Monday, February 18, 2013

Buttermilk-Butternut Cake with Spiced Vanilla Icing

Our butternut squash has been piling up a bit since we got it a few weeks in a row from our CSA box. Luckily, it lasts a long time and is good in lots of dishes (we just managed to use the last one yesterday in this fantastic stuffed squash recipe)!  This cake is a great way to enjoy butternut squash if you've had your fill of it in savory dishes.  The cake has lovely orange flecks from the squash, but it's much lighter in flavor than your average carrot or zucchini cake.  The dominant flavors are nutmeg and vanilla, for a delicately-flavored treat.  This cake was good both with and without the frosting, and was equally good for breakfast, snack, or dessert.

Buttermilk-Butternut Cake with Spiced Vanilla Icing (adapted from Fine Cooking)
Serves 10-12

For the cake:
Butter and flour for the pan
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1 T cider vinegar
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup buttermilk
2-1/4 cups peeled and grated butternut squash

For the icing:
2-1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
3 T buttermilk (more if needed)
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (more to taste)

1. Butter and flour a 10-cup Bundt pan.  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Set aside.
3. Beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the oil until combined.  Beat in the eggs one at a time.  Beat in the vinegar and vanilla.
4. Beat in the flour mixture and the buttermilk in alternating additions (flour-buttermilk-flour-buttermilk), beating each time until just combined.  Fold in the squash with a rubber spatula.
5. Scrape the batter into the prepared Bundt pan, and smooth the top.  Bake about one hour, until a tester comes out clean.
6. Cool 30 minutes, and then turn out onto a rack.  Let cool completely.
7. Prepare the icing.  Stir all the icing ingredients together until smooth.  Drizzle over the cooled cake.  Let the icing set for about 45 minutes before slicing the cake.


  1. That spiced vanilla icing is calling my name. It sounds (and looks!) absolutely incredible! So thick and perfect to top off a butternut cake. I love baking with butternut squash!

  2. That icing looks amazing, and the cake sounds delicious!

  3. i love this! what a great snacking cake (because i'm totally in for snacking on cake). I'm definitely trying this.

  4. I actually never thought to put butternut in a cake - it looks amazeballs Sara!

  5. That does sound so good! I bet the butternut squash makes it really moist too!

  6. I love how you incorporate one ingredient in so many ways, Sara. I've never heard of butternut squash in cake but it makes sense now that I think about it! This looks great! : )