Brown Butter Spice Cake

Brown Butter Spice Cake Recipe


This cardamom-kissed, brown sugar crusted, squash-battered spice cake nearly didn't happen. My oven has been on a slow, temperamental decline for months. It has always been a bit slow out of the gate, taking it's time to heat up, but generally I didn't think much of it. Fussy oven, end of story. Recently though, it has been taking the better part of an hour to get to 350F. Then, there were the times it would turn off on a whim. Poof. As if it was simply done baking for the day. And the moments when it felt compelled to belch gas. Just the sort of thing to send me into a panic. At any rate, I found myself standing in front it, promising to call the repair shop, if it would just finish up this last unassuming loaf cake without issue. And it did. And the cake was near perfect. As promised, a call was made, a part replaced, and now she hits 350F in under ten minutes.

Brown Butter Spice Cake Recipe

The inspiration for this cake was a bowl of leftover roasted winter squash. I was going to make pan-fried dumpling with this squash, but at the last minute opted to make a loaf cake instead. I'd puree the squash until it was smooth and creamy, then fold it into the batter for flavor, depth, and a moist crumb. And while I call it a cake, it's not hyper sweet. It's more like a cake-like bread - in the way banana bread, or zucchini bread is cake-like.

Brown Butter Spice Cake Recipe

The spices here are assertive, I didn't skimp. In turn, it might be the most wonderfully fragrant cake I've baked to date. I chose a garam masala spice blend, paired with a good amount of cinnamon, to deliver a bit of a twist as far as warming spices go. The garam masala brings the cardamom, but also a nice hit of black pepper. If you give the cake a go, let me know if you make any tweaks to the spice list. There's a lot of latitude to experiment here.

Brown Butter Spice Cake Recipe

We're thinking about skipping town with the cameras at some point in the next week to visit Yosemite. I'm embarrassed to say, although I've lived within a four hour drive nearly my entire life, I've yet to visit in the winter. Thoughts, tips, things I shouldn't miss en route? -h

 
 
 
 

Brown Butter Spice Bread

If you want to get this in the oven more quickly, I can imagine skipping the browning of the butter, I also imagine pure coconut oil, just melted, could be a nice alternative to the brown butter. I used pureed winter squash, but ripe bananas would likely work as an alternative. Also, don't sweat it if you can't find a garam masala spice blend, you can experiment with another Indian curry or spice blend if you like, or pumpkin pie spices.

1/2 cup / 4 oz / 115g unsalted butter, plus more for the pan

1 tablespoon toasted hazelnut oil - or almond oil, or more melted butter)

1 1/2 cups / 6 oz / 170 g whole wheat pastry flour, plus more for the pan

1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

1 cup / 5 oz / 140 g fine grain natural cane sugar or muscovado sugar, sifted plus another 1 1/2 tablespoons for topping

2 large eggs
1/2 cup / 4.5 oz / 130 g well-pureed roasted winter squash*
1/4 cup / 60 ml milk
1/3 cup / 1 oz / 30g lightly toasted sliced almonds

Melt the butter in a small pot over medium heat until it's brown and gives off a deliciously nutty aroma. This can take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes. You want the butter solids nicely toasted, but not scorched. Stir in the toasted hazelnut oil. Set aside and allow to cool but not set. By doing the butter first you can complete the rest of the steps while it is cooling.

Preheat oven to 350F / 180C with a rack in the top 1/3. Butter and flour a 1-lb loaf pan, or roughly 9x5x3-inch.

Sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, garam masala, and sea salt into a large bowl. Set aside. In a smaller bowl whisk the sugar, eggs, squash, and milk. Whisk in the still melted butter, but make sure it isn't hot to the touch. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture, and stir until just combined. Fold in most of the almonds.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, sprinkle with 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar and remaining almonds, and bake for about 50-60 minutes, or until the edges have browned and the center of the cake is well set. Do your best to avoid over-baking, part of the charm of this cake is its moistness, when it is baked properly. Use a cake tester if necessary.


*To make pureed winter squash: Roast large wedges or small cubes of skinned and seeded pumpkin, butternut squash, red kuri squash, etc. in a 375F / 190C until cooked and tender throughout. Puree with a hand blender until smooth.

Prep time: 25 min - Cook time: 60 min

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Your Comments


A Teenage Gourmet
January 17, 2011

I want this so badly right now! I'm on vacation and I can't bake . . . ahhhh. :(

 

Emm
January 18, 2011

Mmmm, looks beautiful! Your addition of garam masala sounds wonderful!
Those moments when it feels compelled to belch gas do sound a little scary! I hope your oven gets better soon...or better still, get's replaced soon ;-)

 

Sophie
January 18, 2011

Lovely idea for a wintery alternative to zuccini cake - I do like all the aromatic spices.


I had a tub of leftover roasted squash in my fridge all last week which would have been perfect for this but it ended up in my porridge which was also good (with a bit of cardamom & maple syrup)

 

I bet that flavor and scent of it is amazing!! Great way to use up winter squash. :)

 

nicole
January 18, 2011

I am making this as we speak! So excited. I think I am going to have a mouth orgasm with the first bite!

 

kosenrufu mama
January 18, 2011

i think this would be my preferite recipe! thank you! i always read your blog, but i don't use to leave a comment, now i have to do it! i love this recipe!

 

nicole
January 18, 2011

I am making this as we speak! So excited. I think I am going to have a mouth orgasm with the first bite!

 

Blog is the New Black
January 18, 2011

LOVE brown butter. This spice cake sounds wonderful and homey. Love the idea of gram marsala.

 

Kannan
January 18, 2011

Good recipe.

 

jennifer
January 18, 2011

The pan is beautiful!! (The recipe looks great too!)

 

Jessica @ How Sweet
January 18, 2011

I can just imagine how divine this cake is. I love anything with brown butter!

 

Katrina
January 18, 2011

Mmm this bread looks so good. I love the addition of the winter squash! Also, glad you have a working oven again!

 

Dinners & Dreams
January 18, 2011

Your description of how wonderfully spiced and fragrant makes me want to make it. I'm surprised to see garam masala in a cake.

I like the vintage pan.

Nisrine

 

Heather (Heather's Dish)
January 18, 2011

brown butter makes everything better!

 

Bethany
January 18, 2011

What a lovely idea -- roasted squash has a taste that is just unlike anything else. I imagine that it would be perfect in a loaf cake/bread!

Good for you in getting your oven fixed -- I can't imagine the anxiety while it was belching gas!! Agh!!

 

Hilary Beckrich
January 18, 2011

Your blog makes me happy every day! I love love love it!!

 

alana (at) the food
January 18, 2011

did you see yosemite on oprah? it was amazing!
the trees!!!!!!!

 

Oh, wow. This looks amazing.

 

sweet road
January 18, 2011

This looks absolutely delicious, I don't think I have found one recipe of yours that I don't like!

 

nicole
January 18, 2011

oh Hedi you are a god! I baked your very beautiful cake this morning and added a curry powder named Kandyan curry and some cardamom to the recipe. I also only had sweet almonds here in Sweden, they are mainly used for baking. they are striped of their skins and washed. It is a FANTASTIC cake.I HEART YOU!

