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 the goods:

pumpkin loaves:

  2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter (at room temp)

2 cups brown sugar

4 eggs

3 tblspns molasses

dash vanilla essence

1 tblspn pumpkin pie spice (or 2 tspns cinnamon, 1 tspn ginger, 1/2 tspn cloves, 1/2 tspn nutmeg)

1 cup canned pumpkin

2 1/2 cups self raising flour

2 tblspns milk

meyer lemon filling:

8oz cream cheese

1/2 cup ricotta cheese

zest 2 meyer lemons

1 cup confectioners / icing sugar

2-3 tspns meyer lemon juice

time: 30 minutes active, 90 minutes total 

you will need:

  • large mixing bowl
  • mini loaf pans (or 2x8 inch pans for a double layer cake or a cupcake tray for 20 cupcakes
  • electric beater
  • baking parchment


mini pumpkin loaves with creamy meyer lemon filling

If you dare eschew the traditional pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving dessert, then you'd better have something that is going to make the gathered crowd go 'Aah!' instead of 'Aww!'

These little pumpkins loaves are as cute as puppy dogs and a whole lot tastier.

Spicy and moist and filled with an unbelievably light and fragrant filling, I like to serve them with a warm caramel, rum and maple dipping sauce.

It makes for a stickily silent moment as everyone realises that, in spite of the meal they've just consumed, there is (after all!) a little space left for dessert.

The ricotta whipped in with the cream cheese makes the filling heavenly light.

pumpkin loaves:

heat the oven to 400f

butter the cake pans and line each of them with a little strip of baking parchment

cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. beat until pale brown.

beat the eggs in one at a time

add a dash of vanilla, the molasses, spice and pumpkin and beat to combine. The mixture might look a little curdled at this point, but it is like a child throwing a tantrum. Ignore it and it will pass.

add the flour and beat lightly to incorporate.

pour about 1-2 tablespoons of milk in to loosen up the batter, beat just enough to combine

spoon the batter into the cake pans, filling each about 2/3 - 3/4 full

bake until risen and slightly browned on top. They will feel firm to the touch.

rest and cool in their tins, leave them in their parchment

meyer lemon filling:

beat cream cheese, ricotta and lemon zest until combined and lightly whipped ( a couple of minutes with an electric beater)

add the confectioners  / icing sugar and beat to combine.

pour the lemon juice in and continue to beat at a high speed for 2-3 minutes.

chill  the mixture until ready to use

putting it together:

cool the cakes briefly in the fridge or freezer. Use an apple corer to create a filling through the length of each cake (be careful not to break the cake in half). Use an icing pipe to fill the cakes with the lemon filling. Cakes can be filled a couple of hours before being served. Serve them at room temperature.

tasty side kick:

mix 1 cup of store bought caramel sauce with 2 tblspns each dark rum and grade 'b' maple syrup. Stir to combine. Zap in the microwave or heat on the stove top.

tip:If you haven't got meyer lemons or mini loaf pans at hand, then don't sweat; just make do! Regular zest and cupcake pans will suffice.