Somewhat Healthy Winter Squash Cake Recipe

Somewhat Healthy Winter Squash Cake Recipe
While reviewing a The Berkeley Bowl Cookbook (an excellent vegetarian cookbook with recipes for little known fruits and veggies), I ran across a recipe for a healthy-sounding cake that contains winter squash puree; since I still had some winter squash hanging around from the fall, and I wanted to use it up, this was a perfect excuse to bake this cake. Knowing “healthy dessert” to be an oxymoron, I made what I call Somewhat Healthy Winter Squash Cake with very few expectations, and a good excuse to test whole squash in my Instant Pot (10 minutes to perfection). I ground whole wheat flour in my wheat grinder, and grabbed a can of applesauce from my storeroom. There were cranberries in my freezer, and I was shocked that the cake didn’t call for eggs. Surprise! My expectations were lowered even more when I discovered that the recipe is vegan.
The cake rose high and looked fabulous when finished; it had a perfect crumb and sliced easily. I decided to give it the ultimate test – feed it to my husband, the undisputed most finicky eater on the planet (known as Mr. Picky among the official Hancock tasters). He ate 3 pieces, so I knew this recipe was definitely a keeper. I have adapted the original recipe to my personal taste and methods, and won’t hesitate to make it again. This cake is extremely moist, but if you want to make it really fancy, top it with caramel sauce, and, if you don’t care about the vegan aspect, whipped cream. It would be great frosted with cream cheese icing or served with a scoop of highest quality ice cream.

16 Servings

1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup applesauce
3/4 cup water
2 cups cooked winter squash

2 cups flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon ground mixed spice, or baking spice, or pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, rinsed and coarsely chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Spray a tube pan with a removable bottom with Baker's Joy or grease and flour; set aside.
  3. Measure the sugars, vegetable oil, applesauce, water, and cooked squash in a large mixer bowl. Beat on low speed until well-mixed.
  4. Place a fine strainer over the sugar mixture; measure the flours, baking powder, baking soda, mixed spice, and salt into the strainer and shake through.
  5. Mix well and fold in the cranberries.
  6. Transfer the mixture to the prepared tube pan and smooth the top.
  7. Bake 60-75 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
  8. Remove from the oven and let cool 10 minutes.
  9. Run a knife around the outside of the pan and remove the cake; place on a cooling rack and cool thoroughly.

Amount Per Serving
Calories 308 Calories from Fat 97
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 31% Protein 5% Carb. 63%

Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 11 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 286 mg
Total Carbohydrate 49 g
Dietary Fiber 3 g
Sugars 13 g
Protein 4 g

Vitamin A 27% Vitamin C 8% Calcium 0% Iron 7%

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This content was written by Karen Hancock. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Karen Hancock for details.