 

Earl Lee
January 18, 2011

Yosemite in the winter... I look forward to those pictures!

 

Erin
January 18, 2011

My goodness, that looks amazing. I'm literally drooling.

 

Caroline Shields
January 18, 2011

I love that there is a hit of black pepper. I love sweet w/ pepper.

 

cathyb.@brightbakes
January 18, 2011

beautiful. And browned butter is good in "everything"!
love,
cathy b.

 

jaclyn@todayslady
January 18, 2011

Oh I love the sound of this bread. The roasted squash must give such a great flavor. And garam masala and pepper? Wow, I really want to try this!!!

p.s. So glad to hear your oven is fixed and that this loaf actually got made :)

 

Talar
January 18, 2011

This looks so delicious! I have some pureed winter squash in the freezer I've been looking to use up so this just might be the perfect recipe! I recently started a blog myself, and I have to say that your photographs are an inspiration -- I never realized how hard it is to take pictures of food, but you do a FABULOUS job! Thanks again for the recipe, I will post it up when I make it

 

Robin (Hippo Flambe)
January 18, 2011

I may play with this recipe a little to make muffins. I have been meal planning and cooking for a preschool as part of an Americorps position and I would love to add another muffin to the mix. I think I may need to lower the sugar a little to make the federal government happy but I bet the kids might like a mix of spices.

-Robin

 

No sugar? This is amazing. From the pictures and discussion I was imagining my favorite banana bread recipes spiked with garam masala. But this would be less sweet, and you're right, more like a bread, right? I'm trying to imagine the perfect soup to serve it with - maybe a creamy cauliflower?

HS: Christine, there is def. some sugar and sweetness in this cake. Not overwhelmingly so, but it's in there - 1 cup+

 

EatLiveRun
January 18, 2011

Beautiful!! Spice cake is my favorite!

 

Rebecca
January 18, 2011

This cake/bread looks amazing . . . may have to try it out this weekend!

I went to Yosemite in October . . . make sure to stop by Oakdale Cheese (http:www.oakdalecheese.com) and get a gouda grilled cheese!!! They have a funny little sign about a $2 grilled cheese, if I am remembering correctly . . . it was a perfect snack along the way . . .

 

Laura @ SweetSavoryPlanet
January 18, 2011

The spices are unusual and winter squash cake is maybe a little like zucchini cake? This will be an interesting recipe. Definitely want to give this a try.

 

Anonymous
January 18, 2011

hetch-hetchy

 

Andrea
January 18, 2011

This sounds lovely. I have a lonely sweet potato hanging around - I hope it works in place of the squash!

 

Jil
January 18, 2011

yosemite in winter should be incredible, but im sure that the cleared roads will be at a minimum, so youll probably be a bit limited in where they allow you to wander. my husband i were there this past early may on our honeymoon and LOVED it ... breathtaking views and an unforgettable experience. food options in the park are very limited (and expensive) so we made our own lunches and brought them in each day. ENJOY!!

 

Holli
January 18, 2011

I'm from Fresno and my mom lives in Oakhurst and we still don't get to Yosemite as much as we should. It's so phenomenal there... enjoy your visit.... every inch of the park is beautiful. I always liked the Meadows though. Good memories there.

 

Nancy
January 18, 2011

I love making pumpkin/squash breads but never thought to add garam masala - great idea! Thanks for another stellar recipe, and glad the oven is on the mend :)

 

Christina
January 18, 2011

This looks delicious!

Yosemite is my favorite place in the whole world, but I've never been in winter. If you feel the urge for pizza (the thicker crusted, cheesy kind), I really like Two Guys Pizza Pies in Groveland: http://www.yelp.com/biz/two-guys-pizza-pies-groveland

It's not fancy by any means, but it's especially good when you've been hiking or just want hearty pizza. :)

 

Daniela
January 18, 2011

Hi! I really hope that you do not mind, but I featured one of your recipes on my blog. It was my third time making it, and I just had to spread the word.....
Dani
chefuality.blogspot.com

 

Jen @ keepitsimplefoods
January 18, 2011

Sugar and spice and everything nice! This cake sounds like a delight!

 

What a clever use of leftover squash. I look forward to trying it!

 

Anonymous
January 18, 2011

Garam masala AND brown butter! What an awesome combination! I want to make this today- maybe I'll leave some for my husband too:)

 

Justeen @ Blissful Baking
January 18, 2011

This spice cake sounds especially wonderful with the addition of brown butter! Yum!

 

jenna@frombostonwithlove
January 18, 2011

This sounds delicious. A warm piece with a cup of coffee, curled up on the couch to read a book. Yes please!

 

Rachel
January 18, 2011

Hi! This looks amazing! Question about the method. I don't understand this step, "1 cup / 5 oz / 140 g fine grain natural cane sugar or muscovado sugar, sifted plus another 1 1/2 tablespoons for topping."

Are you saying to sift the sugar, regardless of which type used? Or, are you saying that if you use muscovado sugar it needs to be sifted? Thanks!

HS: Hi Rachel, I'm just saying to take your 1 cup of sugar and sift out any lumps. The less refined sugars tend to have little balls of sugar, clumps, so I try to get those out so the sugar is uniform. Hope that makes sense.

 

What a great use for garam masala!! I will put this in my 'make me' pile. I love that baking pan you used. Where did you get it ? -mary

 

Jenn
January 18, 2011

The oven in my current apartment is temperamental - it heats up past what I set it to, and never to the same degree. I have been using an oven thermometer and monitoring the temp, but last night there wasn't room for it and the baking sheet and I had to take my chances with my cheesecake.

I have always wanted to go to Yosemite in the winter - my parents went there Dec 31. I would say taking the in view from Glacier Point in addition to the valley would be great. The mist from Bridalveil Falls created snow along side the falls, the picture was beautiful.

 

Melissa
January 18, 2011

Looks amazing and I love the flavour combinations. I have that exact loaf pan given to me by my elderly Austrian neighbour- love it!

 

Jess
January 18, 2011

This looks lovely and I wish I had a slice to go with my tea right now. I discovered my love for cardamom making Didi Emmons Cardamom Pound Cake (from Entertaining for a Veggie Planet) years ago. Can't wait to try your combination soon.
Also, v. jealous of planned trip to Yosemite. I've been in spring, summer, and fall, but a winter visit is on my list, too.

 

The Healthy Apple
January 18, 2011

Looks beautiful, Heidi. I love the garam masala in there too! Great idea.
Thanks Heidi.

 

Rebecca
January 18, 2011

This looks amazing! I'm so bummed I am leaving this beautiful SF for New Zealand where it is summer and no squash, but I will hold this recipe in the file for when I return at the end of the year (guess I cannot complain about being in NZ for a year). As for Yosemite, the last time I went (about 8 years ago), it was just the end of winter. I do not remember what we did between the bay and the mountains, but I remember stopping at EVERY SINGLE vista point because the trees/mountains were so beautiful upon entering the park. It took us hours to get down to the campground from entering the park. It was my first time in winter as well (though it was May, so not really winter anymore), and the snow was some of the most beautiful I have ever seen. Have a lovely, lovely time.

