Honey Squash Cake
As previously mentioned, the Freds have a thing for buying in bulk. We tend to buy things in quantities suggesting we’re harboring a small militia or a giant brood of children a la octomom or preparing for the zombie apocalypse – 50 lb’s of flour, gallons of honey and maple syrup, a cubic foot of cereal. So when we were recently gifted with several pounds of squash, we saw it as a great opportunity to put some of our bulk baking goods to use.
It’s been raining here and feeling very Autumn like, so we decided to bake our summer squash into a cake that has distinctly Fall flavors. In the Freds’ world, the process of cultivating said Fall flavors can be summed up by one ingredient: cinnamon. This cake could be named “How-Much-Cinnamon-Can-One-Cake-Reasonably-Accomodate-Cake”. But that’s a bit wordy for a recipe title. So instead, we named it after it’s other prominent flavor – honey, which we both incorporated into the batter and used as a finishing glaze.
While this recipe by no means falls into the healthy or diet category (hence calling it a cake and not a bread as is typical) we did make some simple swaps to make it a bit better for our hearts and waistlines. Most squash “bread” recipes call for a ton of refined sugars and oil. And while our recipe certainly has enough of those things, we also used applesauce to cut down on the oil and honey to cut down on the amount of refined sugars. Conveniently, the addition of those ingredients meant that our cakes remained moist for days. We also used half whole wheat flour, and we suspect that we could have used entirely whole wheat flour if we’d added just a bit more applesauce and honey for extra moisture to balance the drying effect of that much whole wheat. But we’ll leave that experiment to someone who doesn’t already have two cakes to be eaten!
Honey Squash Cake
(makes two 9×5 loaf cakes)
If someone wants to attempt to veganize this recipe by removing the eggs and using more applesauce we highly encourage you to do so. Please let us know how it works out!
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey, plus 6 tbs reserved, heated to attain a smooth consistency if required
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
11/2 cups whole wheat flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup vegetable oil of choice
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (we don’t recommend chunky)
2 cups shredded summer squash (one large or two medium sqaush)
3/2 cups walnuts or pecans, chopped
Grease two 9×5 loaf pans and preheat the oven to 35o, with a rack in the middle.
Beat the eggs with a stand or hand mixer, until they’re frothy, then beat in all sugars, honey, oil, vanilla and applesauce.
In a separate bowl, mix together your flours, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Fold in the dry ingredients to the wet. When just combined, fold in the shredded squash and nuts.
Pour your batter between the two greased loaf pans, then place in the preheated oven. These cakes bake anywhere from 45-60 minutes, depending on the type of pan you’re using, variations in ingredients, etc. Be careful to avoid over-baking, as these cakes are meant to be quite moist. When done they will have risen, the tops will have cracked a bit and a toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean.
Remove finished cakes from the oven and place on a cooling rack. After about ten minutes – when your pan is cool enough to handle but your cake is still warm, remove the cake from the pan by flipping it over – the cake should pop right out. If you’re freezing one of your cakes, allow the cake to cool to room temperature and then freeze – DO NOT GLAZE YET. For the cakes to be eaten and not frozen, while it’s still warm, turn it risen side up and drizzle with reserved honey. If your honey is too stiff to drizzle, heat it up until it’s runny.
Serve warm or room temperature, with additional honey for those who desire it.