Monday, February 7, 2011

Squash Cake

Not a very romantic sounding cake - but the flavor is wonderful.  The squash lends a mysterious something that can't quite be identified.  I've written the recipe as a gluten-free, egg-free, and dairy-free, but the cake can also be made with all-purpose flour, eggs, and butter.  Coconut oil and agave can be expensive but well worth the price as they are so much healthier then the alternative.  The use of agave gives gives a great deal of moisture to the cake.  Lastly, there is a choice of two toppings - or the cake can go naked.  This batter would be wonderful as muffins, add golden raisins or dried cranberries.

I shared a link to this recipe at with Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays at the blog Simply Sugar and Gluten Free and Allergy Friendly Friday at Cybele Pascal's blog.

Note: This recipe uses the following gluten-free flour mix (mix together and store in fridge):
1 1/4 cup superfine brown rice flour
1 1/4 cup white rice flour
1 C. tapioca flour
1 C. sweet rice flour (also known as Mochiko, often on the Asian isle)
2 scant tsp. xanthan gum
(you can also use the gluten-free flour mixture of your choice, if it does not contain xanthum gum, add 1/4 tsp. xanthan gum per cup of gluten-free flour.) 

4 tablespoons flax meal
6 tablespoons full fat coconut milk (or other non-dairy milk, or water)

2 cups of the above gluten-free flour mix or (2 cups whole wheat pastry flour)
1/2 cup quinoa flour
1/2 cup corn flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon (or cardamom or a mixture of both)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup coconut oil (melt before measuring)
3/4 cup agave
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 cups cooked squash (about 1 acorn squash) - can also use pumpkin or sweet potato
ground flax meal slurry (or 2 eggs)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Streusel Topping
4 tablespoons melted earth balance buttery stick (or unsalted butter)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 - 3/4 cup pumpkin seeds (or chopped nut such as walnuts or pecans)
1/4 cup gluten-free flour (millet, sorghum, brown rice, etc)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Maple Glaze
2 Tablespoons earth balance buttery stick (or unsalted butter)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup icing sugar (confectioners')

Note: to cook the acorn squash: cut in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds.  Cook cut side down on a non-stick baking sheet (or a baking sheet lined with a silpat) at 350 degrees for about an hour until a fork penetrates the flesh of the squash very easily.  When cool, scoop out the squash out of the shell with a spoon.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Oil a 10" x 8" pan or a 13" x 9" - I always use glass or ceramic pans.

Mix together ingredients for Streusel topping in a small bowl (if using).

If going egg-free: mix together flax meal and coconut milk in a small bowl to make a slurry and let sit for a few minutes.

Whisk together dry ingredients in a medium bowl.  Mix together oils, agave, maple syrup, cooked squash, flax meal slurry (or eggs), and  vanilla with a hand-held mixer.  Fold wet and dry ingredients together and add walnuts. 

Pour into prepared pan and if using the Streusel, crumble the topping over the batter.  Bake for 45 - 50 minutes (if using a 13" x 9" pan, adjust cooking time down a bit).  Check for doneness with a toothpick, a few moist crumbs will adhere to the toothpick when done.  The cake will be be moist and a bit delicate, let cool for at least an hour before cutting.

If using Maple Glaze: melt butter and maple syrup in a small saucepan.  Whisk in sugar until smooth, pour over hot cake. 

- 1 stick of softened butter can be subsistuted for the oils. 
- 2 eggs can be subsistuted for the flax meal slurry.
- other alternative whole grain flours can be substituted for the corn and quinoa flours -  such as whole wheat, buckwheat, teff, etc.
- substitue 1/2 - 3/4 cup gluten-free rolled oats for an equal amount of flour


  1. Thank you for sharing (I found you via Cybele Pascal's AFF)! I had never heard the flax called a flax meal slurry but I love that phrasing, it captures the mixture perfectly.

  2. This looks wonderful! I absolutely love baking with squash. I caught your post on SS&GF and was drawn to the Squash Cake title. I must say I am inspired by your recipes. Plus, I used to live in Seattle and I miss it terribly! Keep rockin' the healthy recipes! I'll keep plugged into your site!