 

anne swanson
January 18, 2011

Definitely can recommend heated seats and a convertible top to enjoy the view for a bit. We always took our own food -wrapped in multiple layers of newspapers and nestled safe in the trunk. Great bean and lentil soups, vegetable stews - in wide-mouth vintage thermoses-one for each of us- and good bread. Oh, and spoons. The scenery is so breathtaking this time of year and I always wanted to make sure the food was as stimulating.

 

Steph @Lick My Spoon
January 18, 2011

The Iron Door Saloon in Groveland is a great pit stop on the way to yosemite! It's the oldest saloon in CA and is just really quirky and charming. The sweet potato fries are fantastic and spiked with cumin.

Have a wonderful trip!

 

Happy When Not Hungry
January 18, 2011

This cake looks amazing! The spice combo sounds so interesting especially with the garam masala. Thanks for sharing!

 

ellie
January 18, 2011

Perfect for a raining day...I love the way you write out your recipes. It makes me want to drop everything and make it!

 

Morgan G
January 18, 2011

This is the most unique recipe I've come across in a long time - and it's for a bread! Amazing. I actually have cardamom in my cupboard from a failed attempt at homemade chai tea, I'm sure I'll have better success with this!

As far as Yosemite goes, I recommend the Sierra Restaurant and Jackalope's Bar at Tenaya Lodge, which is located at the south entrance of the park.

 

Janet
January 18, 2011

I've been making pumpkin bread for years, and with plenty of little pumpkins grown this year I am looking for a variety of recipes to try. Thank you for the inspiration.

As for Yosemite in the winter, my husband and I celebrated a few Thanksgivings there in the late 90s before we moved too northward to make it practical anymore. I think the road to Glacier Point will be closed, but the walk around Mirror Lake in the snow is divine. It snowed while there one year and was such a special Thanksgiving memory, still is, now over ten years later. Have a great time!

 

Catherine
January 18, 2011

Just came from Zion National Park in winter - one day we hiked in the winter sun and the next day we woke to snow and red rock in greater dimension than we'd ever seen Zion before. Add the cold clear green Virgin river running through....I would add one of our snowy Zion pictures of the Temple of Sinawava beside the Virgin river if I could.

This cake is on the short list of things to make in the kitchen between classes and studying!

I look forward to seeing your photos and hearing about your Yosemite adventures.

Oh, I ordered your new cookbook - April is so far away......

 

tia
January 18, 2011

looks yummy - wondering whether this can be made w/gluten-free flour? trying to learn to accommodate a friend's dietary restrictions, and this is a new concept for me as a baker ... thanks for any suggestions on substitutions, etc.. !

 

ruby
January 18, 2011

Gorgeous photos as always! Beautiful loaf pan. Cake is just perfect for mid-January!

 

Adriane
January 18, 2011

I am making this today to bring to work tomorrow (I am a firm believer of winning people's hearts through their stomachs). Very excited about the garam masala and brown butter - I have cooked with both but never baked with them. I am actually headed to Yosemite next weekend as well, planning on snowshoeing near the West gate. Look forward to your pictures!

 

Debra Daniels-Zeller
January 18, 2011

As usual your photos are so inspiring and the use of squash in this cake simply amazing. I can't wait to try it.

 

Chorisande
January 18, 2011

Mmm, going to make this soon. This is also a good way to use leftover canned pumpkin. (I have irregular amounts leftover after pumpkin cookies, cake, etc.)

If you want a quick way to soften squashes, the microwave is amazing. Do you allow for nuking of foods? (Hmmm, something tells me this a no-no for y'all.) Well, if you like living on the edge, you can cut and seed a squash, wrap it in plastic and nuke it. 7-8 min for a small half, more for large. Slice away the thin layer that was touching the plastic, if you don't want your RDA of BPA.

 

Sugar there is! So sorry! I read through the recipe twice and missed it twice.

I suppose my hazy eyes are to be expected with a toddler waking me at 5am for the past 2 weeks. I'll skip the cream of cauliflower soup as an accompaniment for sure!

HS: No worries Christine! It's nice to know I have extra sets of eyes looking out for me. Consecutive early mornings can be rough.

 

Kee
January 18, 2011

this sounds great!
do you think homemade apple butter could replace the squash?

HS: I think that might work nicely Kee. If you try it please report back though.

 

Meagan
January 18, 2011

This looks like my perfect dessert. Thanks so much for posting - we'll be baking soon. I feel your oven pain. We just caved and bought a new one after about a year of fervent praying every time I had bread dough or a birthday cake ready to go in the oven. Sometimes it felt like turning on, sometimes not. And sometimes it went cold mid-bake! When it heated I felt like the world was smiling at me, but when it didn't - how very sad! Needless to say, I grin every time I turn on the new oven. It always works. I highly recommend taking the plunge!

 

suemvi
January 18, 2011

I was wondering what to do with that leftover winter squash in the fridge. Now I know. Thanks for yet another excellent idea. No hazelnut oil on hand, so I'll just use the extra butter. And this goes right along with my New Year's resolution to experiment with more Indian spices.

 

Heidi I'm so glad your oven worked, and that she's all better : )
This cake looks dynamite. I'm always excited when indian spices are used in desserts like quick breads and cakes. I'm thinking of making these as muffins, vegan style.
Have fun in Yosemite!

 

annie
January 18, 2011

If you can find it where you are, i bet roasted butternut squash seed oil would work as a substitute for the hazelnut/almond oil in this. Looks great- i'm trying it tonight! Can't wait to see your winter Yosemite photos- i took black and white ones in early spring and they were spectacular on their own- I can only imagine what your more professional eye can capture!

HS: Sounds delicious Annie - I'll keep my eyes peeled for some. I think that might be the one type of oil I don't actually have here :)

 

Anonymous
January 18, 2011

This cake looks great!

Yosemite in winter - an awesome trip. Just walking around the valley is amazing. The Mirror Lake walk is beautiful, and depending on snow conditions some of the other trails in the valley will get you a bit above things to get a nice view. Also I think some of the short trails to Sequoias outside of the valley might be open in winter, when they'd be much less traveled and still (or even more?) gorgeous. The sit down restaurant and bar by the Lodge both have pretty decent food, the restaurant is pretty nice but also pricey. There's also a cafeteria by the Lodge that is OK in a jam but not great.

Up by Badger Pass there's a lot more snow - the road to Glacier Point is groomed for skiers in winter but it might be a bit far for a day trip unless you are a big xc skier looking for a long day. An alternative might be to try to get to Dewey Point (from the Glacier Point road) on skis or snowshoes (which you can rent at badger pass). Its still an event to get there and back, but if its clear that gives a nice view of the valley and if the trail is well packed it would probably take less time than getting to Glacier Point. Or there's the downhill ski area at Badger Pass, with some views of high Sierras from the slopes (but not views of the valley I think). The food at the Badger Pass ski area is much more limited than in the valley, if you're just packing one lunch this would be it.

Have fun!

 

Christy
January 18, 2011

Hi Heidi,

I am baking the cake now, with a (few) tweaks! I had Imo roasted from the night before, i added flax & chia for the eggs and a little more cardamom & black pepper. I wish I had the hazelnut oil, but alas I only had walnut oil, so I used that. I used coconut oil as per your suggestion and some agave for some of the sugar! I hope I preserved the essence of your beautiful cake. I'll let you know! PS I also added some shredded apple(just a little one).

