Tuesday, March 10, 2009

buttermilk cake with spiced vanilla icing

This is the buttermilk cake I have been making for dinner parties recently. It's delicious, easy, and a little unexpected with the buttermilk and butternut squash. I organized the ingredients into the groups you will need to prepare this recipe.

For the cake

  • 10 cup bundt pan
  • 1T unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 4 oz (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tbs distilled white vinegar
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 13 1/2 oz (3 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 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. Butter and flour a 10 cup bundt pan, tap out excess flour
  • Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer with a paddle attachment beat the butter and sugar on medium speed in a large bowl 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 until just combined
  • Add half the flour and the baking soda, salt, ginger and nutmeg, mixing on low speed until just combined
  • Add half the buttermilk and mix until just combined
  • Add the remainder of the flour and buttermilk, mixing until combined
  • Stir the squash into the batter
  • Transfer the batter into your prepared bundt pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula
  • Bake the cake until a tester comes out clean, about 1 hour
  • Remove from the oven and cool the cake in the pan for 30 minutes
  • Carefully invert the cake onto a wire rack. You want to do this while the cake is still slightly warm to minimize sticking.
  • When the cake is completely cool transfer to a serving plate

Make the icing

  • In a medium bowl using a whisk or hand mixer on low speed blend the sugar, buttermilk, vanilla, nutmeg and salt until smooth
  • Continue mixing and add more buttermilk a few drops a time until the icing is still quite thick but pourable
  • Pour the icing back and forth over the cake in thick ribbons, or drizzle using a spatula
  • Sprinkle with crystallized ginger
  • Let the iced cake sit at room temperature for about 45 minutes before serving


  1. Wow! That sounds excellent!!! I like most anything made with buttermilk. And the butternut squash in this recipe adds a hint of healthiness. ;-) I think I'll be trying this recipe this weekend. Thank you for sharing!!!

  2. You're welcome, Robert. I don't bake at all and this was easy enough for me to handle, and it tastes awesome. The second time I made it I thinned the icing too much, so be careful.