Fluffy sweet vegan squash cake with a dairy-free almond and orange frosting. The perfect cake to celebrate the Autumn season!
Butternut squash cake – because pumpkin is sooooo mainstream maaaaaan.
Of course, you could use pumpkin in this cake too if you wanted but I prefer butternut squash as it’s a little different and the flavour is so wonderful.
Anyway, I am so excited to share this cake with you as it is just so delicious and comforting. The squash gives a really fluffy yet moist texture.
Tips for making this Butternut Squash Cake
Making the squash puree
Simply peel and dice approx 200g / ⅓ of a medium butternut squash. Steam for 10-12 minutes until soft and then blitz in a blender until pureed.
You can also substitute tinned pumpkin puree for this recipe, which works equally as well.
Ensuring it rises well
Allow some time at the start to make a “buttermilk” with the almond milk and apple cider vinegar. This will curdle and react later on with the baking powder.
Once the ingredients are mixed together, don’t let the batter sit to long before putting into the oven.
You want to bake it whilst those ingredients are reacting, to help the cake rise.
Making the “cream cheese” frosting
The vegan cream cheese frosting I make uses ground almonds as the base, which creates a thick and rich texture which spreads really well too.
I suggest using a little bit of coconut oil (solid – don’t melt it) to improve the texture.
One half of the cake is spread with this frosting and the other half is spread with orange marmalade, then they are sandwiched together.
I keep this cake in the fridge, mainly because it lasts longer but the frosting also keeps better this way.
In the event that you don’t eat this whole cake immediately, it will keep for 3-4 days in an air-tight container in the fridge. And will be fine if kept at room temperature for a few hours.
More Autumnal Vegan Baking:
For the cake:
- 180 ml / ¾ cup almond milk
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 400 g / 2 ¼ cup plain OR spelt flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground mixed spice or pumpkin pie spice mix
- A pinch of salt
- 110 g / ½ cup butternut squash purée*
- Zest of 1 large orange
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 180 ml / ¾ cup maple syrup
- 60 ml / ¼ cup mild olive oil or coconut oil
For the frosting:
- 100 g / 1 cup ground almonds
- 80 ml / ⅓ cup almond milk - or more if needed
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp coconut oil (unmelted)
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1 to 2 tbsp maple syrup
- Marmalade, I used a 100% fruit variety
- Preheat the oven to 180c / 350f. and grease two 8-inch/20cm cake tins. Add the cider vinegar to the almond milk and set aside to "curdle".
- Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and discard any large granules left in the sieve. Mix in the spices, salt, baking powder and bicarb.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the almond milk from earlier, squash purée, orange zest, vanilla, maple syrup and olive oil. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until well combined and a smooth soup-y texture is formed.
- Evenly pour the mixture into the two sandwich tins and bake on the middle shelf for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Leave the cake layers to cool at room temperature and then place in the freezer for 10-15 minutes (this makes them easier to handle and decorate.)
- Meanwhile, make the almond cream "cheese" filling by mixing the ground almonds, almond milk, vanilla, coconut oil, orange juice and maple syrup together in a blender until a thick, smooth icing has formed.
- Remove the cake layers from the freezer and coat one side with the marmalade and the other with the almond cream. Be as generous as you like! Sandwich together and serve.
- Optional: Arrange some (clean) leaves on top of the cake and dust with icing sugar for a stencilled leaf design.
*To make butternut squash purée, simply peel and dice approx ⅓ of a butternut squash. Steam for 10-12 minutes until soft and then blitz in a blender until pureed.
You can also substitute tinned pumpkin puree.