Japanese Kabocha Squash Pumpkin Cake Recipe

Today, I would like to share my very best, super-moist and yummy Pumpkin Cake recipe using Japanese Kabocha squash.


If you’re thinking about making a sweet pumpkin dish during the autumn season, this is definitely the recipe to choose!  It’s moist and truly delicious, making it perfect for giving family and friends something completely new at your Bonfire Night party or even for your Thanksgiving party.


In Japan, ‘pumpkin’ refers to the green Kabocha squash, so when I moved to the UK, I was surprised to find that a ‘pumpkin’ was an orange vegetable! And that it wasn’t part of traditional English cooking at all!

Kabocha squash is much sweeter and has a more ‘meaty’ texture than pumpkin flesh, in the same way as a ‘floury’ potato. You can use it exactly the same way as the European orange pumpkin.

220 g Kabocha squash – steamed and made into a smooth paste and left to cool.  (Add a small quantity of milk or soy milk if necessary.)
150 g self-raising flour
150 g margarine – softened at room temperature
100 g castor sugar (depending on how sweet you would like it to be)
1 tbsp. castor sugar for the meringue
3 large eggs at room temperature
1/2 tsp. bicarbonate of soda
A small pinch of salt

One 20 cm cake tin

1.    Preheat the oven to 170 degrees centigrade.
2.    Separate the egg whites from the yolks.
3.    Measure out all ingredients.
4.    Line the cake tin with baking sheet.

1.     In a mixing bowl, blend the margarine and castor sugar until white and fluffy – in 2-3 batches.
2.    Adding just one egg yolk at a time, mix the yolks evenly into the batter.
3.    Add the Kabocha paste and blend it into the batter.
4.    Add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix into a well-blended batter.

1.    Put all the egg whites and 1 tbsp. castor sugar in a separate dry, clean and non-greasy bowl.
2.    Make the meringue using an electric mixer until it is firm and will stay in upright peaks.


Mixing everything
1.    Take approx. 1/4 portion of the meringue and mix it into the batter thoroughly.  (This will make the main batter slightly thinner.)


2.    In 2-3 stages, fold the rest of the meringue into the batter gently.
3.    Pour the mixture into the cake tin carefully. Then shake the cake tin gently to make the surface as flat as possible.
N.B. Take care not to agitate the mixture too much, to avoid releasing the air bubbles in the batter and getting a flat cake.
4.    Bake for 45 – 50 mins.
5.    Then remove the cake from the oven and check it is fully cooked by piercing it with a wooden skewer.  If the cake is properly cooked, you’ll see some small crumbs on the skewer when extracted.
6.    Cool on a cake-rack.

This Yummy Pumpkin cake is absolutely delicious when served hot or cold!


Responses to “Japanese Kabocha Squash Pumpkin Cake Recipe”

  1. Jose

    I just made this cake, and it is absolutely delicious! Thank you for posting the recipe. This is the only way I can get my son to eat pumpkin 😀

    • Kyoko

      Hi Jose!
      How fabulous! I am so happy to read your comment. Great that your son can eat pumpkin now!

  2. claudia ng

    May I know why do you use margarine and not butter?

    • Kyoko

      You can use butter too! I just always use margarine at home and didn’t have butter at the time.

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