Life Changing Pumpkin-Nutella Cake

How can a pumpkin cake be life changing, you ask? Well have you met a person who never tried pumpkin cake before?

Can you believe I lived on this planet for over 30 years without having experienced pumpkin cake, pumpkin bread or pumpkin cupcakes? This might come as a surprise to my American friends who are currently going through a pumpkin recipe frenzy for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas season. Pumpkin recipes are literally coming out of every tube right now! Pinterest is on fire with wild pumpkin combos such as pumpkin pie fudge, pumpkin cinnamon rolls or how about pumpkin butter or ice cream?

Let me explain that in Finland where I come from, using pumpkin for desserts and cakes is virtually unheard of. Pumpkin is like a strange-looking hybrid between an exotic fruit and a basketball for us. It also does not smell that great, which implies it would not taste great either. Who in their right mind would eat something called KURPITSA anyways? If you’re curious about what Finnish baking is like and for some of my all time favorite traditional recipes, check out my Finnish Baking Pinterest board. Noor over at Ya Salam cooking is a fan of Finnish treats so you should check out her recipes too!

I must mention that while I was a kid my family lived in the U.S, and I do remember tasting pumpkin PIE.. Maybe the ones I tried were just terrible, but for some reason I never liked it. In fact the consistency and taste of the ooey gooey pumpkin filling just somehow put me off anything pumpkin related for 30+ years.

But as the curious person that I am, I thought, why not give this pumpkin thingy a second chance?

As I was looking through Pinterest for a pumpkin recipe that inspired me, I came across this recipe found on Nancy Creative’s blog. This was it I thought. The recipe sounded delicious and it sure was. It not only made me fall in love with the flavor, but I became obsessed with trying out other delicious pumpkin recipes. I could not believe what deliciousness I’d been missing all these years. My life definitely changed for the better :)

(Don’t miss these incredibly amazing recipes including many other pumpkin recipes I’ve gathered on my “Awesomest Recipes Pinterest board“!)

For some even stranger reason my husband, who spent half of his life in the States, was not a fan of baked pumpkin goodies either. In fact, he seemed very anti-pumpkin when I brought up the subject of going pumpkins one evening. I was so pumped up from excitement about my new found fascination for pumpkinery, that I could’ve started baking on the spot.

Me: I found an awesome pumpkin recipe, I want to try it.
Him: I hate pumpkin pie.
me: It’s not actually pumpkin pie, it’s pumpkin cake, same like banana cake or bread..
him: what? it can’t be good though.
me: why? Don’t be so anti-pumpkin. I don’t like pumpkin pie either, but when pumpkin is combined with the right ingredients, it’s supposedly amazing actually.
him: I don’t think so, pumpkin always tastes like pumpkin.
me: but this is not as pumpkiny as the pie. I don’t think there’s as much pumpkinness to it.
him: pumpkin just tastes so…pumpkin!
me: but you have to try, I promise it’s not going to be too pumpkinnish. I’ll make these tomorrow, just get me pumpkin first.
him; ok. but I doubt I’ll like them.
me:  you’ll love them, trust me.

pumpkin nutella bread recipe

And guess what? He not only loved it and finished the whole thing within hours, but requested I bake another two :)

Sometimes husbands just need some convincing and a gentle push because they might not be aware of what they’re missing out on!

Below is my version of the recipe from NancyCreative which was adapted from ‘Great Coffee Cakes, Sticky Buns, Muffins and More’ book.

Life Changing Pumpkin-Nutella Cake

Life Changing Pumpkin-Nutella Cake


  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground Finnish cardamon (I could not resist adding this to the recipe!)
  • few drops of vanilla essence or 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/4 cups canned pure pumpkin puree (I used fresh pumpkin and it makes a world of difference!)


  1. Position your oven rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 x 5″ loaf pan; set aside.
  2. Combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cardamon and vanilla in a medium bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined; set aside.
  3. In another bowl, or bowl of an electric mixer, beat eggs on medium-high speed for two minutes or until lightened in color. Add the brown sugar, mixing for about 2 minutes, then the granulated sugar, mixing for about 1 minute. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
  4. Drizzle in the canola oil with beater on medium-low. Reduce speed to low and add the pureed pumpkin. Mix until thoroughly combined. Add the dry ingredients in two additions and blend for 10-15 seconds just until incorporated. Don't mix too much!!
  5. Spoon the batter into your prepared loaf pan and bake for 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool loaf in pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack. You really do need to bake these on low temperature for long time, mine took 10 min more to finish than the stated baking time.
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Heat a small jar of Nutella for 30sec in the microwave. Drizzle on top of the loaf. And you’re done!

I will add that this cake is absolutely heavenly even without the Nutella on top! It’s so super moist and rich in taste it’s perfect on its own too. But the Nutella does complement the flavors nicely :) Lets face it, anything drizzled with Nutella is delicious! So can you imagine how good this is? Give it a go and please let me know how it came out in the comments!

pumpkin nutella bread recipe

P.S. A Finnish friend of mine tasted this cake and she was super impressed and surprised how yummy this was, having had the same weird feeling toward using pumpkin in baking as me. We both thought this cake tastes a lot like the Finnish gingerbread. I highly recommend using fresh pumpkins for this! If you’re clueless (like me ) how make the actual pumpkin puree, check this tutorial by Sweet Spot blog: Home Made Organic Pumpkin Puree!


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  • PiaNovember 4, 2014 - 3:18 am

    tein eilen ja oli mahtavaa! Kiitti :)ReplyCancel

  • LaylaNovember 4, 2014 - 3:32 pm

    Kiva kuulla! Olitjo aikaisemmin kokeillut tehda mitaan kurpitsasta vai oliko tama ensimmainen kerta sinullekkin?ReplyCancel

  • LaylaNovember 25, 2014 - 3:41 am

    Hi Meaghan!
    You can find nutmeg in Lulu’s, Danube and sometimes Tamimi. What I’ve noticed is the stock finishes quite quickly when the store gets it you have to keep looking for it :) Good luck!ReplyCancel

    • MeaghanNovember 26, 2014 - 1:19 am


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