 

aneesh
January 18, 2011

I never miss a chance to stop by the Oakdale Cheese Factory on my way to Yosemite. Also if you end up around Stockton at lunchtime, give Genghis Khan Mongolian BBQ a try. Fast, cheap, and tasty. And the Iron Door Saloon in Groveland is a must-stop for a burger and beer.
The cake recipe is intriguing. Will give it a shot!

 

amanda
January 18, 2011

That is the cutest cake pan EVER!

 

tia
January 18, 2011

hi, heidi -
sorry to bug you, but you may have missed my comment/question above - is it possible to make this (or other breads/cakes) with gluten-free flour? trying to experiment to surprise a friend ... or is this impossible? thanks! :)

HS: Hi Tia - you know, to be honest, I'm not sure. It really varies from recipe to recipe. If you happen to try it, it would be great if you'd report back.

 

nicky
January 18, 2011

Heidi,
my oven is the opposite of yours -- it goes to 450 immediately and I have to turn it up and down to keep it at 350. It is very easy to overbake things. So my question is, how done is done? Does the tester come out clean or more like a brownie with moist crumbs?

Bring your snowshoes!

 

Anna Johnston
January 18, 2011

This sounds so yummy, I actually have these ingredients on hand & love the garam marsala addition.

 

Christy
January 18, 2011

The cake is perfect. Thank-you again for your inspiration! I also forgot to add that I did not have any fine sea salt except one that had truffle in it by Dean & Delucca. Yes I DID use it and yes it was an astonishing cake, thanks to you!

Have a great evening!

Christy

 

Vicky
January 18, 2011

I follow your blog and love your recipes. Remember Lazy Dazy cake. Comfort food. I look forward to trying this spice cake with the garam marsala. I got to visit Yosemite a few days before Christmas. My son is employed full time at Camp Wawona. (A Christian youth camp that is within Yosemite Nat park.) The falls had lots of water flowing and at a stop to view the dome and falls there was a small snowman on the stone rail. Enjoy your time and I will look forward to the pix.

 

Pat
January 18, 2011

I love all of your recipes Heidi. This looks like a very creative twist for bread, and I'm anxious to try it. The brown butter sounds wonderful....

 

Jeni
January 18, 2011

Cannot wait to make this, it's at the top of my list after I finish my finals!! I'm from Yosemite and my mom lives in Mariposa, if you go through that way Savoury's restaurant is lovely. Since hikes are out and the waterfalls won't be in full effect, I'd say the best views are going to be the meadows at this time of year. The Little Red Church is always picturesque if there's snow.

 

CA Lonergan
January 18, 2011

We've been to Homestead Cottages twice now ('08,'10): in Ahwahnee (the town), outside the south entrance. Sep. bedroom w/full bath, combined living/dining/kit. w/fireplace. Quiet, green, peaceful. We explore Yosemite (I get my fix of snow - I'm from NY/CT) by day, hiking, photos (and a hot toddy as 'reward' in front of an Ahwahnee (the hotel) fireplace. At day's end, we groc. shop what we didn't pack in, cook, eat, read, sheshbesh, and gin-rummy til bedtime. Then start again the next day. so fun. Cindy & Larry couldn't be nicer/more accommodating owners/hosts. Check them out! & enjoy the mighty Yosemite! :-) p.s. bring chains! http://www.homesteadcottages.com

 

Nicole
January 18, 2011

I have stopped by three times today just too look at that top photo. Stunning, so beautifully simplistic. I want to sit down cut off a chunk, no plate, just let the crumbs scatter across the table.

 

Heather
January 18, 2011

This sounds Heavenly! I love the spiciness of cardamom! I bet your home smelled wonderful while it was baking!

Crazy about your oven! You sound like me with my car, "If you will just start right now, I promise I will take you into the mechanic tomorrow." Glad you got it fixed!

 

Simply Life
January 18, 2011

Oh wow, I've never seen anything like this with those spices- how wonderful!

 

dana
January 18, 2011

Mm, a slice of this cake with a thermos of hot tea....and in Yosemite?? If that's not heaven....

Also, to Tia, for the past 20+ years, I've been making my banana muffin recipe. Four years ago, I had to give up all gluten and eggs and now make the same banana muffin recipe by substituting "flax eggs" and a gluten-free flour mix -- usually Pamela's because it so perfectly substitutes for wheat flour in muffins. Give it a try, I'm sure Heidi's cake will be brilliant using Pamela's baking mix :)

 

veggie potluck
January 18, 2011

gorgeous! just pulling together some recipes for using squash and i think this will have to go on the list. a perfect winter dish, thanks!

 

Picture and Plate
January 18, 2011

Mmmm....that looks amazing! It makes me think about all the other tasty things that could be pureed and put into cake. The wheels are spinning....but maybe this cake first.

 

e to the double p
January 18, 2011

it makes me happy to know that regardless your cooking nature and reputation, you still have a bum oven(as mine) and a knack for the unknown. i wish i had a name to call for repairs but alas, i'll still need to add ample baking time and a faith that something solid will come through. heidi, every hit has been a winner and although i may not have every a hearty ingredient as you propose, i still have a fine dining table after following your recipes. thanks a bunch and keep on cookin'!
shouts out from barcelona!

 

Kathy
January 18, 2011

check out www.worldisround.com for ideas of things to see in Yosemite NP. People have posted some amazing photos.

 

Erin in the house
January 18, 2011

Hi there, as soon as I read brown butter my heart skipped a beat. I plan on making the recipe tomorrow.

I know a lot of your recipes are from cookbooks and less so from magazines, but if you love brown butter look up Fine Cooking's Oct/Nov 2010 edition of Brown Butter Pumpkin Layer Cake. I had a local organic bakery make it for my wedding and it was THE BEST CAKE I have EVER eaten in my ENTIRE life and I have eaten a lot of cake.

Happy Baking.

 

Haris
January 18, 2011

Hi Heidi,

Have been reading your blog since a month now and really enjoy your pictures and recipes. Will be definately making this bread/cake as I always love making new things with leftover squash. But wanted to ask, can it be frozen (slice it, wrap tightly in cling film, freeze and reheat in oven for an exotic spiced indulgence at a later time)?

 

Christina
January 18, 2011

Enjoying a slice right now. :) Warning, though. For me, it only took 40 minutes!

 

laura @ alittlebarefoot
January 18, 2011

wow, this looks heavenly!

 

Cynthia
January 18, 2011

Chinese five spice powder would work well in this too. I use 5 spice in a lot of baked goods but I have never used garam masala which I try the next time I bake.

 

Julie
January 18, 2011

So, stumbled across your blog & this recipe today & went home to bake it right away. Um, the recipe is only for two, right?! :-) Delicious! Thanks for sharing!

 

Bitter Lynt
January 18, 2011

I was in Yosemite 390 days ago. We packed snowshoes and trekking poles and used them to great advantage on Four Mile hike. I don't know if the hike will still be open (wasn't really open for us) at this point in winter. Hiking up out of the valley floor and mist made for incredibly scenic photographs -- we got the most fantastic photos of snow blowing off of Half Dome. We wished that we had Yaktrax for some of the recommended "tourist" areas that were very icy.

