This is a great fall dessert that I adapted from a recipe I first saw in Canadian Living magazine. I was intrigued that the recipe called for roasted squash and not canned pumpkin as many other fall squash desserts do. I cannot find canned pumpkin here in Umbria although I can find many of the same fresh fall squash varieties I am familiar with back in North America.
You can use butternut, acorn, or Hubbard squash in this cake, although you certainly could use canned pumpkin as well if you preferred. I used butternut squash in my version and liked the fact you could taste the squash but it wasn’t at all overpowering. The cake by itself is not too sweet, and without frosting it could simply be served as a tasty snack cake.
I frosted my cake with a cream cheese frosting that I sweetened with honey and flavored with the same spices used the cake. I really liked this cake as roasting the squash really brought out it’s natural sweetness which worked really well with the spices, and the cream cheese frosting just finished it off perfectly. This cake would also would be great made into cupcakes for fall entertaining.
- 1 Squash (About 1 1/2 to 2 Pounds)
- 1 Cup Toasted Walnuts, Coarsely Chopped
- 3 Eggs
- 1 3/4 Cup Sugar
- 1 Cup Unsalted Butter, Softened
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 2 1/2 Cups All-purpose Flour
- 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg, Ginger & Salt
- 1 (8 Ounce) Package Cream Cheese, Softened
- 1/3 Cup Softened Unsalted Butter
- 2 Tablespoons Honey (I Used Chestnut Honey)
- 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- Dash Nutmeg & Cloves
- To prepare the squash, cut in half and remove seeds, then roast cut side down on a baking sheet in a preheated 400 degree F. oven until fork tender, about 45 minutes.
- Allow to cool to room temperature, scoop out the flesh with a spoon and puree until smooth in the food processor.
- Place the flesh in a sieve over a bowl and all the excess liquid to drain in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.
- Measure out 2 cups for the cake.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 13 X 9 inch baking pan.
- In a large bowl, beat the sugar and butter until light. add the eggs, one at a time, beating between each, then add the vanilla and mix.
- Stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and spices, then stir flour mixture into egg mixture alternately with the squash in three parts.
- Fold in the chopped walnuts, and pour into prepared pan and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.
- Cool to room temperature.
- To make the icing beat together the cream cheese, butter, honey and spices until smooth.
- Use a knife to spread evenly on top of cake and serve.