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5 from 2 votes

Butternut Squash Gingersnap Cake

Butternut squash cake layers with gingersnap cookie, candied pecans and maple cream cheese frosting.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time35 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Cake
Keyword: Butternut Squash Cake, Fall cake, Gingersnap, Gingersnap Cookie, Maple, Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
Servings: 1 6-layer, 8-inch round cake
Author: Courtney Rich

Ingredients

FOR THE CAKE

  • 3 cups (about 600 g) cooked and mashed butternut squash
  • 1 1/4 cups 250 g sugar
  • 4 extra large eggs room temperature
  • 1 cup (218 g) vegetable oil
  • 3 cups plus 3 tablespoons (366.5 g) cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon (8g) ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons (8 g) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (6 g) salt
  • 1 teaspoon (2.6 g) nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1.4 g) ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons (8.4 g) pure vanilla extract

FOR THE COOKIE

  • 4 cups (480 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons (8 g) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (6 g) salt
  • 2 teaspoons (5.3 g) ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon (2.6 g) ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon (2.6 g) ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 cups 339 g unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup 150 g granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup 165 g brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup 150 g molasses
  • 2/3 cup 100 g chopped candied ginger

FOR THE BUTTERCREAM

  • 2 cups (452 g) unsalted butter slightly cold
  • 4 ounces cream cheese room temperature
  • 7 cups (875 g) powdered sugar measured then sifted
  • 1 teaspoon (4.2 g) maple extract
  • 1/3 cup (72.6 g) pure maple syrup
  • Pinch of salt
  • *This buttercream recipe makes enough to fill and cover your cake. If you want to add additional piping you’ll want to make an extra 1/2 batch.

FOR THE PECANS

  • 2 cups (150 g) chopped pecans
  • 3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar

Instructions

FOR THE CAKE

  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Spray three 8-inch or four 6-inch round cake pans with non-stick spray, line with parchment and spray again. Set aside.
  • In a medium bow, combine the cake flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and ground ginger. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar and eggs together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about five minutes. Add the oil and beat on medium until combined. Add the cooled butternut squash and mix until combined. Add the vanilla.
  • With the mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined. Mixture will be thin.
  • Evenly distribute the batter into the prepared pans (about 20 ounces of batter in each of the three 8-inch round pans or 15 ounces in each of the 6-inch pans). Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out mostly clean.
  • Let pans cool on wire racks for 10 minutes before inverting cakes onto racks to cool completely.

FOR THE COOKIE

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Spray three 8-inch round cake pans with non-stick spray, line the bottom of the pans with parchment and spray again. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and ginger. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl in between each addition.
  • Add the molasses and stir until well combined.
  • Stir in the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until incorporated. Batter will be a little sticky.
  • Fold in the candied ginger.
  • Divide the dough in each of the three 8-inch pans (about 10 ounces of batter in each) and flatten with your hand to create a mostly flat surface.
  • Bake the cookie layers for 15-17 minutes. Keep an eye on the cookie layers. You don't want to over bake the cookie or it will be too hard to cut with the cake. 

FOR THE BUTTERCREAM

  • In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, stir the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy, about two minutes.
  • Gradually add in the powdered sugar with the mixer on low speed.
  • Add vanilla, maple extract, and maple syrup and beat until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes. 
  • Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a wooden spoon and mix by hand to stir out the air bubbles. 

FOR THE PECANS

  • Combine the pecans and sugar over the stove on medium heat. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, to coat the pecans with the melted sugar. Let cool completely before using.

ASSEMBLY

  • After leveling each cake layer, place the first round of the gingersnap cookie, on a cake board. Spread about 3/4 cup of the frosting over the cookie. Top with a handful of candied pecans, followed by a cake layer, top side up. Apply another 3/4 cup frosting on top of the cake
  • Repeat these steps until you get to the final cake layer. 
  • Place the final cake layer, top side down, on top of the last layer of frosting. Apply a thin coat of frosting around the entire cake to lock in the crumbs. Freeze the cake for 10 mins.
  • After the crumb coat is set, apply the final coat of frosting with the remaining buttercream.
  • I had enough for another thin layer of frosting. If you want a fully-coated look, make an extra 1/4 of the frosting recipe.