Turn local squash into a sweet treat

Squash is abundant this time of year! Instead of making soup or a savoury dish, why not turn your squash into a sweet cake. Winter squash is a great source of beta-carotene and potassium. Beta-carotene is what gives winter squash is orange and yellow hues. Many winter squashes are considered an orange vegetable. Canada’s Food Guide recommends we eat a dark green and orange vegetable each day for our health.

Ingredients:

  • 1 squash 1-3/4 lb/875 g
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Cream Cheese Icing:

  • 1 pkg cream cheese softened
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange rind

Directions:

  1. On baking sheet, toast walnuts (if using) in 350°F (180°C) oven until fragrant, about 8 minutes. Let cool; set aside.
  2. Halve and seed squash; roast, cut side down, on foil-lined baking sheet in 425°F (220°C) oven until tender when pierced with fork, 30 to 60 minutes. Let cool. Scoop out flesh; purée in food processor to make 2 cups (500 mL). (Make-ahead: Store in airtight container for up to 24 hours.) 
  3. In large bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar and oil until smooth. In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, ginger, salt, cloves and nutmeg; stir into egg mixture alternately with squash, making 3 additions of dry ingredients and 2 of squash. Scrape into parchment paper–lined 13- x 9-inch (3.5 L) metal cake pan.
  4. Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven until cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Let cool on rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pan; let cool completely.
  5. Cream Cheese Icing: In bowl, beat cream cheese with butter until smooth; beat in sugar and orange rind until smooth. Spread over top of cake. (Make-ahead: Cover loosely and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.)

Recipe from: Canadian Living

By Rachel Morgan