Looking to learn how to make Pumpkin Spice Indian Cake?
Our quick and easy Indian Cake recipe is ready to serve in under 2 hours. It’s a delicious addition to tea time or your next coffee break.
Our Turmeric Tea Cake recipe features flavourful ingredients like pumpkin, garam masala, maple syrup, coconut oil, crystalized ginger, cardamom, pistachio and rose water.
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What is Indian Cake?
Indian’s love eating sweet desserts after a spicy curry feast.
Traditional Indian desserts, called mithai, are typically made with a combination of flour, sugar, nuts, legumes, and milk. They’re often enhanced with cardamom, rose water, saffron or nuts like almonds and pistachio.
Some of our favourite authentic Indian Cakes include Balu Shahi, Gulab Jamun and Imarti.
I wanted to develop a recipe for a European-style cake inspired by the flavours of India. I wrote a list of my favourite sweet Indian flavour combinations like rose-pistachio and pumpkin-turmeric. I then paired ingredients that compliment each other well to create a decadent cake covered in a sweet glaze.
Our Indian Cake batter features roasted pumpkin, pumpkin seeds, turmeric, garam masala, coconut oil and crystalized ginger. The icing glaze is poured over the cooled cake and is infused with cardamom and rose water.
The cake is garnished with edible rose buds, pistachio and lime leaf.
Travel to India by Baking Turmeric Tea Cake at Home
I love traveling through Asia. My first visit to Asia had me living in South Korea for a year as a teacher and it’s where I was first introduced to fermented vegetables like kimchi.
After my contract ended in Seoul I travelled throughout Asia for 6 months, visiting the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, The Maldives and India.
I spent over a month traveling through India. I started in the capital, eating my way through the bustling markets and fine dining restaurants in Delhi. I then embarked on a magical weekend getaway to awe-inspiring Taj Mahal in Agra. In India’s north you’ll find plenty of barbecue and wheat based side dishes like scorched naan bread.
For the second half of my Indian adventure I explored the southern state of Kerala. The south is famous for its seafood, coconut, tropical fruits and rice based side dishes like crispy dosa. The colonial capital of Cochin was formerly run by the Portuguese. It’s also one of the only places in India you can find beef on a menu.
My India trip came to a close in the Bollywood capital, bustling and cosmopolitan Mumbai. The city is famous for its specialty street foods and fine dining restaurants at opulent luxury hotels. The Taj Mahal Palace in particular serves one of the world’s most famous Afternoon Teas.
What I found most fascinating is India’s distinct regional food cultures. Much like the regional cuisines found in France, Germany, Italy or Spain, each city in India had its own local speciality.
After you’ve traveled to India, return home to prepare an authentic and fragrant feast for friends and family featuring this easy Turmeric Tea Cake recipe.
Where To Eat Indian Cake
If you live in a large city in Canada or America you’ll likely have access to a local Indian restaurants that serve traditional sweets and desserts.
Haven’t traveled to India before? It may be helpful to first sample authentic sweets at a local Indian restaurant to better understand what ingredients are used in a bakers kitchen. Make a list of your favourite flavour pairings to dream up your own spiced Indian cake recipe.
In Toronto, popular Indian restaurants worth visiting include Udupi Palace, Lahore Tikka House and Kothur Indian Cuisine.
My Family Loves Turmeric Pumpkin Tea Cake
After traveling throughout India and eating at some of the world’s best Indian restaurants I was excited to share my love of Indian Cake with family in Toronto.
I’ve hosted many Indian-themed feasts, showcasing dishes from Delhi to Bengal via fragrant curries, fresh salads and hearty soups.
I served a creamy Chicken Shahi Korma with crunchy Indian Onion Salad for an al fresco lunch in the spring. While in the summer at the cottage in Muskoka we enjoyed a vegetarian feast featuring Shahi Paneer and Indian Chickpea Crepes.
In North America, Indian restaurants aren’t often celebrated for their dessert offerings. I developed a Turmeric Tea Cake recipe that would showcase India’s best dessert pantry ingredients for those unfamiliar with Indian sweets.
If you’ve traveled to India on holiday there is no better way to share your adventure at home with family and friends at home then by serving our Pumpkin Spice Indian Cake recipe.
Indian Cake Health Benefits
Our homemade Turmeric Tea Cake recipe is packed full of healthy ingredients!
Ginger contains at least 14 phytochemicals, many of which have impressive antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It also has a good source of copper, which supports your bones, blood and nervous system.
Eggs contain two vital nutrients that are not present in many foods: iodine and vitamin D. Eggs are also rich in tissue-building protein and vitamin B12, which helps your body manufacture blood cells.