 

Kristin
January 18, 2011

I love vegetable breads and this one looks not only healthy, but scrumptious!

 

krista
January 18, 2011

Wonderful! Here is what I tried with what I had on hand---I was able to use less butter and omit the milk because I used more squash. Thanks so much for the inspiration...it turned out beautiful.


1 c. pureed roasted acorn squash (was roasted with a generous amount of olive oil)
1 tablespoon browned (salted) butter
1/4 t. hazelnut extract
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4. t. cardamom
1/4 t. cloves
1/4 t. ginger
pinch black pepper
1/4 t. salt
1/2 cup sucanat brown sugar
1/2 cup natural cane sugar
2 large eggs
topped with walnut pieces

***

 

Shannon
January 18, 2011

Heidi, This sounds wonderful...can't wait to make it! I love cardamon and cinnamon, I'm also kind of a nutmeg freak. I love folding pumpkin and leftover butternut squash into things. I put a scoop or 2 of leftover sweet potato or pumpkin into french toast batter for my kids for added nutrition. I made some fab. veggie enchiladas the other day with leftover, cubed up butternut squash, corn, black beans, tofu.
If you come to Yosemite Sonora isn't that far away and there is a FANTASTIC restaurant called The Diamondback Grill, a must if your in the area!

 

The Good Soup
January 18, 2011

Well, when MY oven heats up and stays hot for more than an hour, the sides expand and the wire racks fall out! (Does my oven win?)
Gorgeous recipe, Heidi. I've got a Kent Pumpkin (classic Australian variety) sitting on my bench right now and it's definitely looking for something better to do! Cheers, Angela

 

Jeanne in Oz
January 18, 2011

This bread looks amazing. I will try it with the coconut oil because we use it a lot. Wonderful combinations of flavours! You are my inspiration!
At Yosemite go to the Awanee Lodge if you can. The views are spectacular. The windows are set to frame the most beautiful sights. I love the quiet in the winter and the distant crashing sounds of the ice falling from the frozen waterfalls. It is so peaceful this time of year. I have even camped in the snow. When I was much younger! Have fun!!

 

Sneh | Cook Republic
January 19, 2011

This cake looks stunning. Thank God pumpkin is still available in Sydney even though we are at summer's peak, will try it out this weekend and if it works, then it would be a nice addition to our Australia Day BBQ next week!

 

JoEllen
January 19, 2011

Drive through my hometown, Mariposa, on your way through. A little place called The High Country Cafe and Health Food Store has whole food supplies to meet your needs. It IS hard to find good food selections in Yosemite and Mariposa is your best bet and along the 140 route to Yosemite Valley.
Have a great time! This is beautiful country here. I will really enjoy knowing that you came through and experienced our area (after all, I love to experience your world in this blog all the time!).

 

Jan Fanning
January 19, 2011

I just received this video from a friend, and i thought i would share it once again. it is probably too early to see the 'frazzle ice' but it gives you an idea of how beautiful Yosemite is in the winter.
http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=9V9p4mFEYXc&vq=medium#t=15

 

Donneek
January 19, 2011

Early breakfast at the Awhanee Hotel, their Sunday Brunch is amazing. Be sure to get a window seat. So fun to watch the deer on the lawns in the morning.

Walking in the meadows or along the Merced river so beautiful! So quiet in winter.

Hot chocolate in the cafeteria at the Lodge after a day of hiking.

If it isn't snowing the hike up Yosemite falls is stunning this time of year, you won't run into many other hikers either!

 

Merry
January 19, 2011

This is perfect: I roasted carrots and squash for soup a couple of days ago but couldn't resist putting aside the reddest of my squashes for 'something' else. I wasn't sure what that something was but I think you've just told me! Thanks.

 

Kateisfun
January 19, 2011

Mine just came out of the oven and the bit of crust I had was fab. Thanks for a great recipe! My tweaks and substitutions:
~No garam masala on hand today, so used turmeric and cardamom in its place (a generous 1/2 ts each I'd say).
~Used homemade cinnamon almond milk in place of milk.
~Used brown sugar in place of white.
~No hazelnut oil so skipped it; ditto for sliced almonds.

 

Charlotte
January 19, 2011

The banana version is the one I made, with cinnamon and curry. It smells lovely and tastes the same. My boys (7 & 9) thought it was very good, Whta I myself especially like about this cake is the whole wheath thing. Usually when I use whole wheat I get funny looks from my guests. They all seem to prefer a flour based cake (luckily my boys are used to whole wheat). I wonder if they will notice this time... we'll see about that tomorrow!

 

Gina
January 19, 2011
 

carmen
January 19, 2011

I love this blog. I read lots of cookbooks but now I have actually cooked three of the recipes I found here. Thank you. c

 

Angharad
January 19, 2011

Aye carumba, this is right up my alley! I love everything from the squash (butternut squash bread is my favourite to date) to the indian spices. I really need to give it a go. Thank you!

 

Anonymous
January 19, 2011

You might want to inquire at the Lodge if they are still doing the incredible Chef's Holidays (I might have the incorrect name there) during winter in Yosemite. They used to host amazing chefs who came to give free demos, followed by dinners for which they charged of course. I went to one years ago, but am not sure if they have been discontinued. I know they held these over a series of years there at the Lodge and hosted many, many chefs.

 

Cathy Wright
January 19, 2011

Hi, it's me again Anonymous. I didn't mean to put it in without a contact name. Hope your vacation to Yosemite (if you go) will be winter wonderful!

 

maya
January 19, 2011

hey heidi
please please please can you tell us where you got that lovely pan? it's so pretty.
i've been looking for a pan like this all over thrift shops around SF and even found a similarly patterned baking sheet at Cookin' (super awesome vintage store on Divisadero that has everything). thnx!! maya

HS: Hi Maya, I'm pretty sure I picked up that particular pan at the Alameda flea market a few years back. You might be able to find one on ebay or etsy though. Happy hunting.

 

Claire
January 19, 2011

Yosemite in winter has lots of things going for it -- snow-covered views, less people, plenty of cozy opportunities to snuggle up indoors. However, we were just there last week and found it particularly icy -- so expect to not be able to make it up to some of the steeper places. We made it up to the Lower Yosemite Falls bridge, but it was just slick enough so that even my husband with snow boots was falling down too. So go, and bring plenty of scarves, mittens, and hats, but also go in the spring -- although I've never been, the flowers should be lovely and it won't be so icy.

 

Laurel
January 19, 2011

I was just thinking of making a butternut squash pie when your recipe appeared. Decided to make the bread! I am trying to cut out white sugar so I made this with 1/2 maple sugar, 1/2 brown sugar. Also, no dairy, it was made with Earth Balance buttery sticks, and soy milk in place of cow's milk. Didn't have almonds either. You know what - it was delicious and a huge hit with my husband and three kids. The loaf would have been gone right after dinner if I hadn't stopped them!

 

Pepper
January 19, 2011

Brilliant. Heidi, you have inspired me so much and this eclectic bready cake is exactly why. I am into muffins right now, any suggestions for converting the recipe into heart shaped valentines day goodies? I usually just cut the baking time down.

