Butternut Squash-Apple Cake w/ Ginger Streusel

October 24, 2009.   6 Comments.   Categories Cakes, Chef Viviane Banquet Farre, Contributing Chefs, Desserts, Fall, Seasonal Vegetables, Vegetarian.  


Butternut Squash–Apple Cake with Ginger Streusel

Recipe and photo reprinted with permission by Viviane Banquet Farre


This is really a remarkable recipe.  .  . exceptional ingredients and inventive concept.  If you haven’t used turbinado sugar in place of regular brown sugar – please try it.  Most “brown” sugar is really just a form of processed white sugar… Turbinado has a much deeper flavor and is much healthier to use than traditional brown….And yes, it is more expensive than brown which is usually the case when you opt for the best ingredients.

But… rather than hearing my thoughts on this . . . I think it’s appropriate to share Viviane’s in her own words.  I am so happy to have discovered her website and blog and hope you visit her site often!

In her own words:

Ever since I was a little girl, I loved baking cakes. In fact, my
very first cooking memory was of baking my very own birthday cake — for
my sixth birthday! (Of course my grandmother helped a bit…) Nowadays, I
do not bake as often as I would like. The busy-ness of my life and my
orientation towards lighter foods have sometimes interfered with this
deep and fundamental pleasure of baking.

With this recipe I decided to reconnect with the pure satisfaction
of baking a beautiful old-fashioned cake — but with a modern twist. So
I created a butternut squash and apple teacake with a surprising but
delicious candied-ginger and pine-nut streusel.

Made without butter or too much sugar, this cake is light and moist
without being rich. I always use organic, free-range eggs because I
find them more delicious and also healthier than their conventional
counterparts. In summertime, I buy my eggs at the Piermont Farmers’
Market, always marveling at the bright golden hue of their yokes. In
the winter months, I rely on our local health-food stores for a good
organic brand.

Likewise, I use organic turbinado sugar for most of my desserts.
This unrefined, pure cane sugar has a subtle molasses flavor and some
nutritional benefits, as it retains all the natural minerals
(phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron) and vitamins
present in sugarcane juice. Finally, the Australian crystallized (or
candied) ginger used in the streusel is truly mouthwatering. Harvested
when its roots are young and tender, the ginger is fiber-free and mild
in flavor, adding a tangy and modern twist to this scrumptious cake.

Not only was I delighted with my new teacake, I was able to indulge
in it without guilt. Nice to know one doesn’t necessarily have to
choose between the poetry of baking and the prose of nutrition. Doesn’t
that make the pleasure of baking infinitely more satisfying…?

Butternut Squash–Apple Cake with Ginger Streusel

makes 1 cake (8 servings)

For the streusel
2 oz Australian crystallized ginger cubes (about 1/3 cup)
3 tablespoons turbinado sugar
1/2 cup pine nuts

For the cake
1 3/4 cup unbleached white flour
2/3 cup turbinado sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup sunflower oil
3 large organic eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest (use microplane grater)
1 cup butternut squash purée (see cook’s note)
1 medium McIntosh apple – peeled, cored and cut in 1/4” pieces
1 cup organic Hunza golden raisins

1–9” non-stick round cake pan – buttered

Preheat oven to 350°F
Step 1:
In the bowl of a food processor, place the ginger, sugar and pine nuts.
Pulse several times until all ingredients are finely chopped. Transfer
to a bowl and set aside.

Step 2: In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir well and set aside.

Step 3: In a medium bowl whisk the oil, eggs, vanilla extract, orange zest and butternut-squash purée until well blended.

Step 4:
Stir the apple pieces and raisins into the flour mixture until well
blended. Add the squash mixture to the dry ingredients and, using a
wooden spoon, mix until just moistened.
Spoon batter into the prepared cake pan. Sprinkle with the streusel
topping. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until golden and toothpick inserted
in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes
before unmolding. Serve at room temperature.

Cook’s note: To make fresh
butternut-squash purée, cut squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds.
Place cut side down in a large baking dish with spring water (1/4” up
the sides of the squash). Bake at 400ºF for 45 to 60 minutes until very
tender. Let cool, scoop out the flesh and purée in a food processor.
The purée can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1


  1. Hi Kathie. I would start by asking your local gourmet market if they have it or can get it for you. I can get it at my local Whole Foods. There are also many websites you can order it from on-line by Googling “Australian crystallized ginger cubes” There are also links showing you how to make your own. I’ve never tried that but would like to since I adore ginger!

  2. Where would you find Australian crystallized ginger cubes state side?

  3. I’m going to try this for the Jewish Holidays where I need a dessert made without milk products.

  4. This is a real cool gimmick. I tested it out when it was on display locally, but it is not worth the price in my judgment. It runs Windows XP without a snag but the keyboard was a bit baffling to utilize.

  5. This sounds really delish…love Zuccini bread and this sounds just as good….
    Just an FYI….
    I found Sucanat sugar at a local health food store the other day. It is even better than the Turbinado sugar (Sugar in the Raw) you call for in this recipe. It has only 4 calories to a teaspoon whereas the other has 15. The taste is good and has the molasses flavor and it dissolves better than the other as well. It has a 1 to 1 ratio too….I really like it alot better and you can get it in bulk…$1.99 per lb.

  6. But is it supposed to be eaten like a dessert or with tea or actually like food?

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