Butternut Squash Cake Recipe with Buttermilk Glaze

Recipe Pin
1 hour 35 minutes
12 servings

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Pools of sugared glaze bathe the peaks and valleys atop this apple and Butternut Squash Cake Recipe with Buttermilk Glaze, your visual cue that autumn has arrived. With much gratitude and appreciation, this recipe is courtesy of our friends at Better Homes and Gardens Magazine.

a white plate with a slice of cake
What’s The Best Way to Prepare and Cook Winter Squash?

Winter squashes varieties include butternut, acorn, pumpkin, spaghetti, Hubbard, and delicata to name only a few.
1. You will want a very good, very sharp kitchen knife. Drive the tip of your knife into the squash and work the blade all the way around the squash being exceptionally careful as you go.
2. Once you have the squash halved, use a big spoon and scrape out the seeds and the stringy pulp. Place the halves cut side up on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle or brush some olive oil all over the inside of both halves.
3. Bake the squash halves at 350°F for 45 minutes or until the flesh is completely fork tender. A very large squash will likely take an hour or more to fully bake.
4. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before separating the flesh from the skin.
5. Place the cooled flesh into a food processor and pulse until pureed and more or less smooth. Now the squash is ready for use in cooking and baking recipes or to be canned or frozen for later use.

Alternatively, you can also peel the squash (butternut and delicata) and cut the squash in half. From here cut into chunks and boil until fork tender.

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a white plate with a slice of cake

Butternut Squash Cake Recipe with Buttermilk Glaze

Bake this gorgeous breakfast or Brunch cake for yourself. I mean it. It’s ‘you-worthy’ and delicious like no other. I did just that. Baked it and portioned it out for gifting to neighbors. But again, it was ‘me-worthy’, so I kept a seriously big hunk for myself.

Choose between a silky buttermilk glaze or a sweet cream cheese frosting. I went buttermilk glaze for my photos, but if you wanted to elevate this, a cream cheese frosting would be entirely appropriate.

Piping hot coffee, a piece of this fabulously seasonal butternut squash cake, and the crossword. All enjoyed on my back porch as I sat listening to crows calling out. Oh c’mon, be imaginative! All that’s missing is some chilly air to seal the deal and propel me into sweater weather… 😉 Loving coffee cakes? Be sure to read through my method for a copycat Entenmann’s New York Style Crumb!

Do You Have What’s Needed to Bake Up This Winter Squash Cake Recipe? Check the List!

for the cake

  • all-purpose flour
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • butter
  • granulated sugar
  • vanilla extract
  • eggs
  • cooked and mashed winter squash such as butternut or acorn
  • buttermilk
  • tart cooking apples such as Granny Smith
  • walnuts
  • golden raisins

for a buttermilk glaze

  • buttermilk
  • confectioners’ sugar

or for a cream cheese frosting

  • unsalted butter
  • cream cheese
  • confectioners’ sugar
  • vanilla extract

How This Recipe Came About…

Here is yet another recipe ripped from the pages of who knows where over 25 years ago. How do I know it was that long ago?

Because the box was sealed during one of my moves and not opened until I hit South Carolina 25 years later. But…I’m going with a 1996 article in Better Homes and Gardens Magazine given a quick search in Google offered nearly the same recipe.

All of these clippings, all of these recipes; they were all meant to be baked and cooked and canned and tasted soooo many years ago. And here I am, JUST getting around to those ideas and recipes that influenced me to learn to cook and would later inspire this crazy successful food blog I now call my full-time job.

a white plate with a slice of cake

What Kind of Kitchen Equipment Do I Need for This Squash Cake Recipe?

This recipe moves quickly with very little fuss. I always use a 10-inch springform pan however you may also bake this in a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan so, grab either. You may use parchment paper to line your springform if you wish but I don’t.

I have yet to bake this as a Bundt cake, so I’m unable to offer bake times for this type of pan.

I use a large bowl for the dry ingredients and a larger bowl for the wet ingredients. An electric mixer will do you for this one, so no need to dirty the stand mixer or the food processor.

Lastly, you’ll want measuring spoons and cups and a wire rack for cooling your cake after the bake. That’s it.

a glass cake pedestal, with a butternut squash cake

Can I Use a Different Winter Squash Other Than Butternut?

