Gift from the Garden: Butternut Squash Cake with Cream Cheese Filling and Streusel Topping

My new favorite autumn cake began last spring. There was a little extra room in the vegetable garden and so I planted some seed I'd saved. I wasn't sure exactly what it was.

It turned out it was butternut squash and the plants (I think there were two) exuberantly grew over the sweet potatoes, into the watermelon until that section of the garden was a mass of vines. When it was all over I picked 21 butternut squash. That's a lot! Fortunately they keep well and can be stored for months for autumn and winter use. 


Butternut squash are tasty and my favorite way to prepare them is to roast them. Simply slice in half horizontally and remove seeds with a spoon. Place them on a baking tray (I line mine with silpat baking liner to make clean up easy), drizzle with a little vegetable or olive oil, sprinkle a little salt and place in a 400 degree oven until you can pierce it easily with a fork, about 30 minutes depending on size.  You now have a lovely side dish or even a meal, but there may be leftovers. That's where this cake comes into play. 


At least that's how it began. But now I find myself roasting butternut squash just to make this cake. The lovely combination of a moist, spicy cake, a mellow cream cheese filling and a crunchy cinnamon topping is superb!  I've used this basic recipe for many years using either pumpkin or sweet potato, but I have to say that I think butternut squash is the best! The cake is perfect on a crisp autumn day. It would make a fine addition to the Thanksgiving table. 

Here's how to make this delicious cake:


Butternut Squash Cake 
with Cream Cheese Filling and Streusel Topping
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

In a mixing bowl beat:

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs




Add and mix well:
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt


Add:

1 cup roasted butternut squash

I do not think it is necessary to puree squash. You may want to mash it with a fork. 

Mix well. 



Pour into a 9 by 12 baking pan. 




Cream Cheese Filling
Mix together until smooth:
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons sugar
1 egg yolk


Using a spatula loaded with about 2 tablespoons of filling, insert filling into cake.  I do this by going down through the cake batter and rotating the spatula leaving pockets of filling throughout the cake. 

Place cake in oven and bake for 15 minutes. 

Meanwhile, make streusel topping. 


Streusel Topping



Mix together in this order until crumbly:
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Remove cake from oven after it has baked for 15 minutes. Sprinkle struesel over partially baked cake. Lighter portions will rest on top of the cake, larger portions will sink into the cake. 

Return cake to oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes. 
So good!




Butternut Squash Cake 
with Cream Cheese Filling and Streusel Topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Cake:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup salad oil
2 eggs
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup roasted butternut squash, mashed
In a large bowl beat together sugar, salad oil and eggs. Add flour, soda, cinnamon and salt. Mix in sweet potato. Pour into a 9X12 inch pan.

Cream Cheese Filling
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons sugar
1 egg yolk
Mix together until smooth. Insert into cake by large spoonfuls.

Bake cake for 15 minutes. Remove cake from oven and sprinkle with streusel topping. 

Streusel Topping
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
Mix together until crumbly. Sprinkle over top of cake. 

Return to oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes.







Vivid and Vibrant

A Kansas Country Garden

This brilliant red day lily has been exceptionally floriferous this year

A pocket of vibrant color comes from verbena, gaillardia, day lilies and hibiscus. 
Permission granted to all those gardeners who carefully coordinate the color and bloom times of their flower gardens to feel a little smug and superior. 

End-of-June Flower Garden

A Kansas Country Garden

June has been a lovely month and I can't help feeling a little sad to see it go. On this last day of June let's take a moment to stroll through the gardens. There's always something there to cheer us up. 

Surprised by Sourdough

Sometimes I surprise myself. Since graduating from my mother's kitchen, I've been working in my own for over 40 years. (I had to have a moment of silence and shake my head after writing the previous sentence. How the years fly by!) So I've seen a few trends, gadgets and diet recommendations. Most come and go, replaced almost always by the tried and true, much of what I learned from my mom. 

Complex Combo: Sourdough Brown Bread with Molasses

My new favorite flavor combination is  sourdough, whole grains and molasses.  Like good friends each enhances the virtues of the others. 
Bubbly sourdough, oatmeal and whole wheat grains and earthy molasses
You'll find this complex combination in a rustic loaf of Sourdough Brown Bread with Molasses