Today’s guest post is from a fellow new mom (how adorable is Avery?!) and talented baker. Steph from Girl Versus Dough makes some terrific baked goods and even had an e-book published earlier this year! Be sure to visit her blog and check out some of her other amazing recipes like Peaches and Cream Streusel Bread, S’mores Pretzel Hand Pies, and Sweet Potato Marshmallow Cinnamon Rolls!
Hi there, fellow dessert lovers! My name is Stephanie and I write about my adventures in baking bread and other tasty, unique recipes over at Girl Versus Dough. I’m so honored to be a guest on Lauren’s blog today so she can have some extra snuggle time with her new baby boy.
It was just five short months ago that my own little one was born – and let me tell you, it’s the best thing ever. Getting to spend every day with my daughter is a joy and a treasure, and I am sure Lauren will tell you the same about her own experiences with her baby (well, when she can catch up on some sleep, that is! ;)). There’s just nothing like it. Of course, there’s also nothing like changing a verrrry full diaper or doing the fifth load of laundry in one day or downing that extra cup of coffee just to keep your eyelids open – but I digress.
Having a little one to care for also makes it a wee more difficult to bake – and because you all love dessert as much as I do (I know this because you are on Lauren’s blog right now, where all the dessert yumminess in all the land resides), you know how upsetting this can be. But I’m happy to report that you can, in fact, have a baby and eat your cake, too, if you’ve got easy recipes on hand.
This butternut-pumpkin spice sheet cake (with a bourbon-vanilla cream cheese frosting, hello!) may sound like a complicated recipe, but it’s really very easy. I love it because it’s the perfect embodiment of fall flavors in cake form, it’s quick and simple to put together and because you bake it on a sheet pan, it serves a crowd (it also means the cake to frosting ratio is perfection).
The cake base is made with pureed pumpkin and butternut squash mixed with classic autumn spices, like cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. Once baked, the result is perfectly soft and dense with a moist crumb. Then you spread on the smooth cream cheese buttercream flavored with a bit of bourbon and vanilla, sprinkle some chopped pecans on top and wowza – it’s so good, it almost makes up for having to do that fifth load of laundry.
Forget the Halloween candy this year – I’m going straight for a slice (or three) of this cake. I highly recommend you do the same.
- For the Cake
- 1 cup canned pumpkin (or mashed, cooked pumpkin)
- ¾ cup mashed, cooked butternut squash
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup chopped pecans, for topping
- For the Frosting
- 10 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons bourbon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 4 to 6 cups powdered sugar
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 15-by-10 or 12-by-17-inch rimmed baking sheet (or a 13-by-9-inch pan*).
- In a large bowl, beat canned pumpkin, mashed butternut squash, sugars, oil and eggs until well combined. In a separate large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, cardamom, cloves and salt until combined.
- Gradually mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients; stir just until combined.
- Pour and spread batter evenly into prepared baking sheet. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool cake completely in baking sheet on a cooling rack.
- Meanwhile, make the frosting: In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter 1 minute until well combined. Add bourbon, vanilla and 4 cups powdered sugar. Stir on medium speed until combined. Add more powdered sugar as needed to create a smooth, spreadable frosting.
- Spread frosting evenly over the top of the fully cooled cake (you may want to refrigerate the cooled cake for about 1 hour before frosting it so it's easier to frost). Top with chopped pecans.