Last weekend I roasted some cubed butternut squash, tossed it with finely chopped red peppers, and served it as a side dish. I had a fair amount left over and got it in my head that I wanted to make dessert with it for some reason or another. If I’m being honest squash pie isn’t my favorite pie. It falls well behind apple, chocolate cream and chicken.
Google found me 12 Perfect Fall Desserts Made with Winter Squash, one of which seemed to fit what was in my head. Crystallized ginger was not to be found at my local mega mart though so I used some homemade candied tangerine peel that Ted made back when tangerines were in season. The result was surprisingly moist with the squash basically disappearing into the cake.
Butternut Squash/Apple Cake with Tangerine-Ginger Streusel
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 65 minutes plus cooling time
- 2/3 cup + 3 Tbsp. turbinado sugar, divided
- 1 Tbsp. ground ginger
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 1 1/2 oz. candied tangerine peel, chopped into 1/8″ pieces
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- grated zest from 1 orange
- 1 cup butternut squash, mashed or pureed
- 1 medium McIntosh apple peeled, cored and cut in 1/4″ pieces
- 1 cup golden raisins
- Arrange the oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spritz the bottom of a 9″ round pan with cooking spray. Place a round piece of parchment in the bottom of the pan. Spritz the parchment and sides of the pan once more with cooking spray.
- Make the streusel by combining 3 tablespoons turbinado sugar and the pine nuts in the bowl of a small food processor. Pulse 6 times to chop the nuts. Combine with the tangerine peel and set aside.
- In a large bowl mix together the oil, eggs, vanilla, orange zest and the butternut squash until combined.
- Whisk together the flour, 2/3 cup turbinado sugar, baking powder and salt in bowl. Set aside. Add the apple pieces and raisins; toss until the apples are coated in flour and distributed in the mix.
- Add the liquid ingredients to the flour mixture. Mix until the flour is just moistened. The batter will be very thick. A few small bits of dry flour aren’t a problem.
- Transfer batter to the prepared pan. Distribute the streusel mixture evenly over the top of the batter. Place pan in the center of the oven and bake for 50 minutes, rotating 180° halfway through baking. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.
- Remove pan to a cooling rack and allow to cool for 30 minutes. Run a knife between the cake and pan to loosen it from the edge. Place a flat plate over the pan and carefully invert the cake so that it releases from the pan. Remove the pan and peel off the parchment. Place a cake stand or serving plate over the bottom of the cake. Invert again so that the streusel topping is on top of the cake.
- Serve with a chilled dessert wine.
Turbinado sugar is a form of “raw” sugar often used in coffee or tea. We have some in the house for that very reason. It adds a bit of a crunch to the steusel topping because it doesn’t melt like granulated or brown sugar does. In the cake itself it is dissolved by the liquids. If you don’t have turbinado you can substitute an equal amount of granulated or brown sugar.
Even though I used a lightly savory butternut squash in this recipe it wasn’t noticeable in the end product. As I mentioned earlier, the squash basically disappears into the cake.