Butternut Squash Cake With Brown Sugar Buttercream

If you’re looking for a showstopper that will leave your guests speechless, this is it. This butternut squash cake is perfectly moist and fluffy. The rich brown sugar buttercream frosting really takes the cake and makes everything come together in perfect harmony – I guarantee everyone will be asking for seconds!

There’s nothing quite like a rich, dense cake made with freshly roasted butternut squash. The natural sweetness of the squash is perfectly complimented by the brown sugar buttercream, and the overall effect is one of classic deliciousness. If you’re looking for a new fall or winter favorite, look no further than this recipe for butternut squash cake with brown sugar buttercream.

You may also love these Brown Sugar Butternut Squash Scones, Butternut Squash and Marigold soup, Brown Sugar Butternut Squash Blondie


In addition to being absolutely delicious, there are many other reasons to love butternut squash cake. Here are just a few:

No, we are not claiming this cake is healthy by any means. But I love adding nutrient dense foods anywhere possible, it makes me feel happy and they are so darn delicious!

  1. Butternut squash is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, both of which are important for boosting immunity and keeping skin healthy.
  2. This cake is perfect for gatherings and celebrations. What better way to show your guests how much you care than by serving them a homemade cake from scratch made with love?
  3. This recipe is unique but will become a new favorite!
  4. It’s made with browned butter, for a bold and nutty and bold flavor brought on by gently cooking it on the stove.
  5. The brown sugar buttercream is
  6. The flavors come together perfectly
  7. It’s easy but impressive, bring it to your next brunch or potluck
  8. It’s elegant enough for holidays, bake it for Thanksgiving or Christmas
  9. You can use a can of pumpkin to replace the squash if you need to
  10. You can turn them into cupcakes, I’ve tested the recipe as cake and cupcakes. It will make 18 cupcakes, and you should have a little bit extra frosting depending on how you pipe them.


Whether you’re looking for a new fall favorite, want a Thanksgiving desert that’s or just want an excuse to enjoy cake all year round, this recipe for butternut squash cake with brown sugar buttercream is sure to hit the spot. So go ahead and give it a try – you won’t be disappointed!

How To Roast A Butternut Squash

Before we go any further, it’s important to note that this recipe uses fresh, homemade butternut squash puree from roasted butternut squash. It is optional, and you can use a can of puree instead, however you will compromise the some of the beautiful flavor.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F or 204 degrees F.
Place butternut squash halves on a large baking sheet flesh side up. Place 1 teaspoon butter in the middle of each squash. Sprinkle brown sugar over each squash. Season with salt and black pepper. Roast 50 to 60 minutes, until flesh is fork-tender. 

overhead shot of butternut squash with brown sugar on top in a roasting dish

Next, you’ll turn it into a puree by blending your roasted butternut squash in a high power blender or food processor – you’ll need one cup

one cup of butternut squash puree in silver measuring cup

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • Granulated sugar
  • All purpose flour or gluten free 1:1 replacement
  • kosher salt
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • pumpkin pie spice
  • eggs
  • Buttermilk
  • Butternut squash puree (or pumpkin)
  • Butter melted, browned
  • Vanilla extract

Brown Sugar Buttercream:

  • Butter, slightly softened
  • Brown Sugar
  • Vanilla Extract
  •  Powdered Sugar
  •  Milk (if needed)

Frequently asked questions:

Why is my brown sugar frosting grainy?

Brown sugar can have a grainy consistency when used in frosting, the key is to cream the butter and brown sugar until the sugar no longer has any lumps and it’s mixed in well.

Can canned squash or pumpkin puree be used in place of butternut squash?

Absolutely, but you will lose some of the flavor intended when this recipe was developed with fresh baked butternut squash

Can I turn this recipe into cupcakes?

Yes you can, this recipe has been tested as cake and cupcakes. This recipe will yield 18 large cupcakes. Adjust baking time as follows: Bake for 10 minutes at 400, then reduce temperature and bake for 15 minutes at 350.

Butternut Squash Cake With Brown Sugar Buttercream

5 from 3 votes
If you're looking for a showstopper that will leave your guests speechless, this is it. This butternut squash cake is perfectly moist and fluffy. The rich brown sugar buttercream frosting really takes the cake and makes everything come together in perfect harmony - I guarantee everyone will be asking for seconds!
Print Recipe
Prep Time:5 minutes
Cook Time:38 minutes
Additional Time:1 hour
Total Time:1 hour 43 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups 347g brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups 300g flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt or 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons baking soda1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 cup 227g buttermilk
  • 1 cup 269g butternut squash puree
  • 1 stick 115g butter melted, browned
  • 1/4 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup 170g milk
  • Brown Sugar Buttercream
  • 1 cup 227 grams Butter, slightly softened salted butter
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar 100 grams (light or dark)
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract 1 pound 450 grams or 4 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons Milk if needed

Instructions

  • ROAST YOUR SQUASH:

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees F or 204 degrees C
    Place butternut squash halves on a large baking sheet flesh side up.
  • Place 1 teaspoon butter in the middle of each squash.
  • Sprinkle brown sugar over each squash. Season with salt and black pepper.

Roast 50 to 60 minutes, until flesh is fork-tender. Once it's cool enough to handle, turn into a puree. You will need one cup.MAKE THE CAKE:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 8” round cake pans; line with parchment, and grease the parchment.
  • Brown your butter. Place the pieces of butter in your light-colored pan. Turn the stove heat to medium. As your butter melts, begin stirring it with a spoon or rubber spatula consistently. Once melted, the butter will begin to foam and sizzle around the edges. Keep stirring. In about 5–8 minutes the butter will turn golden brown. It will smell intensely buttery, nutty, and rich. Be careful not to burn, as burnt butter will not taste good.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and pumpkin pie spice.In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, pumpkin, browned butter, vanilla, and water. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring to combine. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans.

    Bake the cakes for about 35 to 38 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean.Remove the cakes from the oven and let them cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Turn them out onto a rack to cool completely.
  • BUTTERCREAM:

    Add the butter and one cup of the powdered sugar to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on low just to blend, then beat on high for 3 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times.
  • Add your brown sugar and vanilla, heavy cream and another cup of powdered sugar. Beat on low speed to blend, then on high speed for another two minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times.

  • Add reamining powdered sugar and the salt. Beat on low to combine, then on high for about 1 minute, until the buttercream is completely smooth.

    Check the consistency and beat in more powdered sugar if the buttercream is too thin. Taste, and add more salt if it's too sweet, or vanilla if desired.

  • ASSEMBLY:
    Place one layer of cake on a cake stand or serving plate.
    Top with approximately ? cup of buttercream and spread evenly.
  • Repeat with remaining layers.

  • Frost and smooth the outside with a thin crumb coat. Chill for 20mins.
    After chilling, frost the remaining buttercream and smooth until you have clean, smooth lines.

Notes

Can I make this cake in advance?
Prepare cakes and frosting 1 day in advance. Keep cakes at room temperature, covered tightly. Refrigerate prepared frosting in an airtight container until ready to use. Bring frosting to room temperature before spreading as it will be quite stiff after refrigerating. Add a teaspoon of cream or milk to thin it out, only if needed.
How long does this cake last after baking and assembling?
Cover leftover cake tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Can I freeze this cake?
Unfrosted cakes may be frozen up to 2 months, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature if desired before making your buttercream and assembling.
Servings: 12
Author: All recipes by Sarah Buckley

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