M. Andrew Gordon

Squash Cake with Squash Butter-Cream Frosting

In Desserts on November 17, 2009 at 10:26 pm

I was treading down a slippery path toward squash overkill with this one, but I had visions of a moist cake, almost like a carrot cake but with squash, topped with a bright and not-too sweet buttercream frosting which would also be laced with squash.  Pilfering a recipe from The Cape Cod Cookbook for a pumpkin cake and substituting squash for the pumpkin, I had my cake.  It yields an airy, moist cake that was just sweet enough and nicely spiced with cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.  Adding chopped pecans yielded just enough texture and the flavor played well against everything else.  But just to make sure it is on the record: I did not create this recipe; I merely substituted squash for pumpkin.


  • ½ cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ¼ cups sifted flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup pureed squash
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Cream butter in a large mixing bowl.  Gradually add the sugar, beating until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs.
  2. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.  In another bowl, combine the milk and squash.  Stir in the baking soda.
  3. Add the flour and pumpkin mixtures to the butter-sugar mixture, beating well after each addition.  Fold in the pecans.
  4. Turn batter into a greased 9x9x2-inch pan lined with parchment paper.  Bake for 50 minutes or until set.  Cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then turn onto rack and remove parchment paper.

I really liked this frosting because it was not very sweet, although I may admittedly be in a minority camp who does not like frosting to be very sweet.  It is pretty easy to adapt and if you like it a little more sweet, than add more sugar.  However you like it, the frosting will be a bright orange-yellow color.

Squash Buttercream Frosting

(makes enough to coat top of cake – if you wanted to make layer cake, double recipe)

  • 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ stick butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ cup pureed squash
  1. Using a mixer, beat cream cheese and butter in bowl until blended and smooth.  Add the powdered sugar and beat until combined.  Add the squash and continue to beat until smooth, about 5 minutes.

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