I love the fall. I love when the leaves change and swirl from the branches of the trees to the ground. I love fall flavors of apple and pumpkin. Some of my favorites are pumpkin-flavored coffee, ice cream, and beer. For this month's What's Baking theme, I chose Fall Flavors. I also asked everyone to get creative and try to bake with something other than pumpkins and apples. I chose butternut squash as my fall ingredient and made an anniversary cake for me and my husband since we're celebrating our fourth anniversary. I decorated the cake to look similar to our wedding cupcake cake. I loved the way this cake came out. It tasted as great as it looked. The cake was moist, buttery, and nutty and the sweet rum-spiked icing was a perfect topping.
Butternut Squash Cake
adapted from Betty Crocker Big Book of Cupcakes
2 and 1/3 cups flour
2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 and 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter (room temperature)
1 and 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup butternut squash (cooked, mashed, and cooled)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup chopped pecans (I used chopped walnuts.)
1/2 cup craisins (I omitted.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cupcake tin with 24 liners. (I made two six-inch cakes plus 9 cupcakes.)
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice and set aside. Add vanilla to milk and set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the butter on high speed until smooth. Add sugar 1/4 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat butter and sugar an additional two minutes and then add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in squash. With the mixer on low speed, alternatively add the flour mixture and milk, ending with the flour. Beat until combined. Stir in pecans and craisins (or walnuts).
Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full and bake 20 - 25 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to wire rack to cool.
Buttered Rum Icing
2 sticks butter, room temperature
5 - 6 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon rum
2 - 4 tablespoons water (as needed)
Cream the butter. Add vanilla and rum and beat well. With the mixer on low, add powdered sugar one cup at a time and water one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. Beat until smooth and creamy.
Here's our cake from the big day: