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Pumpkin and Ube Checkered Cake

Pumpkin and ube flavors blend magically in this vanilla cake made with a scary chocolate pumpkin face.


  • 429g all-purpose flour
  • 265g caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 375ml of milk
  • 125ml vegetable oil
  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp Greek yogurt (can substitute with sour cream)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 200g pumpkin
  • 200g ube
  • 2 drops orange food gel
  • 2 drops purple food gel
  • 100g dark chocolate (melted)
  • Frosting
  • ½ batch Swiss meringue buttercream frosting (recipe on thescranline.com)
  • 2 drops orange food gel
  • 2 drops purple food gel


  1. Pumpkin eyes and mouth
  2. To make eyes and mouth add melted chocolate to a piping bag and pipe 5 large ‘v’ shapes and two down slanted eyes onto a small sheet of baking paper. Chill for 10 min.
  3. Ube and pumpkin Puree
  4. To prepare ube and pumpkin. Peel both vegetables and cut into large cubes. Place a small bowl of water in the centre of a large microwave safe bowl and add each veggie into separate bowls. Microwave each one for about 10 min or until tender. Place each one into a food processor or run through a sieve to get a puree. Set aside to cool completely, then blitz in a food processor until smooth.
  5. Cake
  6. Preheat a fan-forced oven to 160C (320F) or 180C (356F) for a conventional oven. Spray x4 6” cake tins with oil spray and line the bottom with baking paper. You can bake these cake one at a time if you only have one cake tin. :0)
  7. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the flour, baking powder, caster sugar and salt. Turn mixer on low speed and allow it to mix for a couple minutes to help everything combine well (alternatively you may do this by sifting the ingredients together). Add the softened butter and mix until it resembles a fine sand like texture.
  8. Add the milk, oil, Greek yogurt, eggs and vanilla extract into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix on medium speed until no dry ingredients are visible. Scrape down the bowl and mix for another 20 seconds.
  9. Split batter into 2 separate bowls. Add pumpkin and orange food gel into one bowl and mix until well combined taking care not to overmix the batter. Repeat with the ube and purple food gel with the other half.
  10. Fill 2 of the cake tins with the pumpkin batter and the other two with the ube batter.
  11. Bake for 30 min or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow the tins to cool for 2 min and then carefully flip the cake tins over on to a cooling rack to cool completely before using.
  12. Using a large serrated knife, carefully trim the top off each layer of cake to make even and flat layers. Try to aim to get them all the same height. An easy way to do this is to find the lowest height of the cake, place a skewer or toothpick next to that point and mark it. As you go around each side of the cake cutting it, use the marked skewer to make sure each cut is at the same height.
  13. Use a 3 inch circle cutter to cut out the centre of each layer. Use a 1 inch circle cutter to out the middle of each 3 inch cake circle. Add the alternating cake colours into each other as demonstrated in the video so you end up with something that looks like a target sign.
  14. To prepare crumb coat, add a dab of white frosting onto an 6” cake board or serving plate. Carefully add first cake layer. Use a small offset to add a layer of frosting and smoothen out and layer the frosting on each layer before adding the next layer of cake. Chill for 20 minutes.
  15. Frosting
  16. Separate frosting into 3. Add orange food gel to one and mix well. Add purple food gel to the second and mix well. Leave the third bowl white. Add all three into 3 separate piping bags.
  17. Add a neat strip of purple frosting all around the bottom, then alternate to orange, followed by purple and orange again. Add orange frosting on top too.
  18. Use a large cake scraper to neatly scrape the frosting around the sides and top of the cake.
  19. Finish off by adding the eyes and mouth to the cake.
  20. Serve.