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Savvy Dad Recipes: How to use a pumpkin for cakes, soups, crisps and more

Looking for a good pumpkin recipe ? Well, Those warmer days and sunlight hours are vanishing quickly into distant memory. With this in mind we thought it would be the perfect time to look at how to make a lovely warming, hearty soup from the pumpkins appearing wherever you turn.

The recipes below seek to really make the most of the versatile blighter that all so often gets scooped, carved and dumped. Such a waste of food and money in the UK with an estimated 18,000 tonnes ending up in the bin. To get the most out of it, we’ll be looking at healthy snacks, crisps, warming soups and moreish cakes to die for; all from one pumpkin. Highlighting how a good pumpkin recipe really can bring the orange fellow to life!

Photo: The fab pumpkin farm at Undley

To get started we needed to source our venerable pumpkins to be used. Supermarkets are great for cheap pumpkins (£3 for 2 large @ T’s buy here), but for weighty blighters with a reasonable amount of flesh it’s often cheaper to go to local farm and suppliers. In the East of England we were lucky enough to have the amazing Undley Pumkpin Patch to get the pumpkins for our pumpkin recipe.

This fabulous farm venue sets out it’s fields every year with every conceivable size and colour of gourd and pumpkin available. Main pumpkin prices range from £1 up to £6 depending on circumference. 10 for £2 on smaller novelty ones. We came away with a lovely selection for craft, display and cooking for just over £13. Including a monster £5 one for a decent amount of flesh. Although we got traditional “orange” pumpkins, green and white pumpkins, in theory, are best for cooking in pies and soups.

We heartily recommend the Undley Pumkin Path for a great day out, it’s not too bad on the budget too we took £25 and that sorted our pumpkins, some hotdogs, drinks and unlimited access to their pumpkin themed bounce and climb. For more information on their fab venue, check out their website @ www.pumpkinpatchundley.com


We returned from Undley, laden with our spoils and ready for the spooky half-term holiday ahead. Little Savvy was eager to have a monster party over the coming weeks so he was happy with the mini gourds and pumpkins to decorate for craft, while the larger ones would be reserved for carving and cooking. In a standard pumpkin the ONLY inedible part is the stalk, everything else we’ll be using in the following Savvy Dad recipes.

 pumpkin recipe

Autumnal Spiced Pumpkin Soup

  • olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 small piece of grated ginger or 0.5 teapsoon of ground ginger.
  • 2 onion – finely chopped
  • 1kg pumpkin or squash – peeled and chunked (keep the seeds to toast; see below)
  • 650ml vegetable stock or chicken stock
  • medium pot of double cream (approx 140-150ml)


  1. First, Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large pan, add the finely chopped onions to soften.
  2. Add the pumpkin or squash to the pan, making sure none of the chunk are too large. Cook for 10 minutes until things still to soften and golden. Add Honey and ginger.
  3. Pour 650ml stock into the pan, seasoning generously with salt and pepper.
  4. Bring to the boil, simmering for 10 mins until the squash is almost falling to pieces.
  5. Add the cream and gently bring back to the boil before slowly making starting to purée with a blender.
  6. Blend longer or use a sieve for a finer consistency.
  7. The resulting soup can be stored in the freezer for 2-3 months
  8. For a savvy upgrade top the soup with toasted seeds from the recipe below. Or alternatively, cut some wholemeal seeded bread into croutons and fry in the remaining olive oil until crispy and then scatter into the soup.
Don’t bin those seeds, toast away for lovely toppings…

pumpkin recipe

How to toast pumpkin seeds (pumpkin recipe)
Just use olive oil and a little salt to bring these beauties to life using this method. This method is based on a medium pumpkin:
1. Rinse seeds and then place in a medium pan.
2. Add 800ml boiling water with 4 tablespoons of salt (up the salt if you like things more salty).
3. Boil, then simmer for 10-15 minutes.
4. Drain and tip onto a roasting tin drizzled with a good drizzle of olive oil.
5. Bake at the top of the oven on 200 / 190 fan for 10 minutes, of until the seeds brown.
6. When happy with the colour tip them out to cool and enjoy as they are.
 “such a versatile ingredient, perfect to make cakes, crisps, and soups. We couldn’t resist putting together some recipes for the spooky October half-term”.

How to make our devilishly decadent pumpkin cake.
(Thanks to Savvy Dad reader, Mollie, for the tips and pumpkin recipe)

Ingredients for pumpkin recipe
  • 4 eggs
  • 1.75 cups of caster sugar
  • 1 cup of vegetable oil (100% rapeseed)
  • 400-500g pureed pumpkin flesh (or 1 can puree like this ) to make puree yourself chop in half, scoop out seeds and roast for 40 mins flesh side down at 200 degrees c.
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 6oz. cream cheese
  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 3 cups icing sugar

Method for pumpkin recipe

  1. First, pre-heat oven to 180 degrees c
  2. Grease a 9-inch cake tin or line a cupcake tray, depending on you cake preference.
  3. Beat together the eggs, pumpkin, oil and sugar in a medium bowl.
  4. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarb and cinnamon.
  5. Combine the two bowl and mix the wet and dry ingredients thoroughly together, before spreading out evenly between cupcake cases of into the 9 inch pan.
  6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes (if baking the 9 inch cake) or 12 to 15 minutes (if making the cupcakes)
  7. Remove from the oven, and without giving into temptation to nibble, move on to the frosting.
  8. While the cake(s) are cooling beat together the cream cheese, butter and icing sugar in a bowl before spreading or piping in your own style.
  9. Garnish with a light sprinkle of cinnamon or golden sugar

How to make pumpkin crisps (pumpkin recipe)

1. Skin/shave the pumpkins or squash. Attempt for cut the skin as carefully as you can into long slices, the thinner the better.
2. Add the shavings to a large bowl, sprinkle with good dose of salt and a little paprika if you have it to hand.

3. Allow the moisture to exit the fleshy part of any pumpkin shavings by leaving for a good 10-15 minutes.
4. Add a small amount of olive oil and toss in well so that none of the pieces have large amounts on. You’ll want the pieces very thinly coated to crisp nicely.
Bake for 30 minutes at the top of a 200 degree c oven or until crisp, watch like a hawk from 25 minutes onward.


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