Consuming dairy products (such as milk and cheese) provides health benefits — especially improved bone health. Dairy foods provide nutrients that are vital for health and maintenance of your body. These nutrients include calcium, potassium, vitamin D, and protein.
All varieties of pumpkin (or squash) are nutritious, but butternut squash is a superfood because it contains high levels of carotenoids, which help combat cancer and support skin health.
Rich in monounsaturated fats and potassium, pistachios help reduce levels of bad cholesterol and reduce high blood pressure. The copper in pistachios supports healthy bones and blood, while antioxidant phytochemicals protect your eye health.
The star component of turmeric is curcumin, a potent phytochemical that has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is often prescribed in Indian Ayurvedic medicine to help relieve arthritis, aid digestion and inhibit the growth of cancers.
Whole wheat flour is rich in vitamins B-1, B-3, and B-5, along with riboflavin and folate. It also has more iron, calcium, protein, and other nutrients than white flour.
Turmeric Tea Cake Baking Tips
If it’s your first time baking Indian Cake at home be sure to review our detailed step-by-step recipe below. Here are some helpful tips and tricks to get you started:
- We suggest using a high quality rubber spatula when making cake batter so you can easily stir and scrape down the side of the bowl.
- We’ve used canned pumpkin in this recipe but you could also roast your own pumpkin and toast the seeds. We love baking this Indian Cake after Thanksgiving or Christmas when we have leftover pureed pumpkin.
- We’ve used coconut oil to infuse an Indian coconut flavour into the batter. You could substitute for another vegetable oil like canola.
- We’ve used rose water in the glaze but you could also use rose syrup.
- We’ve used lime leaf as a garnish on the cake but you could substitute for curry leaf.
- We’ve prepared this recipe in a loaf pan but you could also use a round cake pan or muffin tins to make individual cupcakes.
What To Serve with Indian Cake
We suggest serving this Pumpkin Spiced Indian Cake at tea time or during a coffee break. It pairs nicely with a hot pot of Darjeeling tea.
You can also serve an Indian-inspired ice cream sundae by seving a slice of Turmeric Tea Cake with a scoop of ginger, pistachio or cardamom ice cream.
If you’re hosting a large Indian-themed dinner party buffet you may want offer slices of Spiced Indian Cake for dessert after serving fresh salads, soups, fragrant biryani, naan and curry.
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If you have leftover Turmeric Tea Cake cover it in plastic wrap and store it in the fridge for 2-3 days.
You can also freeze leftover cake for up to a month. Be sure to slice the cake before storing it in the freezer so you can easily reheat slices whenever you have a craving for sweets!
How To Make Pumpkin Spice Indian Cake
Turmeric Pumpkin Spice Indian Cake
- Loaf Pan
- Parchment Paper
- baking sheet
- Mixing bowls
- measuring spoons
- measuring cups
- 1/4 cup Hulled Pumpkin Seeds
- 1 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Ground Turmeric
- 3/4 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
- 2 Large Eggs
- 2 tbsp Maple Syrup
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 3/4 cup White Sugar
- 1/2 cup Coconut Oil warmed slightly
- 1 cup Pumpkin pureed
- 1/4 cup Crystalized Ginger finely chopped
- 1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
- 2 tbsp Milk
- 1/4 tsp Ground Cardamom
- 1/4 cup Pistachio finely chopped
- Rose Petals
- Curry Leaf
- Arrange an oven rack in the centre position and preheat to 350 F.
- Coat the bottom and sides of a loaf pan with coconut oil. Line the bottom and two longer sides with a piece of parchment paper, leaving an overhang of an inch or two on each side.
- Spread the pumpkin seeds on a small baking sheet and bake, shaking halfway through, until golden, puffed, 5-6 minutes. Set aside and cool.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, turmeric, salt and garam masala.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the eggs briefly to break up the yolks and whites, then add the maple syrup, vanilla and sugar and whisk vigorously until the mixture is smooth and thickened, about 30 seconds.
- Slowly pour the warm coconut oil, whisking constantly, until fully incorporated. Stir in the pureed pumpkin until smooth.
- Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the pumpkin mixture. Stir gently just until you've created a smooth batter. Fold in the pumpkin seeds.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle with chopped crystallized ginger.
- Bake Indian Cake until the top is risen a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, 55-65 minutes.
- Let the cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then use a paring knife to cut between the cake and pan. Use the parchment paper to lift out the loaf and let it cool on a wire rack.
- Prepare glaze by whisking icing sugar, milk and cardamom in a small bowl. Pour over cooled cake. Garnish with chopped pistachio, curry leaf and rose petals.
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