Pumpkin cakes or pumpkin toñas is one of the oldest sweets in the entire province of Alicante, and in particular, a very typical sweet from the Vega Baja region. Outside our borders, this sweet bun is quite unknown, so today I am going to give you all the tips and tricks so that you can get some finger-licking cakes.

As in all traditional recipes, in each town or house, the same recipe may vary in certain ingredients, etc., but always maintaining the very essence of the recipe. Likewise, we can find this same sweet with or without pine nuts; with or without anise; dipped in honey; sprinkled with sugar, etc., who cares... if when you take a bite, it transports you to your childhood: that's the recipe!

The essence of this sweet is in its juicy, tender and orange crumb –because of the pumpkin– and the nuance provided by the anise is something from another world. The final touch to die of pleasure is its golden rind subtly impregnated with honey.

KitchenAid , De Buyer Perforated Silicone Mat and T&G wooden shovel


  • 600 g of strong flour (13% protein)
  • 270g pumpkin puree
  • 3 eggs L
  • 2 tablespoons of anise grain
  • 14g instant dry baker's yeast
  • 200 g of white sugar
  • 125 ml mild olive oil
  • 1 beaten egg to paint the cakes
  • sugar for sprinkling
  • Honey diluted with 1 tablespoon of water

De Buyer Perforated Silicone Mat and T&G Wooden Shovel


Previous indications:

For this recipe it is important to use a strong flour with 13% protein. The pumpkin can be steamed (in my case), roasted, cooked, it doesn't matter, yes, it must be cold and drained. My advice is to make it in advance and let it drain overnight, so in the morning it will be perfect.

using KitchenAid the kneading time is about 15 minutes, if you are going to use, for example, a hand mixer fitted with dough hooks, the time will be somewhat longer. If you don't have any machine, it doesn't matter, you can also do it by hand, you just need more time and patience.

After kneading there should be a soft and elastic dough. We must let it rest 5 minutes before handling it. After this time the dough will be somewhat sticky but perfectly manageable. We can grease our hands with a drop of oil to make it easier, but we will never add more flour than indicated. After the first rise (3 h) we will see how the dough is perfect, smooth and elastic. Here it will be time to make the 8 pieces of about 160 g ≈ each. In this step it can also be good to grease your hands a little to facilitate the work of rounding and shaping.

To bake the cakes, my advice is to do it 4 by 4, never more than that amount because as they grow they can get to "kiss" and they would no longer be so round. For this size of cakes, the baking time will be about 15 minutes at 170 ºC. As soon as we take the cakes out of the oven, we should leave them on their tray, brush them with the honey mixture and let them cool completely before removing from the tray. We will never remove them from the hot tray since they are very delicate until they cool down.


  1. In a saucepan, steam the pumpkin. Let cool in a colander. Crush well and reserve.
  2. In the KitchenAid bowl we will put the olive oil, sugar, anise, eggs, baker's dry yeast and the pumpkin puree. We beat all the ingredients with the shovel accessory until all the ingredients are integrated.
  3. Add the sifted flour all at once and begin to knead with the KitchenAid dough hook at low speed for 15 minutes. The dough should be smooth and elastic. To check that the dough is ready, we will let it rest for 5 minutes and check that the dough is a little sticky but manageable.
  4. Do not get carried away and add more flour, we do not want a lump, it is best to grease your hands with a drop of oil.
  5. Grease a large bowl and leave the dough covered with film until it doubles its volume. This process, now that it is hot, can take about 3 hours ( in winter from 3 to 6 hours ). When doubled in volume, degass, divide the dough into 8 cakes of about 160 g each. We ball, shape and place them on trays provided with a perforated silicone mat or, failing that, with parchment paper. –do not put more than 4 cakes per tray–
  6. Cover the trays with greased plastic film and let them double their volume. Since it's still hot, this process will take 1 hour and a half. In winter, this last levado can take a long time; my advice is to leave the pieces formed and covered with film in the oven (turned off) overnight. In the morning they will be ready to bake.
  7. Preheat the oven to 200 ºC heat up and down (without fan) with the rack in the central position.
  8. We heat some honey in the microwave, once it is liquid we add a teaspoon of water, stir and reserve.
  9. Brush the cakes with beaten egg very delicately and immediately put them in the oven, lower the temperature to 170ºC and bake for 15 minutes. They should be golden brown but not burnt. Remove from the oven and let the tray rest on a rack. At this time, still hot, brush with the mixture of honey + water. Finally, we can sprinkle some sugar on top.

Conservation: This sweet lasts very well for about 2 or 3 days wrapped in plastic film. My advice to keep them tender for longer is to wrap them one by one in plastic film, then put them, for example, 4 by 4 in zip bags and keep them in the freezer. In this way, you will always have cakes like the first day. You just have to take it out in advance and let it defrost at room temperature.

De Buyer perforated silicone mat and T&G wooden shovel

Recipe author: Mercedes from Merceditas Bakery


Isabel said:

Las he hecho un par de veces y están buenísimas. Lo que suelo hacer es congelarlas para que se conserven e ir sacándolas un poco antes de comerlas.

Miguel Ángel Otero Lastres said:

Tienen una imagen maravillosa y apetecible.

MARTA said:

Muchísimas gracias por la receta!!, debe de estar de escándalo, este finde me pongo con ella, además ya va siendo el tiempo de las calabazas.

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