Butternut Squash Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Butternut Squash Cake with Maple Frosting + A Giveaway

A couple of years ago, one of the editors at Care (the website where I work) asked if I ever made non-traditional Thanksgiving desserts. Funny thing was, I had never made a pumpkin pie. Truth, be told, I still haven’t made one, even though I love it. Anyway, I had just made an Autumn cake for a dinner party, which was really delicious and again, out of character since it was rare for me to bake and even more rare for me to make something up and have a success.

I think this was based on some buttery, sour creamy, pumpkin pound cake I found in one of my mother’s old cookbooks, but I have never been able to find the original recipe. It was probably filled with canned pumpkin and white sugar and premixed pumpkin pie spice or even sweetened pumpkin filling! Anyway, I went to town on it, replacing all of the butter with grape seed oil and all of the sugar with maple syrup. There is low fat Greek yoghurt and fresh pureed butternut squash and a whole lot of delicious spice in the cake.

Butternut Squash Cake with Maple Frosting + A Giveaway

Here’s what happened next. Care2 published my little cake on the website and I was pretty excited to see one of my recipes on the web; it was my very first! Then, a little while later, a woman named Laura C. Martin contacted me asking if she could use my recipe in a book to be published by Sterling Press called Green Market Baking Book. I almost threw the email away, I thought it had to be a hoax. She was throwing names like Alice Waters and around and saying they too had agreed to contribute to the book. How could I, who had only even posted one recipe on the web,  be in a book with one of my greatest food idols?

As you might guess, I didn’t throw the email away! Last month, the book came out in hardcover. Laura has been incredibly kind and has done the most beautiful job with this book. The recipes are really amazing and the illustrations are just beautiful! I could not be more proud. When it was time to go to press, I did not have a food blog yet, even though people had been encouraging me to start one for years. It was Laura’s note last fall that the book finally had a drop date that finally made me get off my duff and start this site, so thanks, Laura. There is nothing like a missed opportunity to light a fire under my bum.

Butternut Squash Cake with Maple Frosting + A Giveaway

Giveaway Ended!

In celebration of this gorgeous book, I am doing a book giveaway. Laura and Sterling Publishing are generously donating a copy of this book to one lucky reader of The Tomato Tart. Here’s how it works. You can leave one comment for each of the following activities.

  1. join my Facebook page
  2. join the Green Market Baking Book’s Facebook page
  3. follow me on Twitter
  4. get The Tomato Tart via RSS

So, you can leave a total of FOUR comments. Make sure you let me know what you’ve done in each comment. I’ll use a random number generator to pick the commenter and voila, we’ll have a winner.

The giveaway will close on  at 11:59pm on February 18th.

Giveaway closed, and the winner is…

Whitney with comment #4

Congratulations, Whitney!

  • 2/3 cup grape seed oil
  • ¾ cup grade b dark maple syrup
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons Greek yoghurt
  • 1 ¾ cups unbleached pastry flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 vanilla bean scraped
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 cup steamed and pureed butternut squash (canned pumpkin or squash is a fine substitute)
  • 8 oz cream cheese- preferably without gums or fillers. I used Sierra Nevada Brand, Gina Marie and Dianna Supreme are two other fantastic options.
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon dark local honey
  • Preheat oven to 350º and line a buttered 9 inch cake pane with parchment paper.
  • Combine oil and maple syrup in the bowl of your stand mixer and beat on high with whisk attachment until well combined. A hand mixer or good old fashioned elbow grease will work well too.
  • Add eggs one by one, and beat well.
  • Add yoghurt until just combined.
  • Sift together all of the dry ingredients and then gently fold into we ingredients.
  • Gently fold in the butternut squash puree and then pour into the prepared cake pan
  • Bake in the center rack of your oven for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool on a wire rack before turning onto a plate and frosting. Top with orange or kumquat zest for a pretty and yummy touch!
  • Beat all ingredients on medium-high until light and fluffy

Butternut Squash Cake with Maple Frosting + A Giveaway


  1. says

    Ha – that is really cool! One recipe, one cookbook – kind of set the bar a little high, don't you think?

    And that looks delicious, but you didn't need me to tell you that …

  2. rosemarried says

    Oh, this is all so exciting! And that book looks amazing. And that cake looks amazing! Congrats, congrats, congrats.

  3. says

    What a wonderful opportunity for you!! I am already following you on Twitter ( or I was and then I pressed unfollow and then follow again, my mouse was going crazy) @frugalantics.

  4. says

    Congratulations! How awesome a feeling it must be to see your work on paper! Thats got to be so exciting :D (not to mention – the cake sounds yummy!)

  5. says

    Following you on FB! Was planning to do this anyway even without the give-away.
    Who can say no to another cookbook? :)
    Delicious looking cake by the way!

  6. says

    Already following you on twtiter via @yumivore, but I was sure to hit up the other three:
    – join the Green Market Baking Book’s Facebook page and Tomato Tart page
    – get The Tomato Tart via RSS

    If the cookbook isn't already available at Omnivore Books, it will be a great addition! And congrats!

  7. says

    Well I already follow you on twitter, but how did I not already "like" you on Facebook? Well I have now! I think it's AWESOME you have a recipe in a book! So exciting! And yes, that cake looks pretty fantastic. I hope I win and then get you to autograph it for me!

    • says

      Hi Tiffany,
      I chose grapeseed oil because it is a mildly flavored oil high in antioxidants, extremely low in saturated fat, and very high in poly unsaturated fat with a good dose of monounsaturated fats in there too. It’s also a great source of omega-6 fatty acids. I use grapeseed oil (always organic- grapes are sprayed and chemically fertilized a LOT) anywhere canola oil is recommended because canola is an engineered culitivar of rapeseed created in Canada. It actually stands for Canadian Oil Low Acid because rapeseed oil is too high acid to eat. Anyway, grapeseed oil is natural, and a beautiful bright green color. Oh, try making homemade mayo with it…. YUM!
      Here’s the brand I really dig:


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