Butternut & Ginger Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Butternut & Ginger Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

From the Thermador and Tastespotting Ultimate Recipe Contest

Submitted by: Judy Hickman Armstrong                                       


During the fall holidays, Judy has an abundance of winter sqashes in her gardens, especially butternut. In the past she's made pumpkin or squash casseroles for the holidays and thought the combination of these savory and sweet ingredients into this moist cake would be perfect for the holidays.


Easy to bake
12 servings
Prep time 25 minutes
Bake time 35 minutes
Total time 1 hour 15 minutes      

Cake:
1 medium (2 pound) butternut squash
Cooking spray
2 tablespoons orange liquor
2 tablespoons cane syrup
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
3 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cloves
1 (18.5 oz) package butter cake mix
12 oz package cinnamon chips
4 oz sweetened, dried cranberries, chopped
1 cup chopped pecans
1 tablespoon flour


Frosting:
1 cup butter
2 (8 oz) package cream cheese
1 tablespoon orange liquor
1 pound powdered sugar
3 oz sweetened, dried cranberries, chopped
1 cup chopped pecans


Garnish:
3 squash blossoms
6 ounces pecan halves


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place the butternut squash on a 10 X 15 baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray and bake for 20 minutes. (This makes the outer skin of the squash soft and easy to peel.) Remove from the oven and cool to touch. Discard the seeds, scoop out the pulp and cut the pulp into 1 inch pieces.  (You will use 3 cups of the cut up pulp in this recipe.)


In a food processor, puree the squash pulp, orange liquor, cane syrup, ginger, eggs, nutmeg and cloves.
In a large mixing bowl, blend the cake mix and butternut puree. In another small bowl, coat the cinnamon chips, cranberries, and pecans with the flour and fold into the cake batter.  Pour batter into 3 (9 inch) round cake pans that have been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Remove layers from the cake pans to a rack and cool. Frost when cool.


Frosting:
In a medium mixing bowl, cream together the butter, cream cheese, and orange liquor.  Slowly add the powdered sugar until smooth.
In a separate bowl, combine the chopped cranberries and pecans.  Stir in half of the cranberry pecan mixture into the frosting and reserve the remaining half.  Fill and frost the cake on sides, top, and between layers.  Sprinkle the remaining half of the cranberry pecan mixture on the top of the cake and garnish with squash blossoms arranged in the center of the cake and pecans arranged around the edges of the cake.


Makes 1 3-layer cake