Pumpkin, Maple & Date Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting and Caramelised Maple Pecans

Baking / Desserts

Preparation Time:
Cooking Time:
12 portions
Metric Imperial


For the cake

  • ⅗ cup pitted Medjool dates, roughly chopped
  • ⅖ cup orange juice
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • ⅗ cup + 2 tsp maple sugar
  • ½ cup + 3 tsp light olive oil
  • ⅕ cup + 2 tsp pure maple syrup (preferably dark syrup for its robust taste)
  • ⅗ cup wholemeal plain flour
  • ⅘ cup self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1 ½ tsp fresh ginger, finely grated
  • Zest of an orange
  • 2 cups pumpkin, peeled

For the frosting

  • ⅗ cup cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ⅕ cup + 6 tsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ⅕ cup + 6 tsp icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup (preferably dark syrup for its robust taste)

For the pecans

  • ⅖ cup + 1 tbsp pecans
  • ⅖ cup + 5 tsp pure maple syrup (preferably dark syrup for its robust taste)
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • A pinch of sea salt flakes


  1. Preheat your oven to 160°C (fan-assisted). Grease and line a 23cm round cake tin with softened butter and baking paper.
  2. Combine dates and orange juice (reserving the zest) in a small saucepan. Boil for 1 minute over medium heat, remove from the heat and then stir in the bicarbonate of soda. It will foam up. Allow to rest for 5 minutes. Using a food processor or blender, blitz until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Beat eggs, sugar, olive oil, and maple syrup with an electric mixer until it becomes thick and light in colour. This should take about 6 minutes at a medium-high speed. Then add the dates and mix to combine.
  4. Sift the flour, salt, and baking powder into a large bowl, followed by the spices, fresh ginger, and orange zest and then whisk briefly to combine.
  5. Lay a clean tea towel over a large bowl, and then grate the pumpkin into this. Bring the sides of the towel up to form a little parcel, then twist as tight as you can to squeeze as much of the liquid from the pumpkin as possible.
  6. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, followed by the pumpkin — stirring well to combine. Spoon the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for about 55–60 minutes, by which time it should spring back when lightly pressed with your fingertips or a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. 
  7. Rest in the tin for 10 minutes before removing onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
  8. Now you can make the caramelised pecans. Bring the maple syrup and cinnamon to the boil, and continue to boil for 1 minute. Add the pecans, stirring for 23 minutes, or until thickened slightly. Pour out onto a tray lined with a sheet of baking paper, sprinkle with sea salt flakes and store in the freezer. This will make more than what you need for the cake, but it makes for a delicious snack and keeps well in the freezer in an airtight container for months!
  9. Beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth and creamy. Add the icing sugar and maple syrup and continue to beat until combined. Set aside until the cake has completely cooled.
  10. When the cake has cooled, spread the maple cream cheese over the top, roughly chop your desired amount of caramelised pecans and scatter over the top, then slice, serve and enjoy.
  11. This cake will keep for at least 5–6 days, stored in an airtight container in the fridge, but bring it back to room temperature before serving.

The Quebec Maple Syrup Producers are not in any way responsible for the identification or presence of allergens in recipes or for the classification of any recipe as vegetarian or vegan.

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Discover more about using pure Canadian maple syrup to fuel exercise here.

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