 

Heidi S.
January 19, 2011

I love how you think. Maybe it's a kindred Heidi spirit, but the way you cook is the way I love to cook too. You inspire me continuously. And the brown butter?! Being from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (aka Brown Butter Capital of the World), you just scored yet another star in my book. Thank you!

 

Amanda
January 19, 2011

This looks amazing! As far as Yosemite goes, I just went snowshoeing 10 days ago out to Dewey Point from the Badger Pass ski area, which is about a 7 mile hike total and took about 3 hours (with complete newbies to snowshoeing in tow, too!). The trail is pretty popular but if you get on it by 10am it is not too bad, but the views are amazing... it comes out just at the top of the valley across from El Capitan, easily the best/easiest dayhike with such rewarding views. And the ice rink at Curry Village at night is cute and fun, complete with a fire just next to it (bring marshmallows!). Have fun!

 

cherylann
January 19, 2011

dear heidi~
my roots are from norway~ where my mother was born and my dear grandmother made the most amazing norwegian cookies!!!! and my altimate favorite which i waited every year at christmas was tor waffles wrapped in wax paper then foil, tied with fine string with a paper tag ~tor waffles ~ which is why i will make this recipe~ i love cardamom~
thankyou~ and have fun in yosemite !

 

cherylann
January 19, 2011

heidi~ where would i find the etched bread pans shown in the picture of brown butter spice bread?????????????

 

Elizabeth Hay
January 20, 2011

Heidi,
My husband and I just came back from our first vacation in three years, and having indulged in many wonderful meals, need to lose ten pounds each. Yes, we enjoyed gaining every one of them, but they must go! I have been looking for dessert recipes that have some good food value as well as being a reasonable treat. This is perfect! Thank you.
I think Yosemite is beautiful any time of year, and am looking forward to seeing your pictures. You have a wonderful eye. Also glad you got that oven fixed.

 

Emily
January 20, 2011

This looks wonderful! I've made a brown butter and winter squash bread before, but it didn't occur to me to try lacing it with Garam masala (in spite of a general obsession with it). Thanks for the inspiration. Also a question, where did you get your lovely loaf pan? Mine are a hideous mess at this point, and I'm looking to buy one or two new ones, and I just love the look of the one in your photos.

 

jill
January 20, 2011

I went to yosemite in the winter...the previous weekend was 55 and sunny, ours it snowed 4 feet.

so I recommend staying in the valley, in case that happens to you.

and if it snows that much; then brunch at the huge lodge in the valley is easy to get into :)

I recommend snow-shoeing to mirror lake, taking pictures of lower yosemite falls, and taking a snow shovel with you as well as lots of layers.

have a great time!

 

Damaris @Kitchen Corners
January 20, 2011

I might see you there. I have been wanting to go to Yosemite in the winter as well. We're planning a weekend trip. I hear it's amazing.

Also, your cake looks and sounds just perfect. take it with you on your trip to keep you warm.

 

This sounds amazing! I really love cardamom in baked goods.

 

something_good
January 20, 2011

I've stumbled upon your blog today for the first time; and it was right into this spice cake ... the face-to-face (or screen-to-screen) encounter led to excessive drooling and a revelation - we do need spice cakes in our lives ... 10q

 

Vanessa
January 20, 2011

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=9V9p4mFEYXc&vq=medium#t=15

Cool Yosemite winter phenomenon. I hope you get to see it in person! It might be too early, but I bet it will still be beautiful.

 

I have plans for my own leftover squash in the fridge, and it definitely is going into a baked good! Great way to get flavor and some vitamin C in there :-)

 

Kristy
January 20, 2011

I have a cinnamon and squash addiction right now. This bread looks absolutely amazing and the photo is gorgeous. Will try this out this weekend!
Thank you!

 

Deanna
January 20, 2011

The cake sounds fantastic. I think I am going to add some crystallized ginger because I love it. My aunt lives near Yosemite so I go fairly regularly. My advice would be:
1. Check for road closures before you go. Last time we went we couldn't even get into the park because of mudslides.
2. Bring chains
3. Eat or at least go sit by the fireplace at the Ahwahnee hotel. Its beautiful and inspiring.
4. If you're taking the 140 or the 49 into the park get coffee at Pony Expresso and eat at Savoury's

That's all that I can think of. Hope you enjoy the park!

 

Heidi - I love the moodiness of the first photo! Like a cabin in the woods in the rain ... but with a warm fire. And maybe served with a hot coffee and a cheeky dash of frangelico?

That's where I plan to make this bread, anyway!

 

Elena
January 21, 2011

I love this blog! I found it yesterday and have spent so much time looking over all the amazing recipes. I've been looking for a project and decided I want to cook through your blog. :) Can you give me an estimate of how many recipes you have on here? I'd love to do it in under a year...do you think that's possible?
Thank you so much for the inspiration and a nice place to find nutritious and delicious whole food recipes!

 

Anna
January 21, 2011

okay, so i'm just about to put this in the oven and already having a hard time keeping my fingers out of the bowl. i changed some things for what was on hand -


-substituted raw grated marrow for the squash
-accidentally dumped in a little too much cinnamon (but added a touch more garam masala, just to keep the proportions)
-used 1T toasted sesame seed oil instead of the hazelnut oil (which i was skeptical about, but tastes delicious!)
-substituted toasted pecans for almonds


probably not as cohesively 'eastern' as yours, heidi, but i don't think this bread's going to make it through the weekend.

thanks for all your fantastic recipes! you're a household name at the dinner table :)
anna


 

Rocky Mountain Woman
January 21, 2011

I love spice cake for a not too sweet, but sweet tooth satisfying end to a meal.

I'm putting this one on my "to try" list...

 

Smyth
January 21, 2011

Hi Heidi! All I have are slivered almonds, do you think that would be odd texturally as opposed to sliced? Or am I just splitting hairs?

HS: Hi Smyth, I think they would just be texturally different - not necessarily better/worse!

 

Nutri Fruit
January 21, 2011

Have you ever tried adding Freeze Dried Fruit Powder to your baking recipe? These are 100% natural fruit powders, no added preservatives.

 

ally
January 21, 2011

i love the loaf pan!!

 

emm
January 21, 2011

For those looking for the loaf pan, it looks like it's an Ecko Ovenex. Hope that helps the search. Ebay currently has listings for that particular starburst style in loaf pans, muffin tins, and cake pans. (No, I'm not an ebay or etsy seller). Good luck!

 

Jennifer
January 21, 2011

Some of my favorite pictures that my husband has taken have been of Yosemite in the winter with the snow. Absolutely gorgeous! Wherever you go you will encounter beauty - enjoy!

 

Jennifer
January 21, 2011

Oh, forgot to ask: I'm assuming these can also be made into muffins by shortening the baking time; is that correct?

 

Azia Graham
January 21, 2011

YUM YUM YUUM

 

Erin
January 21, 2011

Delicious! So glad I went for the garam masala, I was skeptical at first but WOW.

I veganized the recipe by replacing the butter with Earth Balance, and the eggs with 1/4 cup applesauce + 1 tablespoon ground flax seed mixed with 3 tablespoons of water. Thanks to the sweetness of the apples, 1/2 cup sugar was plenty--would actually use less next time.

