Korean Sweet Pumpkin Pound Cake (Kabocha Pound Cake)

It’s fall! and everyone is cooking up orange pumpkins in their kitchen but I am in my corner cooking kabocha squashes and Korean sweet potatoes. I love these two ingredients all year round but they are the star in the cold months. I’ve been experimenting here and there with these two and today’s star is kabocha squash. It has a deep-green skin and an intense yellow-orange center. They are usually smaller than the American pumpkin being around 2-3 pounds and a bit shorter and fatter in shape. When steamed or roasted the inside will become moist and fluffy with a sweet flavor. Kabochas, also known as danhobak in Korean translates directly to kabocha , is found abundantly in both sweet and savory dishes. Sometimes I like to just steam them in the microwave and enjoy them skin on as a snack. According to wikipedia, the most reliable source on the internet ;), this little squash is also packed with iron, vitamin C, potassium and much more. So why not give it a try?

kabocha pound cake
I had a nice round and pretty kabocha sitting on our table for a week so I decided to make something sweet for the sweet cold refreshing breeze of autumn. I scoured through recipes and found a beautiful Kabocha pound cake with soft kabocha mixed into the batter and chunks of kabocha for a bit of texture and extra bump of flavor. The pound cake is then prettily decorated with kabocha slices and a simple syrup topping. The cake itself is not very sweet so the sticky sweet syrup that glistens adds just the perfect extra touch of sweetness.
kabocha pound cake
*With the measurements, I’ve made it with 2/3rds the recipe and the full recipe – picture is with 2/3rds the recipe in a 8×4 inch loaf pan but with a 9×5 inch loaf pan, the full recipe will fill out the pan more with a higher loaf. 

Pound Cake Ingredients 

  • 6-7 Tbsp (100 g) mashed kabocha
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) cubed kabocha
  • 7 Tbsp (100 g) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/16 tsp (pinch) salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 2/3 cup (200 g) cake flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 6 2/3 Tbsp (100 g) heavy or whipping cream

Topping 

  • 2 1/4 Tbsp (27 g) sugar
  • 3 1/3 Tbsp (40 g) water
  • 9-12 slices kabocha

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 340 degrees F.

2. Slice the skin off the kabocha. I find it easiest to cut the kabocha in half and then into long pieces (like cutting a melon) and slicing the skin off at this point. For the completely mashed kabocha, place the kabocha pieces in a microwave safe bowl, wrap the top in saran wrap and place in the microwave for about 3 minutes. Check the kabocha by gently pressing on it through the saran and if not soft yet, cook more in about 30-45 second intervals until completely soft.  Once soft, mash it up and set aside!
kabocha pound cake
3. For the cubed kabocha, cut the squash pieces into cubes and place in a microwave safe bowl, wrap with saran wrap and microwave for about 1 and 1/2 minutes. The kabocha cubes should only be about half way cooked as these should keep its form while baking.
kabocha pound cake
4. In a medium sized bowl, whip the room temperature butter until creamy. Add in the sugar and salt. Using a hand mixer, keep beating for another 3 minutes.
5. With the hand mixer on low, add in the eggs slowly – about 7-8 times and then add in the vanilla extract. Beat until combined. (As most baking,  make sure the eggs are at room temperature. )
kabocha pound cake
6. In a separate bowl, sift the flour and baking powder. With the hand mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients into the egg mixture. Beat until just incorporated. Do not over mix.
kabocha pound cake
7. Slowly add in the heavy cream and mix until incorporated. Add in the mashed kabocha and mix well with a spatula. Finally, add in the cubed kabocha and mix until the cubes are evenly incorporated.
kabocha pound cake
8. Prepare the loaf pan by oiling, buttering or lining the inside with parchment paper. Pour in the mixture! Pop in the cake into the oven for about 40-50 minutes.
kabocha pound cake
9. Once the cake is baked through and cooling, prepare the topping. Prepare thin slices of kabocha (skin on – it is edible). Add in the water and sugar into a sauce pot and simmer over medium-low heat. Once the sugar has dissolved, add in the kabocha slices and continue to simmer over medium heat. The sugar and water mixture will begin to turn into a syrup; continue to heat and mix the kabocha inside the pot to ensure the syrup is glazing both sides of the kabocha. After about 3-5 minutes, once there’s only a slight amount of syrup in the pot, turn the heat off.
kabocha pound cake
10. Place the slices of kabocha on top of the pound cake. Brush the extra syrup on to the pound cake so it glistens and adds an extra bit of sweetness to the cake.

kabocha pound cake

kabocha pound cake

pound-cake-slice-3-pinterest

Print Recipe
Korean Sweet Pumpkin Pound Cake
Servings
Ingredients
Pound Cake
Topping
Servings
Ingredients
Pound Cake
Topping
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Slice the skin off the kabocha. I find it easiest to cut the kabocha in half and then into long pieces (like cutting a melon) and slicing the skin off at this point. For the completely mashed kabocha, place the kabocha pieces in a microwave safe bowl, wrap the top in saran wrap and place in the microwave for about 3 minutes. Check the kabocha by gently pressing on it through the saran and if not soft yet, cook more in about 30-45 second intervals until completely soft. Once soft, mash it up and set aside!
  3. For the cubed kabocha, cut the kabocha pieces into cubes and place in a microwave safe bowl, wrap with saran wrap and microwave for about 1 and 1/2 minutes. The kabocha cubes should only be about half way cooked as these should keep its form while baking.
  4. In a medium sized bowl, whip the room temperature butter until creamy. Add in the sugar and salt. Using a hand mixer, keep beating for another 3 minutes.
  5. With the hand mixer on low, add in the eggs slowly - about 7-8 times and then add in the vanilla extract. Beat until combined. (As most baking, make sure the eggs are at room temperature. )
  6. In a separate bowl, sift the flour and baking powder. With the hand mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients into the egg mixture. Beat until just incorporated. Do not over mix.
  7. Slowly add in the heavy cream and mix until incorporated. Add in the mashed kabocha and mix well with a spatula. Finally, add in the cubed kabocha and mix until the cubes are evenly incorporated.
  8. Prepare the loaf pan by oiling, buttering or lining the inside with parchment paper. Pour in the mixture! Pop in the cake into the oven for about 55-65 minutes. Tip: If the top starts to brown too much, place an aluminum foil on top to stop the browning but continue the cooking of the bread.
  9. Once the cake is baked through and cooling, prepare the topping. Prepare thin slices of kabocha (skin on - it is edible). Add in the water and sugar into a sauce pot and simmer over medium-low heat. Once the sugar has dissolved, add in the kabocha slices and continue to simmer over medium heat. The sugar and water mixture will begin to turn into a syrup; continue to heat and mix the kabochas inside the pot to ensure the syrup is glazing both sides of the kabocha. After about 3-5 minutes, once there's only a slight amount of syrup in the pot, turn the heat off.
  10. Place the slices of kabocha on top of the pound cake. Brush the extra syrup on to the pound cake so it glistens and adds an extra bit of sweetness to the cake.
Recipe Notes

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