Butternut squash, oat and ginger cake bites

by sophie on November 11, 2007 · 16 comments

Post image for Butternut squash, oat and ginger cake bites

There’s one question that I need to get out of the way quickly before my lovely husband gets any ideas. Yes, these little cakes do have vegetable in them, but no, they don’t count as a portion of veg. I hope I haven’t upset anyone else with that revelation? A portion of veggies you see needs to be at least within shouting distance of 80g, and a slice of carrot cake or any of its culinary siblings come in nowhere near that, not even nutritionist Kathryn’s Chocolate and Beetroot cake or Heidi’s Special Zucchini Bread. These little squash bites are in the same boat – a meagre 12.5g of squash per cake. But don’t worry, it is not so much what you are putting in that is important here, it is what the squash lets you leave out. Here’s the low down on why these are worth firing up the oven:

  • Crystallised ginger and butternut squash are the perfect autumn flavour combo
  • Roasted butternut squash provides plenty of moisture leaving the recipe to be naturally low fat
  • Flour is OK (unless you have coeliac disease), especially wholemeal, but just doesn’t do as much good stuff for you as oats. This recipe is loosely based on the kind of proportions you would use to make muffins but skips half of the flour in favour of low GI, cholesterol busting oats.
  • There’s no butter or marg in here, just two tablespoons of rapeseed oil to make twenty cakes. Rapeseed oil is the one also known as vegetable oil or canola and is predominantly monounsaturated like olive oil (indeed you could use a mild olive oil instead if you prefer).
  • You won’t miss the butter, I promise, because there are also a handful of buttery macadamia nuts in there.

autumn leaves
These are an every day sorta cake. They aren’t particularly pretty or delicate (meaning that you can dunk them in your tea), but they are as nutritionally well balanced as you can expect a cake to be. Like most low fat cakes they don’t keep for too long but this works in their favour – I keep a batch in the freezer and when I fancy something sweet with my tea I take one of these out at breakfast and it is ready to eat by coffee break.
This is an entirely self-invented recipe and I’m not a baking expert by any means; feel free to tweak the recipe and report back on any improvements you come up with! I’m sure you can think of plenty of things to do with the rest of the butternut squash but if not pop it into the freezer for now (I have an easy savoury recipe to use the rest on its way).

My foray into vegetable-based baking coincides with a beta carotene theme for regular blogging event Sugar High Friday so I thought I would take the opportunity to join those guys for a change (the event is hosted this time around by Leslie at Definitely Not Martha). It sounds good so I will put a link to the round-up here when it appears.

Butternut squash, oat and ginger cake mix

Recipe for Butternut squash, oat and ginger cake bites

Makes about 20 small cakes
Note: if you don’t have any leftover butternut squash available, a medium squash cut in half takes about 35 minutes in a medium oven. Allow to cool slightly then scoop out the flesh.

250g roasted butternut squash flesh (flesh only, skin and seeds removed)
2 Tbsp rapeseed oil (aka vegetable oil, canola)
1 medium egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
150g golden caster sugar
30g macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
1 tsp baking soda
250g wholemeal flour
0.5 tsp salt
150g oats
1 tsp cinnamon
0.5 tsp allspice
4 balls crystallised stem ginger, chopped

Preheat your oven to 180 C, 350 F, Gas mark 4 (I have a super-enthusiastic fan oven so used 160 C).

Give the squash a good stir to make sure that there are no big lumps in it (you can use a food processor if you want but I like to save on the washing up – a good beating with a wooden spoon should do it). Remove any fibrous/burnt/unpleasant bits.

Add the oil, egg, vanilla extract, sugar and ginger to the squash and mix well.

Combine the remaining (dry) ingredients together in a large mixing bowl and stir to distribute the ingredients evenly.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix gently until thoroughly combined.

Line a baking sheet with baking parchment. Dollop out the cake mixture into small mounds (about a heaped tablespoon), leaving a little bit of space between each one. You might need to baking sheets.

Cook for 15 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through.

These store in an air tight container for a few days (you can also freeze them and defrost just a few as needed).


Wendy November 11, 2007 at 13:52

I’m impressed. A self made baking recipe is no mean feat!
Looking forward to trying these out.

Ashley November 11, 2007 at 19:56

What a unique and wonderful healthy snack creation. :)

Lucy November 11, 2007 at 21:32

Macadamias, ginger and oats – how delicious. Love that they are freezable.

Kelly Mahoney November 12, 2007 at 00:59

Sounds delicious, I bookmarked it for later.

kathryn November 12, 2007 at 03:21

Excellent biccies / bites Sophie. But you’re right, not quite a vegie serve – a lot closer than choc chips though!
I love the combination you’ve used and shall be trying these out.

Deb November 12, 2007 at 18:51

Sophie these looks great and I give you a big “pat on the back” for making them so healthy! I adore oats and am looking forward to trying these tasty looking bites!

johanna November 12, 2007 at 19:53

what and unusual recipe and what a stunning picture! i should really try this, i am making butternut squash almost daily for the baby, so this comes in handy!

Julie O'Hara November 13, 2007 at 19:03

I love to make wholesome muffins and scones…and yes, freeze them and defrost one by one for a sweet treat. I don’t often get to participate in sweet blogging events either b/c I just don’t like having loads of desserts around my house all the time. I do however have a real sweet tooth!

Nora November 18, 2007 at 20:00

I’m looking forward to trying these out – they sounds so moist and delicious. I also freeze at least half of the sweet treats that bake so that I can have something quick later when the mood hits me. It also prevents me from eating too many of the treats I bake :-)

Ann December 1, 2007 at 15:43

Impressive! They look really tasty… and I love the combination of ginger and squash.

Erin December 11, 2007 at 19:10

Ah thank god – something to do with all the squash I’m getting in my vegbox! I couldn’t face any more soup…

Hippolyra February 21, 2008 at 15:03

These look lovely.
I have been experimenting with lowering the GI and fat and upping the fruit and veg content of my own baking recently, its so easy to do without making the finished article taste any different.

Lisa September 26, 2008 at 17:35

Hi there,
I made these today and I really enjoyed them. I didn’t have any allspice or cinnamon, so used ground coriander instead, and it has worked really well.
Thanks for giving me something nice to create with all the squash I get in my veg box!
I made a banana and squash loaf with the left-over squash by the way.

Suzy January 4, 2009 at 23:26

These sound delicious! Do you think they would work just as well with canned pumpkin instead of roasted butternut squash?

Sophie February 14, 2009 at 13:43

I think these will work just fine with
canned pumpkin. You might want to reduce the sugar in the recipe a little if the canned pumpkin is already sweetened. Do let me know how
they turn out if you try it!

Kati April 9, 2014 at 22:05

These look delicious! I have a chocolate brownie recipe on my blog that uses butternut squash, and there’s always some left over. Perfect excuse to make some cookies :-)

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