Posts Tagged cake recipe

Butternut Squash Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Hi everyone! I’m re-posting this recipe for two reasons:

1. This is one of two recipes I am choosing to feature on the “Ultimate Oregon Thanksgiving” blogger extravaganza on KPAM’s “Simple Kitchen with Missy Maki” on Sunday morning. Since I am talking about this wonderful recipe on the radio (!), I thought it would be nice to have a fresh post.

2. This recipe is so good that it needed to be posted again. If you’d like to make something a little different than the classic pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving this year, I highly suggest this recipe. It’s lovely.

So, then, here is the original text and recipe. Happy (almost) Thanksgiving!


Happy Swap-iversary!

I can’t believe it has been a whole year since our first recipe swap.

One year ago, Christianna from Burwell General Store asked me if I’d be interested in “swapping recipes”. She’d picked up an old cookbook – “All Day Singin and Dinner on the Ground” – at a swap meet and wanted to know if I’d be interested in re-creating some of the old recipes. I’m a sucker for all things vintage and kitschy, so naturally I loved the idea.

For the very first swap, it was just the two of us. Christianna suggested that we start with a recipe for Autumn Persimmon Pudding. Christianna made a Persimmon Creme Brulee with Blackberries, while I went with a Persimmon Panna Cotta with Spiced Hazelnuts.

Fast forward one year: the recipe swap group has grown to include 30+ foodies, writers, cooks and bloggers from all over the world. Every month we re-invent a new recipe from the cook book, and my fellow swappers never cease to amaze me with their creativity. There are some really amazing people in this group, ranging from the tried and true members (Boulder Locavore, Chef Dennis, Sabrina at the Tomato Tart) to some new(er) members (Barb from Creative Culinary, The Dusty Baker, Pola from Italian Midwest, and SO many more!)…

So then, to celebrate a whole year of swapping recipes Christianna thought it would be fitting if we all made cake. She selected a simple (and lovely) recipe from the vintage cookbook called Maple Syrup Cake.

The moment I saw the recipe for Maple Syrup Cake, I knew what I was going to make. I’m not kidding. I saw the recipe and I thought, “I want to make a butternut squash cake with maple frosting.” I’ve never made – let alone eaten – a butternut squash cake. I’m not entirely sure what possessed me to do such a thing, but let’s blame it on the changing of the seasons. It got cold outside and now I want to eat squash all the time, even in cake. It happens.

As I’ve said previously, I’m not much of a baker. I don’t even own proper cake pans. But my sister Danielle — the baker in the family — happens to own cake pans and so I invited myself over for a day of sisterly cake-baking. It was a great excuse to excuse to spend an afternoon with my sister and my crazy little niece, Ramona. We listened to the Michael Buble Christmas Album (her choice, not mine!) and baked a squash cake. It felt like everything November should be: spending time with family, baking, and listening to cheesy holiday music.

Thanks to my sister and her mad cake skills, the cake turned out remarkably well. It was moist, without being overly dense. It was spicy, sweet, and honestly tasted like carrot cake (without the carrots or the nuts). The frosting was sweet, but not cloying. I may have eaten a piece (or two) for breakfast one day.

So, then, here’s to a year of swapping recipes with an amazing group of foodies from around the world! I’m grateful to be part of such a great group of people, and look forward to the next year of swapping. Please do stop by Burwell General Store’s Recipe Swap page to learn more about recipe swap (and to see what everyone else created for this month’s swap!).

Adapted from Sand Creek Farm

Cake ingredients:
1/2 cup salted butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup dark brown (or muscovado) sugar
2 eggs
1 cup cooked, pureed butternut squash (you can roast, boil, or steam the squash)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
3 cups cake flour*
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup whole milk

*If you don’t have cake flour, see Joy the Baker’s instructions on how to make your own, using all purpose flour and corn starch!

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting:
3 (8 oz) packages cream cheese**, room temperature
1/2 cup salted butter, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar
1.5 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup maple syrup

**The original recipe calls for 3 packages of cream cheese, but I had a LOT of frosting left over. I think you could get by with 2 packages. Depends on how much frosting you like on your cake!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9″ round cake pans and set aside. (You may want to line with parchment as I found the cakes stuck a bit to the pans.)