 

Sloth Cat
January 21, 2011

Your site is what inspired me to stop being afraid of my kitchen and to start learning how to cook. I absolutely love the photos in your posts. They make me instantly hungry. Great work! Very inspiring! Happy New Year!

 

morna
January 21, 2011

Re Yosemite: If you're lucky, you'll arrive in the valley just before a major winter storm and the weekend hits, thus keeping you in and others out. Then you strap on your xc skis and feel as tho' you have Yosemite valley all to yourselves...memorable and priceless!

 

foodie and the chef
January 22, 2011

Oh there are tricky ovens everywhere... mine has the opposite problem - it will hit 350F in 4 minutes flat. The little oven's over-enthusiasm kicks in and it continues on the upwards heat-climb until my baking is reduced to a pile of cinders. This looks lovely, I'm glad your oven held in there :)

 

Lisa
January 22, 2011

I made this this morning and it is the most delicious loaf I've ever tasted. Thank you so much for the recipe!

 

Susan B.
January 22, 2011

Hi Heidi, I made your recipe today with just a few changes. I used a leftover sweet potato, turbinado sugar and white whole wheat flour. It was delicious! I think a little cardamom might be good, also. Thanks for sharing it with us. I'm so glad you got your oven repaired. I don't know what I'd do if mine ever went on the fritz. Have a fun trip to Yosemite!

 

Julie
January 22, 2011

Wonderful bread! Thank you for sharing! Brown butter has got to be the most delicious flavor.
And I'm so glad to see no need to use yeast :)

 

monkeytoe
January 22, 2011

This sure looks good. I have no ripe bananas or winter squash at the moment, but I have a small pile of chocolate persimmons that need me to eat, smoothie-fiy, or something before the next batch ripens. I will report back on how it works!

 

Emm
January 22, 2011

Hey Heidi this cake recipe has been haunting me for almost a week now! I am going to try making it this week. Gluten-free. So to Tia, if it works out good, I'll let you know what flours I used :-)

 

Sarah @ Flavoropolis
January 23, 2011

Wow, I love this recipe. So creative!
As a vegan, I don't think I've ever even tried brown butter, but this is really tempting me to come up with some sort of vegan version...

 

Feast on the Cheap
January 23, 2011

This looks wonderful - had a surplus of butternut squash recently so I whipped up a Butternut Bread that's somewhat reminiscent of this. I slathered mine with a healthy dollop of Ginger-Apple Butter - it was such a decadent snack. This looks wonderful and I love that you used Indian spices, will have to give this a whirl

 

monkeytoe
January 23, 2011

The black sapote/chocolate persimmon worked a treat and I used chaat masala insted of garam masala. Delicious.

 

Megan
January 23, 2011

Thanks for this Heidi. It is delicious. I made it two days ago with acorn squash, walnuts and dark brown sugar. In a wide bottomed loaf pan it took 40 minutes. The masala is so fragrant. We ate it warm with some locally made old fashioned vanilla ice cream. My friends dropped in for a visit and slices of this disappeared very quickly!

 

Sara
January 23, 2011

I have only been introduced to your website a month ago and have enjoyed many dishes. I just made this loaf with pumpkin and 1/2 the amount of sugar (trying to cut down for my son) and it was delicious and my 2 year old son loved it.

HS: Sara, thanks for reporting back re: the sugar. It's great to know it worked out well with less.

 

emily
January 23, 2011

beautiful photos...I love anything with brown butter in it

 

Liza
January 23, 2011

I made this with bananas and Chinese five spice -- it's delicious! Thanks for the inspiration.
http://knittingalife.com/2011/01/23/heidi-swansons-brown-butter-spice-cake-sort-of/

 

corey f.
January 23, 2011

hey hs,

longtime admirer and reader, first time baker and eater. just moved to portland from lower haight in sf last week and nesting in the new home today.

the loaf is in the oven and i tasted the batter. delicious!

my only additions:
- freshly grated nutmeg
- toasted pecans, crushed instead of almonds
- mix the pecans and sugar together prior to sprinkling it on top of the loaf.

i'll let you know how it turns out!

cheers,
corey

 

karina
January 23, 2011

Yum! I used garam masala with cinnamon in it, so I added ground ginger and allspice.

I also used a mix of flaked almonds and pine nuts rather than sliced almonds.

 

Babs
January 24, 2011

Made this yesterday for a group of high-minded bakers and it exceeded everyone's expectations. Really fantastic. I used acorn squash (had it on hand), added some ground cloves and ginger and added a bit more cardamom. No almonds as I didn't have any, and used coconut oil. Will make again in a heart beat.

 

Cindy
January 24, 2011

i have this loaf pan and a 9" square cake pan to match. from my mom circa 1940. Toronto.
i made the oat soda bread in the loaf pan. my crust on the loaf was very thick and bit hard. did i cook it too long? too hot?

 

Melissa
January 24, 2011

I have a bowl very similar to the white one pictured. Is yours an antique? I got mine from my grandparents when they were cleaning out their kitchen a few years back.

 

megan
January 24, 2011

delicious! i made last weekend. the brown butter smells heavenly! i used honey (3/4 cup) in lieu of sugar and i used 1/2 cup amaranth flour + 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour - was great. as i was eating, i wished i had thought to throw in some crystallized ginger - next time. also - mine was done in 40-45 min. thanks!

 

Smyth
January 24, 2011

So I didn't even have enough for a 1/3 cup slivered almonds, but I made due and toasted them and broke them into smaller chunks and they tasted great in the bread and looked great as a garnish. I have to say this may be my new favorite recipe. I had to make changes based on what I had and the fact that I am vegan. first, I used sweet potato puree, but that allowed me to go a bit easy on the sugar, which I probably used 1/3 parts evaporated cane juice sugar, and 2/3 parts turbinado sugar (that I also used for the topping). For the eggs, I used 2tbsp ground flax and 6 tbsp warm water that I prepared before assembling the rest of the ingredients. Then I used Rice milk which I love because even though it has a more watery consistency, it has a much creamier flavor and isn't as processed as soy milk. Definitely will be making this again, but I think I'll experiment with another egg replacer at least for one of the eggs to see if it will rise a little more. Absolutely incredible cake. Makes me inspired to use different spices and ingredients in sweet treats. Very special, thank you!!

HS: Thanks for reporting back with your vegan adaptations Smyth. Super helpful. Glad you enjoyed it.

 

monkeytoe
January 24, 2011

Good with leftover baked sweet potato instead of the squash. I made this batch as muffins and took the rest into school. they disappeared in no time. I love this recipe!

 

Janet
January 24, 2011

Hi again: I made two loaves. One with coconut oil and one with the browned butter. Both were very good. Browning the butter was a subtle difference and slightly preferred only because I had something to compare it to. In regular glass loaf pans they baked in 40-50 minutes.

I love the photos of your Yosemite trip. Your view while hiking of Wayne in front is the same view I have when my husband and I go hiking, and mine is equally as skinny! Amazing, considering how well these men eat! So glad you made the trip and that I could relive our winter stays there through you.

