Buttermilk Cake with Spiced Vanilla Icing
The "secret ingredient" in this moist, tender cake is grated butternut squash, which is folded into the batter just before baking. Use the large holes on a box grater to grate the squash.
For the cake:
4 oz. (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened; more for the pan
13-1/2 oz. (3 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour; more for the pan
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1 Tbs. distilled white vinegar
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. table salt
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 cup buttermilk
2-1/4 cups peeled and grated butternut squash (about 8 oz.)
For the icing and garnish:
9 oz. (2-1/4 cups) confectioners’ sugar
3 Tbs. buttermilk; more as needed
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp. table salt
1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
Make the cake
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F. Butter and flour a 10-cup Bundt pan; tap out excess flour.
In a large bowl with a hand mixer or in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the oil and beat until combined, about 15 seconds. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well on low speed. Add the vinegar and vanilla and mix again until just combined. Add half of the flour and the baking soda, salt, ginger, and nutmeg, mixing on low speed until just combined. Add half of the buttermilk and mix until just combined. Repeat with the remaining flour and buttermilk.
Stir the squash into the batter and transfer the batter to the prepared pan; smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes; then carefully invert the cake onto the rack and remove the pan. When the cake is completely cool, transfer it to a serving plate.
Make the icing
In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar, buttermilk, vanilla, nutmeg, and salt until smooth. Add more buttermilk, a few drops at a time, as needed, until the icing is pourable but still quite thick. Pour the icing back and forth in thick ribbons over the cooled cake. Sprinkle the ginger on top. Let the icing set at room
temperature, about 45 minutes, before serving.
Make Ahead Tips
This cake can be made a day or two in advance. After the icing has set, wrap the cake in plastic and refrigerate. Let come to room temperature before serving.
nutrition information (per serving):
photo: Quentin Bacon
From Fine Cooking 97
, pp. 80
December 30, 2008
Delicious, delicious cake. Very moist and tender. One thing I noticed about the way the instructions were written that should be changed: the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, and nutmeg should all be combined in a bowl and whisked together to evenly distribute the baking soda, BEFORE adding it to the batter. Otherwise, the baking soda, which is what makes the cake rise in this recipe, could cause the cake to rise unevenly, or cause tunnels through the cake.