I use Delicata squash in this recipe because it’s my hands down favorite winter squash. It’s one of the only squashes that you can eat the skin and it adds such a welcoming texture. If you can’t find Delicata, use a variety that has more sweetness than starchiness, like an acorn squash, then peel it. When you are adding the squash to the cake, take care to layer it in nice tight shingles so the cake doesn’t sneak through the cracks between the squash slices as it bakes. This will make for a better final presentation. If you want to experiment with the flavor a little, try adding a 1/2 teaspoon of ground cardamom or star anise to the brown sugar glaze.To finish, place a dollop of creme fraiche on top as a garnish and sprinkle with some flakes of sea salt.
By / Photography By Guy Hand | January 03, 2014



For the Squash Bottom

Preheat oven to 350°. Butter and flour a 10-inch round cake pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper.

In a small saucepan put 8 tablespoons butter and the brown sugar over medium heat. Whisk and cook until smooth. Pour into the lined cake pan. Cut squash lengthwise, scoop out seed and cut into half moons 1/4-inch thick. Shingle beautifully on top of the brown sugar layer.


For the Cake

In a medium bowl sift together the 1 3/4 cups flour, baking powder, nutmeg and salt. In another medium bowl, whisk together 7 tablespoons melted butter with the olive oil and milk.

In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar and lemon zest until ribbons begin to form (pale and thick), about 10 minutes. Alternately, beat in the dry and wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the wet ingredients. Pour the batter over the squash in the prepared pan. Bake for 75 to 90 minutes. If it seems to be browning too fast after 1 hour, reduce heat to 325° for the remainder of the time.

For an over the top presentation, garnish with additional slices of delicata squash gently poached in simple syrup, if desired.


For Cake:
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted plus more for greasing
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons whole milk, at room temperature
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
Squash bottom
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 medium Delicata squash
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