Every year at Secretts they grow a range of different varieties of squash and pumpkin which are prized for their use in all sorts of culinary preparations. They also grow a field of pumpkins for their famous tractors rides to pick a pumpkin too. These are mostly used for carving for Halloween celebrations.

Here is one of three great recipes from members of the team. Nicola Secrett, a brilliant cook, has given us her spicy pumpkin cake recipe. It is moist, spicy and packed with this versatile veg.


250mls vegetable oil; 3 eggs, beaten; 400g pumpkin puree, fresh or tinned; 1tsp vanilla extract; 425g caster sugar; 300g plain flour; 1tsp bicarbonate of soda; 1tsp ground nutmeg; 1tsp ground cinnamon; 1tsp ground allspice; 1tsp ground cloves; pinch of salt; 4tbs chopped nuts (optional)

Icing sugar to serve.

Makes 8-10 squares


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/fan, 160C/Gas Mark 4 and grease or line a 25cm square cake tin.
2. Cream together the oil, eggs, pumpkin puree and vanilla extract.
3. Mix the flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda and spices together and sieve into a mixing bowl. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and fold in the nuts (reserving a few for the topping).
4. Pour the cake mixture into the prepared cake tin and sprinkle the reserved nuts on top and bake on the centre shelf of the oven for 1 hour.
5. Test the middle of the cake with a skewer and if it’s clean on removal the cake is cooked. If not return and bake until cooked through.
6. Allow the cake to cool in the tin then turn out and sprinkle with icing sugar (optional) and serve.

This cake will keep for 3-4 days in an airtight container.