Squash & apricot loaf
What better Autumn teatime treat could there be than a slice of sweetly spiced loaf cake baked with butternut squash and sweet dried apricots?
This cake is deliciously moist (sorry, I don’t have another word for it!) and a little like a fruitier carrot cake. It’s got great texture and the rich creamy maple cream cheese frosting finishes it off beautifully. The recipe is really quick to throw together so you can have one of these baking in the oven in no time.
I’ve used oil rather than butter in this because at this end of the year it’s pretty much impossible to persuade butter to become room temperature in my kitchen, so oil makes for a nice easy shortcut!
100ml vegetable oil
40g maple syrup, something with plenty of flavour
pinch of salt
150g plain flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
150g grated butternut squash
75g dried apricots, chopped
35g pistachios, roughly chopped
120g full fat cream cheese
50g icing sugar
1 tbsp maple syrup
Pre-heat the oven to 180°c and grease and line a loaf tin. Beat together the oil, sugar, maple syrup and salt for a minute or two and then add the eggs. Beat until the mixture becomes a little foamy. Sift the flour, raising agents and spices into this mixture and then beat it again to leave you with a nice smooth batter. Briefly beat in the grated squash, chopped apricots and chopped pistachios before pouring the batter into the prepared tin. Bake the loaf for 50 minutes, covering the top with foil if it gets a little too brown.
Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes and then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Make the frosting by beating together the butter and cream cheese until they are well blended. Add the icing sugar and maple syrup and beat until you have a thick fluffy frosting. Spread this over the top of the cake and then pop it in the fridge to firm up a little before slicing.