Roasted and pureed butternut squash is very similar to pumpkin, making it great for baking! We just made a pie, this cake, and right now it feels like the possibilities are endless! Another great way to go local this season is with Good Life Farm’s fresh ginger! It’s great in baking and anything sweet or savory! Order from GLF and pick up at one of our pick-up sites! The ginger will store well in the freezer, just use a micro-planer to grate. This cake is dense, but moist from the butternut and has just the right amount of sweet and spice. Start with prepping the butternut squash. You can do this the day before, or just roast and puree a large squash and keep it in the freezer for using later. Just make sure the pureé is not watery when you thaw, strain it if necessary.
This cake is a standard cake recipe, mix the dry ingredients, cream the sugar, butter, eggs, and squash then gently fold together. The batter will be thick but fluffy.
While the cake is baking, you can get the frosting together! If you love cream cheese icing as much as I do this is an awesome update on a classic. The brown sugar gives it a carmelly flavor. If you want to skip the frosting, just bake this in a smaller square pan and serve with a dusting of powdered sugar. I love a fluffy layer of frosting on top of cake, but feel free to frost the sides as well if that’s your thing.
Some tips on the frosting – be sure to let the cream cheese and butter get completely to room temperature. Use a mixer to whip them together. The addition of cornstarch to frosting might sound strange, but it helps keep the frosting together and you can’t taste it at all. The frosting is a little softer than a typical cream cheese icing, so keep any leftovers in the refrigerator.
Butternut Squash Cake
1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup mashed roasted butternut squash (See instructions)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Roast the butternut squash. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Slice the squash lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and place flesh side down on a baking sheet. Prick the squash all over with a fork. Bake for about 40 minutes until completely soft. When cool enough to handle, scoop squash from the skin and mash or pureé in a food processor or with an immersion blender. Let cool.
Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9″ cake pan or 8×8″ baking dish
Cream the butter and brown sugar in an electric mixer. Add the eggs one at time and beat for 30 seconds. Beat in the squash and vanilla.
Whisk together the dry ingredients, then fold in the squash mixture. Spread into a greased pan. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a rack and let cool completely. Top with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Icing or a dusting of powdered sugar.
Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Icingadapted from Smitten Kitchen
3/4 cups light brown sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup powdered sugar
8-ounce packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whisk together the brown sugar, cornstarch and powdered sugar. In a stand mixer or with an electric mixer beat the cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add the sugar-cornstarch mixture and vanilla, beat until frosting is smooth and light. Spread over cooled cake.