Spelt and butternut squash cake


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I often make butternut squash soup and don’t like to tamper with the quantity of ingredients in it, so I found myself with a hunk of spare butternut the other day and my husband suggested I made a cake with it. I had actually been toying with this idea myself (he won’t believe me) as these beauties are so very sweet and perfectly suited to cake making.

After a quick check of my fridge and cupboards I realised I had the perfect ingredients for something similar to a carrot cake. I’ve never made a carrot cake but have always wanted to! I researched carrot cakes and then came up with my own butternut squash cake. Most people on forums seemed to agree that wholemeal was best so I decided to go one better and use wholegrain spelt flour as I love it for both its flavour and health benefits.

I was over the moon with the result of this very quick to put together cake. It’s perfect for making when you are having visitors for tea and equally good served as a dessert. The air is just filled with a perfume of butternut squash and orange and the taste is even better! For something so delicious you really wouldn’t know how easy it is to make (which is my favourite kind of recipe)!

From now on, I’m going to purposely leave a small chunk of butternut squash behind when I’m cooking so that I can make this delicious cake again.




Butternut squash cake


Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5. Line a 20cm round shallow baking tin with baking paper and grease with butter or oil
Place the sultanas in a small bowl and cover with boiling water from the kettle. Leave to 10 minutes to plump up, then drain and pat dry
Meanwhile, sieve the flour, baking powder and allspice into a large bowl. Add the butternut squash, muscovado sugar, butter, eggs, crystallised ginger, orange zest and juice then whisk until fully combined
Stir through the drained and dried sultanas then pour the mixture into the baking tin and level the surface with a spatula
Bake in the centre of the oven for 20–25 minutes or until an inserted metal skewer comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes, before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely
For the frosting, sieve the icing sugar into a bowl and beat in the cream cheese and orange juice until smooth and fluffy. Spread over the cake when cool and decorate with orange zest
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