Spiced butternut squash cake

Butternut squash in a cake? Why not! This delicious recipe is topped with caramel and ginger frosting for a great winter taste.

Serves: 12
Prep time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 50 mins
Total time: 1 hr 10 mins
Skill level: Easy peasy
Costs: Mid-price


    • 400g (14oz) prepared butternut squash
    • 175ml (6fl oz) sunflower oil
    • 250g (8oz) light muscovado sugar
    • 2 medium eggs
    • 175g (6oz) self-raising flour, sieved
    • ¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
    • 1 tsp ground ginger
    • ½ tsp each ground cinnamon and ground mixed spice
    • 200g tub cream cheese
    • 397g can caramel (we used Nestlé Carnation Caramel)
    • 60g (2oz) crystallised ginger, chopped
    • 21cm/8¼in (1 litre/1¾ pint capacity) ring tin, non-stick if possible, or greased and lined


    1. Set the oven to Gas Mark 4 or 180°C. Put the squash flesh into a large bowl with 1 tablespoon water. Cover with cling film, pierce the film a few times, then microwave on High for 8 mins. Alternatively, cook in pan with 4 tbsp water for 15 mins, then drain.
    1. Use a hand-held stick blender to blend the pumpkin flesh until smooth.
    1. Put the oil, sugar and eggs in a large bowl and whisk together, using a hand-held electric mixer, until thick and pale.
    1. Fold in the flour, bicarbonate of soda, and spices. Gently stir in the pumpkin purée. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin. Bake for 50 mins, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
    1. Leave the cake in the tin for 5 mins. Run a knife around the edges and turn cake out on to a wire rack to cool.
    1. To make the frosting: Mix the cream cheese with 4 tbsp of the caramel (either by hand or in a food processor). Spread this over the top of the cake and sprinkle with chopped ginger. Put the rest of the caramel in a jug, stand this in a pan of water, or microwave it on High for about 30 seconds until it softens. Drizzle some of the caramel over the cake, to finish. Serve the rest of it alongside as a sauce.
    1. Loosely wrap cooled and decorated squash cake in cling film, then put into a sealed freezer-proof box for up to 1 month. Defrost at room temperature for 2 hours or overnight in the fridge.

Nutritional information per portion

fat 22.0g saturates 8.0g calories 431(kcal)


This nutritional information is only a guide and is based on 2,000 calories per day. For more information on eating a healthy diet, please visit the Food Standards Agency website.

Guideline Daily Amount for 2,000 calories per day are: 70g fat, 20g saturated fat, 90g sugar, 6g salt.