October 11, 2010

Why am I making so many desserts??

Maybe desserts are comfort food for me?  Whatever the case, they sure are yummy. This particular recipe came out of the Sacramento Bee last week.  On Wednesdays, they have a food & wine section that highlights recipes and regional fare.  Once in a while they have a decent looking recipe. Everyone liked the cake, but Andrew is not a fan of walnuts so he only had a couple of bites.  I'll probably try it again without nuts, just for him :-).  

Butternut pineapple spice cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1 cup canola oil
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups finely grated peeled butternut squash (not cooked)
1 cup drained crushed pineapple
1 cup toasted chopped walnuts

cream cheese frosting
one 8oz package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 to 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Preheat oven to 350.  Butter and flour a 9x13 baking dish.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and allspice.
In a large mixing bowl, comine the oil, granulated sugar, and brown sugar.  Beat until well combined.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Add the vanilla. Continue to beat until fluffy.  Gradually add the dry ingredients, mixing just until the batter is smooth and blended.  Fold in the squash, pineapple and walnuts.  Spread into prepared pan.  Bake for 35 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center of hte cake comes out clean.  Cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting: in a medium bowl, beat together the cream cheese, butter and vanilla.  Add 2 cups of the powdered sugar and beat until smooth.  If the frosting is too thin, mix in the additional 1/2 cup powdered sugar. 

Helpful hints
To peel the squash, just cut a small portion off the bottom so it stands, and peel vertically down with a vegetable peeler. For ease of grating, cut into hand held chunks and use the small side of a cheese grater.  The whole squash won't be used.  Leftover squash can be cut into bit-sized chunks and used in a soup or stew.

It's easy to roast walnuts.  Place them on a baking sheet in a 400 degree oven for approx. 10 min.  Be careful, once they darken they are burned.

When baking it's best to leave eggs sit on the counter until room temperature before using.

My cake baked for approx. 45 minutes instead of 35.

The Sacramento Bee does this nifty thing where they print all the nutritional information after each recipe.  But after reading it, I decided it wasn't so nifty after all.  Just go run an extra mile and you'll be fine!!


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