4 In Desserts/ Recipes/ Vegetarian

Butternut Squash Gingerbread Cake

Now that the weather has become super miserable ,and I have been permanently wrapped up in woolly jumpers, I have been craving some good old fashioned Yorkshire Parkin – in fact I have a test batch of Paleo Parkin maturing right now but I have been wanting something a lot less sweet and a lot more wholesome.

With butternut squash fully in season it made sense to make something wickedly delicious with it, and best of all I didn’t even have to use the whole thing so I can roast up some butternut squash for dinner (covered in molasses no doubt). I’ve also still got some good old Otto’s Cassava Flour to play with so I thought it would only be fair to use it and make this cake a nut-free one! Don’t worry though if you are one of my unlucky UK readers (Otto’s Cassava Flour isn’t available here yet) then you can follow my substitutions in the ingredients list.

Please remember that this cake really is a treat and I don’t want you guys to think that this is particularly low in sugar either – it’s not. Blackstrap molasses (although high in calcium, copper, iron, and manganese) has a GI of 55 and just one tablespoon contains 5.88 g of sucrose, 2.56 g of fructose, and 2.38 g of glucose. So although blackstrap molasses can be beneficial you need to consume this with caution. Crack it out on Halloween or even Bonfire Night but don’t be making this your regular bake!

This Paleo Butternut Squash Gingerbread Cake will blow your socks off – wickedly moist, fiery, deliciously gingery with dark molasses undertones, and topped with an oozing molasses caramel sauce as black as the night! It’s best served warm and if you’ve got some Paleo friendly vanilla ice-cream then seriously just go there! I won’t tell! Alternatively eat on its own or with some coconut cream.

Butternut Squash Gingerbread Cake

Makes: 1 small ‘loaf’ (about 10-12 slices)

Utensils Needed: Food processor, 9″x5″ loaf tin, parchment paper.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 50-60 minutes


For the cake:

250g peeled butternut squash (cubed)
1 cup Otto’s Cassava Flour or 1 cup ground almonds plus 1 tbsp coconut flour
1 cup tapioca flour
2 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp vanilla powder (optional)
Generous pinch Himalayan pink salt
1/3 cup blackstrap molasses
100g raw grass-fed butter or coconut oil
1cm piece root ginger (finely diced)
2 eggs
4 medjool dates (pitted and diced)

For the caramel:

25g raw grass-fed butter or coconut manna
2 tbsp blackstrap molasses
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp vanilla powder


  1. Start by preparing your butternut squash. Place your peeled and cubed squash into a boiling pan of water, cover and cook for 10 minutes or until the butternut squash is soft enough for a sharp knife to slight right through. Drain the butternut squash and leave to cool for a few minutes.
  2. Place your drained butternut squash into the bowl of your food processor, pulse a few times before blending until a nice and even puree.
  3. Add your Otto’s Cassava Flour, tapioca flour, baking powder, ground ginger, bicarbonate of soda, vanilla powder, and Himalayan pink salt. Pulse a few times and blend until smooth.
  4. Next add your 1/3 cup of blackstrap molasses, grass-fed butter, and root ginger into a small heavy bottomed saucepan. Place on a low heat until fully melted. Be sure to stir frequently and do not allow the mixture to come to the boil! You want it to gently melt. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  5. Turn you food processor back on and very slowly pour your molasses mixture down the feed tube. Be sure to pour in small amounts and process until evenly distributed.
  6. Next pulse in two eggs before blending until smooth. Stir your diced medjool dates into your batter.
  7. Pre-heat your oven to 180C. Line a 9″x5″ loaf tin. Pour in your cake batter and smooth with a spatula or back of a spoon. Create a substantial dip into the middle of the batter – about 1cm will do. This will ensure that it will rise evenly.
  8. Place your cake into the oven on the middle shelf. Leave to cook until it is golden brown all over and when you insert a toothpick into the centre it comes out clean and hot to the touch. This should take around 40-50 minutes. If you feel that the cake is cooking too quickly on the outside and is starting to burn then cover the top of the tin with tin foil (shin side facing outward). This will prevent any further browning.
  9. Whilst your cake is baking make a start on your molasses caramel. In a small pan combine your butter, blackstrap molasses, ground ginger, and vanilla powder. Place on a low heat and leave until it starts to simmer at the outer edges of the pan. Stirring frequently allow the mixture to simmer for around 5-7 minutes until it begins to thicken slightly. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
  10. Once your cake is ready remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire wrack. Leave to cool until it is warm to the touch but not burning hot. Carefully pour over your molasses caramel. You many need to use a silicone spatula to spread out the caramel or if you find that the caramel has cooled too much and is too thick then quickly pop it back onto the hob until it loosens a little.
  11. Leave your cake to cool to room temperature and enjoy! It’s best served chopped into slices and then warmed gently in the oven.

If you’d like to follow Ottos Cassava Flour online then check out the links below:

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  • Reply
    Emily @ Recipes to Nourish
    2nd October 2015 at 3:30 am

    This looks amazing!!! I haven’t had gingerbread cake in many years. Thanks for the inspiration, I can’t wait to make this for my family. Pinned it and shared it on my social media + I’m linking to it in my newsletter tomorrow morning. I hope it brings some traffic your way. I’ll be hosting a gluten-free linky party tomorrow {Savoring Saturdays, 10/2 at 7 p.m. EST @ Recipes to Nourish} if you’d like to link up, I’m sure this recipe would be a hit.

    • Reply
      8th October 2015 at 2:02 pm

      Oh my god I’m so sorry I missed this comment 🙁 how super amazing of you thank you! I need to sign up to your newsletter! Let me know if you are doing another link party. Once again I’m sorry I missed your comment x

  • Reply
    16th November 2015 at 1:09 am

    Fingers crossed. This looks to die for!!!! I’m scared though….. There’s no smoothing with a spatula, or creating a dip in the center. My batter turned out VERY runny…..

    • Reply
      16th November 2015 at 7:09 pm

      Oh no! How did it turn out!? Let me know if it didn’t work and we can figure out what went wrong!

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