This butternut squash cake is moist, fluffy and filled with warm spice. It’s also gluten-free, dairy free and a super easy recipe. A cake recipe with vegetables is a perfect way to add something special to a cake.
Butternut Squash Puree
This cake is super easy if you can find canned butternut squash puree. Trader Joe’s (seasonally) and Whole Foods Market (year round) carry it. You can buy it online too at Vitacost.com – a great resource for natural and gluten-free products.
If you are feeling overly motivated, you can make your own butternut squash puree. Steaming works best to retain the moisture in the squash. Roasting will dry it too much. Here’s how to do it:
- Peel the squash using a y-shaped vegetable peeler. Remove a few layers to reveal the bright orange flesh.
- Trim the stem and the bottom.
- Cut in half from top to bottom and scoop out the seeds.
- Cut into 1″ cubes.
- Cook in a steamer for 15 minutes or until the squash is tender.
- Puree in the food processor or with an immersion blender until smooth. Cool before using.
I tested this recipe with King Arthur Measure for Measure Flour. Several other gluten-free flours for baking will work. Cup4Cup, which contains milk powder and Pamela’s Artisan Flour Blend are similar to King Arthur’s and will work well. If you use a flour blend that does not contain xanthan gum, guar gum or inulin (binders) add 3/4 tsp xanthan gum to the recipe.
Cinnamon is perfect flavor with a winter squash. The best source for certified, gluten-free spices is Spicely Organics. You may have seen them in your market in the little green boxes.
Dried maple sugar is a wonderful flavor along with the squash and cinnamon. If you don’t have it, just replace it with 1/4 c granulated sugar.
The rest of the ingredients are eggs, baking powder, oil, vanilla and salt – just the basics.
This cake is perfect frosted with maple buttercream frosting (recipe in the card below). For something new and different and to keep the vegetable theme going, try my creamy sweet potato frosting without powdered sugar (no cane sugar at all). Or for traditional frostings try my pipeable cream cheese frosting or vanilla buttercream frosting.
I also topped this cake with a caramel drizzle and chopped pecans. Another topping to add a crunchy, spicy kick is my candied pecans which cook in a pan in just five minutes.
More Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Cake Recipes
Do you love cinnamon and pumpkin spice? Try my gluten-free, dairy-free ginger cupcakes, gluten-free dairy-free carrot cake cupcakes that will knock your socks off, gluten-free cinnamon crumb cake, and my gluten-free dairy-free pumpkin bread recipe!
Butternut Squash Cake
- Canned Butternut Squash Puree
Butternut Squash Cake
- 2 1/2 c gluten-free flour blend*
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 c sugar
- 1/4 c maple sugar optional, replace with 1/4 c sugar if not using
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 c butternut squash puree canned or fresh, steamed
- 1 c oil avocado, sunflower, canola etc
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or bean paste
Maple Buttercream Frosting
- 3 sticks butter room temperature
- 2 1/2 c powdered sugar
- 6 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1/8 tsp salt
- If making your own butternut squash puree, see above for instructions on steaming. Canned butternut squash puree is a great option and can be found online at Vitacost.com and at Trader Joe's.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two 8 or 9 inch cakepans with parchment (optional) and grease with oil spray.
Make the Cake
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together in a medium sized mixing bowl
- Beat the, sugar, eggs, oil, squash puree and vanilla together in a large bowl.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir with a whisk until smooth. Do not beat or over mix.
- Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans.
- Bake 35-38 minutes for 8" pans or 28-32 minutes for 9" pans or until the top is set and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Make the Maple Buttercream Frosting
- This recipe makes enough to generously frost between the layers, on top and very lightly on the sides (as pictured). Double the recipe if you want a thick coating on the sides of the cake.
- Beat the butter with an electric mixer for 1 minute. Add half of the powdered sugar and salt and mix on low until the sugar is incorporated.
- Add the remaining sugar and beat on low until incorporated.
- Add the maple syrup and beat until smooth – around 10 seconds. Beating too long will create air bubbles.