Move over zucchini and pumpkin, squash takes the cake! Finely grated butternut squash gives way to moist and tender Squash Spice Cake. Yes, it is widely known that zucchini makes for moist muffins, cakes and loaves, but wait right there!! What about squash, doesn’t it deserve the same recognition? It does and as far as I’m concerned it’s very much undervalued in the cake and muffin world. I think because we are all mildly obsessed with using zucchini and pumpkin in our baking right now we’re overlooking an equal rival. So today I bring the squash front and center in this lovely Squash Spice Cake.
This cake is every bit as moist as its zucchini counterpart but with a subtle sweetness that zucchini lacks. What is important in this recipe is to use a fine grater, like the one you would use to grate fresh parmesan cheese. It needs to be quite fine in order to cook down and soften in the time it takes for the cake to bake. A light spice and toasted hazelnuts creates interest and crunch, plus it makes the house smell wonderful.
What I love about this recipe is the gorgeous burnished copper colour that this cake takes on. It’s moist, tender and ready to go head to head with any zucchini cake around. Enjoy!
Recipe source: Inspired by Epicurious Ginger Squash Cake with White Chocolate Frosting
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp groung allspice
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup brown sugar lightly packed
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups finely grated butternut squash see note
- 1 1/4 cups toasted hazelnuts coarsely chopped, divided
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 4 ounces unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar lightly packed
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2-2 1/2 cups icing sugar
- Preheat oven to 350℉. Grease a 9"x13" pan.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt, set aside.
- Cream together butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in one egg at a time, incorporating after each. Whisk in sour cream, orange juice and vanilla.
- Whisk in dry ingredients and combine until just incorporated.
- Stir in squash and 1 cup of the hazelnuts.
- Spread evenly into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for approximately 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
- Beat together butter, cream cheese and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and 2 cups of icing sugar, beat until smooth. Spread evenly onto cooled cake and top with remaining 1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts. Cut into 24 pieces.
Peel butternut squash then split in half lengthwise. Cut into large chunks and grate using a fine grater. It is essential to use the fine grates (like you would use to grate parmesan cheese). The finely grated squash will cook in the time the cake takes to bake.
The brown sugar in the icing will dissolve as it gets beaten with the cream cheese and butter.