Spiced Butternut Squash Cake with Brown Butter Caramel

Doug Ruley

SoDel Concepts, Rehoboth Beach, DE


Spiced Butternut Squash Cake:
2 cups peeled and diced butternut squash
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup maple sugar
1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 tablespoons molasses
2 large organic eggs
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour

Brown Butter Caramel:
4 ounces chilled unsalted butter, cubed 
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
Pinch sea salt

Optional (for garnish):
Blackberry jelly
Ice cream


Preheat oven to 360°F. 

Steam the butternut squash in a steamer set over a pot of boiling water until tender, about 12 minutes. Remove from the steamer and mash. Measure out 1 cup of the mash. 

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugars and butter until light and airy. Add 1 cup butternut squash mash, mayonnaise, and molasses and mix. Slowly whisk in each egg until well incorporated. Add the spices and the baking powder. Slowly add the flour and mix until smooth. Spoon the batter into a greased 9-inch cake pan. Bake for approximately 1 hour, or until golden brown and the center springs back to the touch. 

Make the brown butter caramel: heat a thick-bottomed pan on medium heat. Add the cubed butter and whisk to let butter cook. Allow the butter to foam and slowly start to brown. Specks will appear.

Remove the brown butter from heat and set aside. In another saucepan, slowly cook the sugar until it’s slightly thick and golden. Add the brown butter and whisk. Add the cream and stir continuously for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add the sea salt. (Note: the caramel will thicken as it cools.) Serve warm.


One 9-inch cake, 8 to 10 slices