Butternut Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
I made this cake the other week when my friend Davis came to visit from Vancouver. I have a tendency to try new recipes on unsuspecting guests – all the more pressure for it to turn out right the first time. So I made a few adjustments to the below recipe – I bake my cakes right in my favourite pottery dish so I didn’t line it with anything. When I made the frosting, I used an organic light cream cheese, and my frosting was super runny. So I threw in a bunch of ground flax seed to hopefully thicken it up. Kind of worked, kind of didn’t. Next time I think I would not use light cream cheese, and maybe put it in the fridge for a bit after blending to thicken it up before putting on the cake. I am also going to try topping it with some maple-syrup walnuts. But in general it was pretty darn tasty, and really did resemble cake (compared to other cake-like desserts I make!). Would also be great in cupcake form.
For the Butternut Cake
1 3/4 cup whole grain spelt, kamut, rice, or your favourite combination
3/4 cup maple syrup or honey
2 tablespoons Greek-style yogurt
2/3 cup grapeseed oil (or butter or coconut oil)
1 cup cooked mashed butternut squash or canned unsweetened pumpkin puree
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons spices (try a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cardamom, or a pumpkin or apple pie blend)
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Place oil and maple syrup in a bowl and beat well for a minute or 2.
2. Add the eggs gradually and beat well. Then add the yogurt and beat a bit more.
3. Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and spices over the mixing bowl, then add butternut puree. Beat all ingredients until just mixed.
4. Line a greased round cake tin with baking paper. Pour the mixture into the tin, then bake about 40-45 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.
5. Serve warm or allow to cool completely and try it with this amazing cream cheese frosting:
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
Place 8 ounces light cream cheese, 1/4 cup maple syrup, and 1 teaspoon molasses in a food processor and process until smooth.
Cake serves 8 to 10.
Adapted from Sabrina Model-Carlberg, www.care2.com
Nutritional Value of Select Ingredients
Winter Squash – Squash is a powerhouse of beta-carotene (which gets converted to vitamin A in the body). It’s great for preserving eyesight, minimizing cataracts, warding off infections, cancer, stoke, and heart disease. It can minimize the risk of lung cancer in those who smoke or are exposed to second hand smoke.
Maple Syrup – This natural sweetener contains a high amount of manganese, which is essential for energy production and antioxidant defenses. It is also high in zinc, required for good arteries, skin, and the immune system.
Cinnamon – This spice has antiseptic properties, is a digestive aid, has anticancer properties, and is beneficial for the heart, lungs, and kidneys. It also helps lower blood pressure and makes insulin more efficient.
Blackstrap Molasses – a by-product of the sugar refining process, it contains 50% sugar, as well as the minerals and vitamins separated during refining. Rich in iron and minerals, it is a great natural sweetener.