light olive
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup mixed seeds, such as pumpkin and sunflower
  • *If using plain pumpkin puree, add 1/2 tsp each: nutmeg and allspice, 1 tsp cinnamon and extra 1/2 cup raw sugar.


  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Line a standard 9x5x3" loaf tin with baking paper, leaving a 1" overhang over the sides for easy removal.
  2. Combine the flours, salt, sugar and baking soda in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle of the flour.
  3. Add the pumpkin, oil, eggs, water and spices into the well, and whisk the wet ingredients together. Then start incorporating the flour mixture until just combined (don't be tempted to overmix).
  4. Pour the batter into the tin and scatter the mixed seeds over the top. Bake 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted of the center comes out clean.
  5. Pull the cake out of the tin (using the overhanging baking paper) and cool on a wire rack.


The ingredient quantities in this recipe are adapted from Elise Bauer's SimplyRecipes.com


Audio pairing: Miami Horror, “Real Slow”

  • Rosa

    It looks perfect and ever so smooth! Delicious with a cup of tea.



    • http://www.wanderingspice.com/ Yasmeen

      Perfect with tea… always have a spare one in the freezer just in case I need a cuppa.

  • Mimi

    I love that swirl in the middle of the bread, so pretty!

    • http://www.wanderingspice.com/ Yasmeen

      Thanks, Mimi – it’s pure coincidence but I thought it looked pretty too.

  • http://thehungryexcavator.com/ Winston

    This is such a FANTASTIC cake, Yas. I love the addition of seeds as well. Your cake turned out so perfect, really wish I can be half as good as you in the baking department. It’s always a hit and miss with me when it comes to cakes. But this sounds simple enough for a newbie like me to try =)

    • http://www.wanderingspice.com/ Yasmeen

      Winston, my friend, you are an excellent cook. I appreciate your confidence! We should really have a workshop one day: you teach me how to make one of your amazing fish dishes and I’ll teach you how to bake one of my signature cakes.

  • Kait

    I love pumpkin bread! I’m gonna try this for my boyfriend whose favourite vegetable is pumpkin. Can I mix the seeds inside the batter or are they better on top?

    • http://www.wanderingspice.com/ Yasmeen

      You can absolutely mix the seeds inside the cake – just add them when you’re folding the wet and dry ingredients together.

  • Tutti Dolci

    Sometimes one-bowl is just what you need. Such a tasty bread!

    • http://www.wanderingspice.com/ Yasmeen

      Exactly, Laura. The holiday season brings with it so much baking – great but also too many dishes to wash for my liking. One bowl works for me :)

  • http://www.jamjnr.com/ Nancy

    This looks so moist – and perfect for an afternoon tea.

    • http://www.wanderingspice.com/ Yasmeen

      Thanks, Nancy! Pumpkin puree does a wonderful job at creating a moist crumb. Applesauce and plain yogurt do the same trick in other loaves, too (banana bread, carrot cake, etc).

  • Heidi Apples

    This warm from the oven + butter? I wish we lived closer…
    Heidi xo

    • http://www.wanderingspice.com/ Yasmeen

      An hour isn’t too far to drive for fresh cake. I’ll exchange you for one of those amazing salted caramel ice cream cones you made!

  • http://www.brooklynfarmgirl.com/ Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl

    One bowl and this beauty comes out? Yes, please!

    • http://www.wanderingspice.com/ Yasmeen

      My thoughts exactly. Thanks for stopping by! I love your work.

  • http://kirantarun.com/food Kiran @ KiranTarun.com

    Yummy!! Love the spice from ginger :)