Looking for a snack cake that captures all the fall harvest feels? Meet the Sticky Pecan Squash Cake. This cake gets its gorgeous orange glow from naturally sweet butternut squash, while warm spices and toasted pecans from Schermer Pecans add intense bursts of fall flavors. The toasted, nutty flavor of the pecans marries beautifully with the rich caramel flavor of the sticky pecan topping, and the earthy sweetness of the butternut squash truly sets this cake apart from the rest. Quick to come together, and deliciously festive, this cake will be the perfect addition to all your fall feasts.
Sticky Pecan Squash Cake
Makes 1 (13x9-inch) cake
- 1¾ cups (428 grams) puréed cooked butternut squash (see Note), room temperature
- 1¼ cups (250 grams) granulated sugar
- ¾ cup (168 grams) vegetable oil
- ⅔ cup (152 grams) unsalted butter, melted and divided
- 1¼ cups (275 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar, divided
- 4 large eggs (200 grams), room temperature
- 1½ teaspoons (6 grams) vanilla extract, divided
- 2¾ cups (344 grams) plus 2 teaspoons (6 grams) all-purpose flour, divided
- 2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
- 2¼ teaspoons (6.75 grams) kosher salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon (2 grams) ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon (2.5 grams) baking soda
- ½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ cup (60 grams) heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup (113 grams) chopped toasted pecans
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray a 13x9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Line pan with parchment paper, letting excess extend over sides of pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk together squash, granulated sugar, oil, ⅓ cup (76 grams) melted butter, ¼ cup (55 grams) brown sugar, eggs, and 1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together 2¾ cups (344 grams) flour, baking powder, 1¾ teaspoons (5.25 grams) salt, cinnamon, baking soda, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, and pepper. Gradually stir flour mixture into squash mixture just until combined. Spoon batter into prepared pan, smoothing into an even layer with a small offset spatula. Tap pan on a kitchen towel-lined counter a few times to settle batter and release any air bubbles.
- Bake until top and center of cake are mostly set and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers about 185°F (85°C), 23 to 26 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in another medium bowl, stir together cream, remaining 1 cup (220 grams) brown sugar, remaining ⅓ cup (76 grams) melted butter, remaining 2 teaspoons (6 grams) flour, remaining ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) salt, and remaining ½ teaspoon (2 grams) vanilla. Stir in pecans. Spoon and spread mixture onto hot cake.
- Bake until cream mixture is bubbly, a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with just a few moist crumbs, and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 200°F (93°C), 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
- Using excess parchment as handles, remove cooled cake from pan, and cut into squares as desired.
Note: To make butternut squash purée, halve and seed a large butternut squash; coat on all sides with 1 tablespoon (14 grams) vegetable oil. Bake, cut side down, on a parchment paper- lined baking sheet at 375°F (190°C) until very fork-tender, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Let cool completely on pan. For best color, trim and discard any browned spots. Scoop squash into the work bowl of a food processor, and pulse until mostly smooth, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Reserve any extra purée for another use.