Using a stand mixer (or mixing bowl & spoon), cream together butter, white sugar and brown sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each is added. Mix in squash, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.

In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add in half of the flour mixture to the squash mixture, and stir. Add half of the milk. Add the rest of the flour mixture and stir, and then add the rest of the milk. Mix until combined.

Pour batter into the prepared 9″ round cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes (or until a cake tester comes out clean). Let cool for 15 minutes before removing from pans. After the cakes have been removed from the pan, allow to cool on a wire rack.

While the cakes cool, make the frosting. In a large bowl, cream together cream cheese and butter. Mix in vanilla extract, maple syrup, cinnamon and powdered sugar until combined.

Once the cake layers are cool, place one layer on a cake stand (or serving plate) and spread a layer of frosting over the top. Place the second layer directly on top. Spread a thin ‘crumb coat’ of frosting over the entire outer surface of the two layers. Once the crumb coat has been applied, frost more generously with whatever frosting design you desire. (Note: I added a ring of hazelnuts to the top of the cake as I thought it looked pretty and figured it would be delicious. It was.)

Recipe Swap: Chocolate Spice ‘Depression’ Cake

So, I’ve been involved in this recipe swap for awhile now. For those of you who may not know, Christianna at Burwell General Store created this swap a few months back, in order to encourage creativity in the kitchen. Back then, it was just the two of us, but it quickly grew into a large group of foodies from all over the world.

I love the swap for so many reasons: but mostly, I love seeing how one recipe blossoms into so many tasty things (from so many talented people!). Every month, CM emails us a recipe from a darling old cookbook/hymnal – All Day Singin and Dinner on the Ground – and we re-interpret the recipe however we see fit.

For this swap, CM asked us to create our own versions of “Wacky Cake” (Original recipe pictured below).

When I first saw this recipe, I panicked. First off, I’m not much of a baker. Secondly, this cake is made with VINEGAR. Vinegar?! I was stumped. I’d never heard of using vinegar in a cake! I just didn’t see how it could possibly be good. I had no idea what to do.

So, I did the only thing I could do: googled the heck out of “cake made with vinegar”. Thanks to Google, I found out a lot of interesting things about cakes made with vinegar. Namely, I found out that Wacky Cake is an old wartime recipe (it can also be called Depression Cake – a name which I personally prefer). It was originally created out of necessity, when butter, eggs, sugar and other common ingredients were rationed and hard to get. (If you want to know a little bit more about the history of this ‘wacky’ cake, listen to this great NPR piece about one family’s history with this particular cake.)

All that to say, after a little bit of research I was completely inspired by this cake. I loved the idea of a cake being borne out of hardship. It is a true testament to perseverance and ingenuity. When you don’t have eggs or butter – by golly, use vinegar.

In order to keep with the spirit of the original recipe, I decided to limit myself to ingredients that I had on hand. To be honest, I happened to have some pretty stellar ingredients lying around: one blood orange, local raw wildflower honey, and Scharffen Berger cocoa powder. But, the rest of the ingredients were quite simple.

I must say, I was totally surprised at how great this cake turned out. The vinegar worked wonders! The cake was amazingly light and fluffy, yet moist with just the right amount of density. The dark chocolate cocoa powder and fresh ginger gave the cake a flavor somewhat akin to a traditional gingerbread. It wasn’t terribly sweet (which I love) and it paired so nicely with the honey orange compote. Did I mention that it’s vegan?!

Please do check out all the other amazing creations from my fellow recipe swappers. You can find them all on CM’s Recipe swap page!

Chocolate Spice ‘Depression Cake’ with Honey Blood Orange Compote
(Cake recipe adapted from The Perfect Pantry)

1.5 cups white flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown or muscovado sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup cold water

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugars, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Using a spoon, create an indent (or ‘hole’) in the dry ingredients. Pour remaining ingredients (in the following order) into the indent: vinegar, oil, water. Mix well.

Pour mixture into a greased 8×8 cake pan. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out clean.

For the compote:
1 blood orange
1 Tablespoon good quality honey
Dash of nutmeg

Peel and cut blood orange into segments or supremes. Gently mix orange segments with honey and nutmeg. Serve with chocolate spice cake. Enjoy!