Arnadi de Carabassa

I’ve been cooking all sorts of pumpkin dishes lately, both savory and sweet, using canned organic pumpkin that I found at the Costco. And I’m sure the family will get tired of it soon, but for now we’re loving it. It would be a shame to only make pie (though we love that too)!

This particular pudding-like cake is of Arab origin and is common throughout the region of Valencia, Spain. Pumpkins are native to North America but, like most foods today, they are grown and available around the globe.

The spices (cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg) are typical of a pumpkin dessert. But I like this one because, like many desserts from that part of the world, it’s not too sweet. Just the sweet side of savory.

 

I took the zest of half a lemon and then finely chopped it. You can use dried lemon peel too but be aware it’s typically much stronger — read your label. Usually it’s 3:1 so 1 tablespoon of fresh is equal to 1 teaspoon of dried.

With only a little prep time, this pudding-like pumpkin cake is super easy to make and really nice when you want something that's seasonal and not too sweet. Visit suppertimeblues.com to learn more.

Next, I ground half a cup of almonds in a small food processor. Let it run a while, a couple minutes at least, so it’s ground very finely.


You can blanch the remaining 20 almonds while the cake is in the oven. Bring some water to a boil, drop in the almonds, wait 1 minute, then dump them into a colander or strainer and rinse immediately with cold water. Then just gently squeeze the skins off them.

With only a little prep time, this pudding-like pumpkin cake is super easy to make and really nice when you want something that's seasonal and not too sweet. Visit suppertimeblues.com to learn more.

From here, it’s just mixing and baking.

Beat the egg in a bowl.

Then stir in the lemon peel, nutmeg, cloves, and half a teaspoon of the cinnamon (we’re saving the rest to dust the top after it’s baked).

Now stir in the ground almonds.

With only a little prep time, this pudding-like pumpkin cake is super easy to make and really nice when you want something that's seasonal and not too sweet. Visit suppertimeblues.com to learn more.

And finally add the pumpkin and mix well. It should be reasonably smooth. Pour it into a well-greased round dish, even a pie pan or cake pan would work, either 8-inch or 9-inch.

With only a little prep time, this pudding-like pumpkin cake is super easy to make and really nice when you want something that's seasonal and not too sweet. Visit suppertimeblues.com to learn more.

Bake for an hour at 375°F.

Once it cools (you don’t want the sugar to melt), dust the top with the cinnamon and the tablespoon of confectioner’s sugar. I use a small mesh strainer to get a nice even dusting.

Then press the blanched almonds into the cake around the outside edge or, if you’d like, evenly spaced all over the top (I didn’t want to hide the design). Since it’s nearing Halloween, I used a spiderweb stencil to dress it up a bit.

With only a little prep time, this pudding-like pumpkin cake is super easy to make and really nice when you want something that's seasonal and not too sweet. Visit suppertimeblues.com to learn more.

Now, here’s the key: cover the dish and put it in the refrigerator. While I think it’s good warm too, it’s usually served chilled.

With only a little prep time, this pudding-like pumpkin cake is super easy to make and really nice when you want something that's seasonal and not too sweet. Visit suppertimeblues.com to learn more.

Arnadi de Carabassa

Course: Dessert
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings: 8 servings

With only a little prep time, this pudding-like pumpkin cake is super easy to make and really nice when you want something that's seasonal and not too sweet. Visit suppertimeblues.com to learn more.

Print

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg
  • peel of half a lemon, finely chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon, divided
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup finely ground almonds
  • 16 ounce can mashed pure pumpkin, drained
  • 20 blanched almonds
  • 1 tablespoon confectioner's / icing sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Zest half of the lemon and finely chop.
  3. Grind 1/2 cup of almonds in a food processor until it reaches a fine crumb.
  4. Blanch 20 almonds and remove peels.
  5. Beat the egg in a bowl. Add the cloves, nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon, the chopped lemon peel, and the sugar. Mix well.
  6. Add the ground almonds. Mix well.
  7. Add the pumpkin purée. Mix well.
  8. Transfer to a well-greased shallow pie or tart baking dish.
  9. Bake for 1 hour.
  10. Let cool.
  11. Dust with the remaining cinnamon and the confectioner's sugar.
  12. Gently press the almonds into the cake around the outside edge.
  13. Serve cold.

Recipe Notes

From Sweet Delights from a Thousand and One Nights
by Habeeb Salloum, Muna Salloum, and Leila Salloum Elias

Be well, friends, and thank you for stopping by. Cook for each other and until next time, peace.
Bill (signature)

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3 thoughts on “Arnadi de Carabassa

  1. Bill, this looks so good. I’m like you and much prefer the less sweet European desserts. We have nut allergies here in the house, so almonds are on the no-go list. Do you think the recipe could work substituting coconut flour for the almond meal and pumpkin seeds for the whole almonds?

    • Hi, Ron. I haven’t tried it, but you should be able to substitute coconut flour but it wouldn’t be one-to-one. It’s more absorbent and you’d run the risk of drying the dish out. You might need a bit of liquid to balance it. I might try using dried coconut for the whole almonds just to keep the flavors in line?

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