Ultimately, you will need 3/4 of a cup of a cooked and mashed squash. I specify butternut squash because it produces moist crumbs in the finished bake. But…that is not to say that pumpkin puree or acorn squash puree would not yield exactly the same.

Thinking about it, a squash mixture of say summer squash (yellow squash or zucchini) grated fine on the box grater along with some winter squash puree to equal the 3/4-cup would also likely yield moist crumbs in the finished bake.

And whether it be fresh squash or canned squash, that choice is yours. Both pumpkin puree and butternut squash puree are readily available in cans (NOT pie mixture, rather plain squash puree) and make life easier no doubt.

a white plate with a slice of cake

Would This Squash Cake Be Just as Good with Cream Cheese Frosting?

If you’re not keen on the buttermilk glaze, by all means consider a frosting of some kind. Cream cheese frosting springs to mind because it’s the obvious flavor to pair with baked goodies.

But have you considered a Nutella frosting? Hazelnuts would also be a wonderful compliment to the flavors already brimming in this excellent recipe.

I also think a maple glaze (made with real maple syrup) would be lovely, not to mention entirely seasonal. But herein, I’m offering up a quick method for glaze or cream cheese frosting, your pick.

a white plate with a slice of cake

How to Make This Butternut Squash Cake Recipe?

You will need room temperature eggs for this method, so pull three large eggs from the fridge before you do anything else. Preheat your oven to 325°F.

Next, grease a Bundt pan (or whichever of the specified pans listed above you’ve decided to use) by brushing the bottom and the walls with about a tablespoon of melted butter. You can also use cooking spray if you choose.

a butternut squash halved on a wood cutting board

Combine the Dry Ingredients

To a large mixing bowl, add some flour, baking powder, baking soda, 1/2-teaspoon ground cinnamon, some ground nutmeg, and whisk to combine. Set this bowl aside while you work on the wet ingredients.

Make the Cake Batter

In a large bowl using an electric mixer at medium speed, beat a half cup of softened butter until it’s smooth. Add some granulated sugar and a teensy bit of vanilla extract and beat again until well combined.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. The mixture will be silky looking and very smooth.

In a medium bowl mix together cooked, pureed butternut squash with some buttermilk. Alternating each addition, add the squash mixture and then the flour mixture beating together on low speed until well combined.

a pile of chopped apple

Building the Cake

Peel, core, and chop enough apples to equal 1 1/2-cups. Stir the apple, some chopped walnuts, and a handful or more of golden raisins into the batter and stir.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Next, peel, core, and thinly slice enough remaining apples to equal one cup.

Toss a quarter cup of granulated sugar along with some additional cinnamon into a bowl and use your hands to coat the apples in the cinnamon sugar. Arrange the coated apples atop the cake. I don’t get fancy with a pattern, but you can.

To Bake the Squash Cake

Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour to 1 1/4 hours for the springform pan. Bake 50 minutes to 1-hour for the 13 x 9 x 2 baking pan. I use a wooden pick to test for doneness about 15 minutes BEFORE the bake is up regardless of pan size.

Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before loosening the sides of the springform pan. If using a 13 x 9 x 2 and using a full-on frosting, invert the pan onto the wire cooling rack after 10 minutes.

Allow the cake to cool for 30 minutes before drizzling with the buttermilk glaze, 2 hours before frosting with any type of frosting.

Buttermilk Glaze

Add a cup of confectioners’ sugar to a bowl and stir in a thin stream of buttermilk, between 1 and 3 tablespoons. I like to use the tines of a fork to stir the mixture to a smooth consistency.

Place the cake atop a rimmed pedestal or rimmed cake plate. Drizzle the buttermilk glaze over the entire cake being sure to coax some overflow down the sides.

Cream Cheese Frosting

A basic cream cheese frosting elevates any bake in my opinion. Remember before whipping this up that you’ll need room to store any uneaten portions in the refrigerator.

Add VERY soft unsalted butter and softened cream cheese to a bowl and beat until smooth. Add 4 cups of confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract and beat to combine very well.

Refrigerate until ready to frost. Be sure not to waste ANYTHING left on those beaters or in that bowl – find a quiet corner in your kitchen and discreetly lick away… 😉

Featured image 3 for Butternut Squash Cake Recipe.