 

Emm
January 26, 2011

Hi Heidi, I made a gluten-free version of this yesterday and it was one of the nicest cakes ever. I used
# 1/2 cup (80g) brown rice flour
# 1/3 cup (37g) quinoa flour
# 1/4 cup (48g) potato starch (or you could use tapioca flour)
I also used coconut oil in place of toasted hazelnut oil and cut the sugar down to 3/4 cup.
It smelt beautiful with all those spices and tasted even better. The whole cake was eaten by nightfall (not all by me, I promise!)
Thanks for a wonderful recipe :-)

HS: Thanks for this Emm, so glad it worked out. And thanks for sharing for others.

 

cursuri machiaj
January 27, 2011

I’m a big fan of cakes and I always need an “excuse” to bake some. So, thank you for giving me a new “excuse”. Looks absolutely delicious.

 

What a unique use of garam masala. Looks and sounds fantastic! Can't wait to try!

 

juli
January 27, 2011

they all look good

 

kate
January 27, 2011

This is, like, the best thing I have ever eaten!


I used butternut squash and add another 1/2 tsp of cardamom to the garam masala and cinnamon. I think a pinch of cloves and two pinches of ginger might be a tasty addition.

Also, used an extra TBSP of butter instead of the nut oil--unfortunately, I'm allergic.

 

anabel
January 29, 2011

This one looks so yummy. Will try to make it. Seems like the perfect desert for these cold days.

 

Jennifer Feeney
January 29, 2011

What a great recipe! I made some adjustments as follows:

- I didn't have any almonds or nut oils. For the texture of the almond, I switched to toasted rolled oats.

- I only had brown sugar, so I used that instead. For the top I mixed a bit of brown sugar with the rolles oats...Perfect.

- I thought of using almond extract in the recipe because I really wanted the almond flavor and didn't have almonds, but I notinced all I had was artificial almond extract (YUK! Threw that one out!). I added vanilla extract and that gave a nice flavor.

Thanks for all of your great recipes and notes to help us learn to improvise!!!

 

Breadmaker man
January 29, 2011

The coconut oil does sound like a great alternative to the brown butter. I'm trying to cook a little healthier at the moment so might give that variation a try. Thank you!

 

Chelsea
January 30, 2011

I just made this bread. It is so moist and flavorful. I substituted pumpkin for the squash and used coconut oil instead. It is delish! Awesome, thanks Heidi!

 

vietfoodrecipes
January 31, 2011

beautiful cake! Looking so good and thanks for the details. I'll give it a try this weekend

 

Clare
January 31, 2011

Nothing I ever make turns out quite as pretty as your version...except for this. It's just lovely. Thank you for the delicious recipe; it has filled my apartment with the most incredible aroma and looks almost (but not) too perfect to eat.

 

ally
February 1, 2011

this was great! made this morning for my surprise snow day :) i used pumpkin puree, and coconut oil sub for the toasted hazelnut oil. i didn't have any whole wheat pastry flour on hand, so i used a blend of all-purpose and whole wheat flours with a bit of cornstarch added in. lovely flavors and my apartment smelled AMAZING while this was baking! thanks!

 

emma
February 2, 2011

hi! made this yesterday. it was delicious. the brown butter and squash gives this cake a delicious nutty-pumkiny flavor. heidi's cautionary note about not-overbaking is a good one. I think I may have left it in a tad too long, and it did become pretty dry. she suggests cooking it for 50-60min. Depending on your oven, I think it could be closer to 40-50 min.

 

srg
February 2, 2011

I echo Emma's recent comment. 50-60 minutes was too long in my oven, too. It was a touch dry. But the deliciousness still came through. My kids loved it and begged their friend to eat it, too (I made the mistake of mentioning the butternut squash). My oldest was practically crying, "but you can't taste the squash at all! I promise!" I'm making another batch today-- this time with a shorter bake.

 

Bean
February 2, 2011

This cake came out absolutely lovely! Even tho I had to make several adjustments, it was still delightful. I used raw garam masala spices (cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon, coriander seeds) which I ground finely . OK, some may think this is a bit of work, but I do this when I cook in general, and it really is a cinch. And I added a bit of cumin too (didn't grind). Used a mix of brown and white sugar. And didn't have whole wheat pastry flour, so I used all purpose flour.

 

Andrea Kasper
February 5, 2011

MAde this and LOVED it...I made the zuccinni bread a few weeks ago and it was demolished. Somehow I missed the pepper people are talking about and I roasted a sweet potato since I didn't have squash on hand.

My cake was a little crumbly and I wonder if it is maybe because I used whole wheat flour...not the pastry kind. Can you tell me the difference? I assume it is finer?

I LOVE your blog and have sent it on to many many people.Thank you Andrea

HS: Hi Andrea, thanks for the nice note. The flours are different. Whole wheat pastry flour is made from a softer, lower-protein wheat berry. I tend to use it for things where I want a finer crumb - muffins, quick breads, cakes, etc. Whole wheat, and white whole wheat flour are make with harder, higher-protein wheat berries, and I tend to use those flours when I want more structure - breads, pizza crusts, crackers, etc. Hope this helps.

 

Nikita
February 6, 2011

Wow- I picked up some garam masala while in India and now I know just what to use it in first!

 

Julie Jones
February 8, 2011

I made this yesterday, and it has been entirely consumed. It was so moist and flavorful. So so good! It is worth making if only to smell the brown butter mixed with the hazelnut oil. Heaven.

 

Mary
February 10, 2011

I made this this evening and am just having a warm slice--delicious! I used fresh ginger, mace and nutmeg.

 

Bella
February 13, 2011

I made it last night for some house guests. it was a total hit!!! Everyone raved about it and I gave the recipe to several people. I didn't use nut oil or almonds, as my husband is allergic to nuts. I used 2/3 cup powderred turbinado sugar (that's what I had at hand). I also had just a little cubbed butternut squash left over after I made the puree, and decided to throw it in whole after para-baking it during the rest of preparation. It was lovely.

Thank you so much for all your delicious recipes!!! I have to tell you that your Azuki bean/Butternut squash soup has been a favorite at our house for the last couple of years (that is what I had b-nut squash left-over from for the above bread/cake.)

 

Dianne
February 14, 2011

Finally got a chance to make this -- absolutely superb. Thank you so much for your site and unique recipes.

 

chitra
February 18, 2011

I love the fact that you used garam masala in the cake. I love the aroma of the spice and use it very often in my cooking as I'm Indian. But to use it in a dessert is such a wonderful idea.

 

Sabrina Smeraldini
February 20, 2011

Hi! When I lived in the U.S. my mom used to make zucchini and banana bread so I have to tell her about this wonderful recipe!
I love spice nutmeg and I wonder if it would taste good with squash. I will definitely try it soon.
Sabrina.

 

i
February 24, 2011

what a great recipe! i didn't want to use garam masala so i just used a tsp. of ground toasted cardamom and it turned out amazing. I also only used a half cup of sugar and it was fantastic. what a great alternative to thanksgiving pumpkin loaves and squah loaves. i imagine it would be great as muffins also. Thank u!

 

This looks absolutely beautiful! I cannot wait to make this spice cake when I move into my new place (which has a new oven!) very soon! Thanks :)
Heidi xo