As traditions go, this cake is a slice of history. I can’t imagine that life during the second world war or after could have been easy for my family. My grandmother was separated from her husband and sent to Madeira during the war, where she had to look after her father, four children and a host of other cousins and aunties who were all sent together to see the war through there.
Life back in Gibraltar after the war, could not have been easy either, missing family members, and a new life to build must have proved a challenge to many, however, I know that a family gathering and good food was how my family got through the bad times, and celebrated the good ones. I can clearly see my grandmother, standing by her coal oven and baking away, making sure that no matter what life threw at her loved ones, a warm smile and a hearty meal was always waiting for them when they got home.
When I say that this cake is a slice of history, I mean that this recipe titled “Pumpkin cake from Madeira” in my grandma’s recipe book, was brought over with her after the war ended, and was probably something she tried during her years away from her home.
So why not read on and learn how to bake a slice of my family history. You can use any pumpkin or squash as long as its sweet, but I especially like the nutty taste butternut squash gives this cake.