Butternut Squash Cake Recipe with Buttermilk Glaze

Jenny DeRemer
Pools of sugared glaze bathe the peaks and valleys atop this apple and butternut squash cake recipe, your visual cue that autumn has arrived.
5 from 2 votes
Servings: 12 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Course Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert
Cuisine American, Southern
Servings 12 servings
Calories 540 kcal


  • 10-inch springform pan or 13×9 baking dish


for the butternut squash cake

  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon divided
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg freshly ground makes a difference in the bake if you have a nutmeg grinder
  • ½ cup + 1 tablespoon unsalted butter divided; 1/2 cup softened to room temperature; 1 tablespoon melted
  • 1 ¾ cups granulated sugar divided
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs brought to room temperature
  • ¾ cups cooked and pureed butternut squash may substitute pureed acorn squash or pumpkin
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 3 to 4 medium-sized Granny Smith apples peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1 cup walnuts rough-chopped
  • ¼ cup golden raisins

if making butternut glaze

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar sifted
  • 1 to 3 tablespoons buttermilk

if using cream cheese frosting

  • ½ cup unsalted butter softened
  • 8 ounce package cream cheese softened
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


for the butternut squash cake

  • Grease a 10-inch springform pan or 13x9x2-inch baking pan; set aside.
  • Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • In a large separate bowl using an electric mixer, beat butter for until smooth, about 1 minute. Add 1 1/4 cups of granulated sugar and vanilla. Beat so well combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • In a third separate bowl, stir together the mashed and cooked squash with the buttermilk. Add squash mixture and dry ingredients alternately to the egg mixture and mix thoroughly.
  • Add 1 1/2 cups of the chopped apple, walnuts, and the raisins into the batter. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. To the remaining 1 cup of chopped apples, add the remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and toss well to coat the apples. Scatter the cinnamon sugar apples on top of batter.
  • Bake in 325°F oven for 1 to 1 1/4 hours for springform pan, and 50 minutes to hour for 13x9x2-inch pan or till cake tests done with a toothpick. Cool on rack for 10 minutes. If using springform pan, loosen sides of pan. If using a 13x9x2 baking pan, invert onto cooling rack after 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely before either glazing or frosting.

if using buttermilk glaze

  • Stir together 1 cup sifted powdered sugar and enough buttermilk to make drizzle consistency (add 1 tablespoon at a time till desired consistency).

if using cream cheese frosting

  • Beat softened butter and cream cheese until well blended. Add confectioners' sugar and vanilla extract and beat until smooth and creamy. Refrigerate until ready to use.


There Is Debate on whether or not to refrigerate baked goods that have a glaze assembled with dairy. In the case of this cake, if you make the buttermilk glaze, the choice is yours as to whether or not to refrigerate. I do not and we have never experienced any issue.
If, However You Use the Cream Cheese Frosting you must refrigerate any uneaten portions of cake. Because this cake is dense, use plastic film right up against the crumb when storing under refrigeration so as not to dry it out.

The nutrition value can vary depending on what product(s) you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use a calorie counter you are familiar with.

Please note that table salt and iodized salt are NOT substitutions for Kosher salt. Do not deviate unless otherwise specified.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 540kcalCarbohydrates: 112gProtein: 7gFat: 32gSaturated Fat: 16gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 111mgSodium: 210mgPotassium: 236mgFiber: 3gSugar: 38gVitamin A: 1811IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 107mgIron: 2mg
Did you love this recipe?Leave a comment and Let me know how it was!

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Recipe Rating


  1. This looks and sounds absolutely delicious! I love squash but don’t have many recipes using it. Will have to try this one! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Ellie, thank you! It’s quite good, but I’m biased. I like it best with the buttermilk glaze, but if entertaining I always whip up the cream cheese frosting for it. Everybody LOVES cream cheese frosting! x – Jenny

      1. Have not tried it yet. My Mother in law is coming for a visit, so I want to make it while she is here. I know she will love it!!!5 stars

        1. Darlene, oh let me know how she enjoys it! I made it again last week for an after-church function and everybody seemed to enjoy it. Was a little sad I had none to bring home! x – Jenny