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Asha's Spiced Honeynut Squash Cake

Recipe by: Asha Loupy

Makes: One 9" cake

Asha's Spiced Honeynut Squash Cake
Photo by:  

Asha Loupy

We’ve partnered with our friends at Graza to bring you this extra festive cake, perfect for any holiday table. Made with extra virgin olive oil, of course, this cake is bolstered with grated honeynut squash for all the harvest feels, plus our house Chai Masala, orange zest, and jaggery. The olive oil keeps the cake extra moist, while also lending layered, subtle savory notes to the cake.

We love to take a helping hand when it comes to the holidays, so we’re leaning on good-quality, store-bought jam for the filling, plus a simple mascarpone frosting that comes together in minutes. Garnish with seasonal fruit — we love fresh figs (and fig leaves, if you can get your hands on them!), bunches of fresh red currants, or wedges of Fuyu persimmons — for a swoonworthy end to your feast.

Cook’s note: If you can’t find honeynut squash, you can also use butternut squash or carrots for an equally delicious cake.

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For the cake
For the frosting and assembly
  • 1¼ cups heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup Madhur Jaggery or light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon Surya Salt or ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) mascarpone or crème fraîche
  • 1 8-ounce jar good-quality jam or marmalade, like fig, orange, or apricot
  • Seasonal fruit, for garnish


To make the cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 9” round baking pans and set aside.
  2. Cut the stem and a thin slice off the bottom of the honeynut squash, then, using a vegetable peeler, peel the squash. Place the squash on the flat cut side, cut in half, and scoop out the seeds and membranes, discarding the peel and innards. Grate the squash on the large side of a box grater. (You should have a total of about 8 to 10 ounces.) Set aside.
  3. Place the jaggery and granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the orange zest and, using your fingers, rub the zest into the sugar for 30 seconds. Add the olive oil, maple syrup, and salt. Beat with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until the sugar starts to dissolve, 2 to 4 minutes. Increase the speed to high and beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl down between each addition. Add the vanilla extract and beat on high speed until the mixture thickens and lightens in color, 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until about two-thirds of the flour mixture is incorporated. Add the reserved grated squash and fold together until the flour is fully incorporated. Divide the batter equally between the two pans, spreading the batter into an even layer.
  5. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 28 to 32 minutes. Place the pan on a wire rack and let cool for 45 minutes. Run a paring knife along the outside of the pan, remove the cake from the pan, and transfer back to the rack. Repeat with the remaining cake and let cool completely. (This cake is even better the next day, so once the cakes are cool, you can wrap them in plastic wrap and assemble the cake the next day, if making ahead.)
To make the frosting
  1. To make the frosting, combine the heavy whipping cream, jaggery, vanilla extract, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat, using the whisk attachment, on medium-high until very soft peaks start to form, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the mascarpone or crème fraîche, and continue to whip until firm peaks form, 30 seconds to 1 minutes more. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before frosting.
To assemble
  1. To assemble, place one of the cooled cakes on a serving plater. Transfer ⅓ of the frosting to a zip-top bag, cut a ½” triangle off the corner. Pipe a thick border around the cake, leaving ¼” border. Spoon the jam into the center, spreading it into an even layer.
  2. Top with the second cake round, dollop the rest of the frosting on top, and swoosh into an artful top layer. Garnish with the seasonal fruit of your choice. Refrigerate until 15 minutes before serving.

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