Moist, tender, perfectly spiced butternut squash coffee cake make with cream cheese and sour cream for an incredible richness. Pairs perfectly with your morning coffee.
I’ve become a late night baker. Literally the exact opposite of the last two years of my life when I was up in the wee hours of the morning baking everything for the store and I really love it. I mostly started doing it because our hydro rates sky rocketed and, after the intense summer we had with air conditioning running 24/7, I’m trying to find every way I can to keep our costs down. Where we live, after 7pm, the rates drop to less than half of what they are during the day so, night baking it is.
There’s a lot of fantastic things about being a night baker. For starters, I sleep later in the morning which means I stay up later at night which makes me finally feel like a real adult who can stay awake past 9:30pm again. Yes, that is an accomplishment. It has also meant that my oven is on, heating up our house when it’s chilly outside so it doesn’t get uncomfortably warm in here and it means there’s less time that I have to wait for my baked goods to be ready to eat. Yes, you can pretty much eat anything once it’s cool enough to be cut, but I almost always prefer cakes, breads and muffins the next day after they’ve had time to really intensify their flavors.
Cookies are best warm and SOME muffins can’t be beat warm and buttery and those I’ll make during the day. But for things like this? Night baking has been the way to go. It’s also meant our breakfast treats are ready to go for whenever we want them in the morning or for Mark running out the door on the way to a client meeting.
I made this cake after a weekend away with friends that was absolutely exhausting. Frankly, anything social that lasts more than 2-3 hours tends to emotionally drain both of us, but a weekend of driving, eating A LOT, fighting over the homemade cheez its, imbibing in many different drinks, playing games and laughing until it hurt with very little sleep, well, it just about killed us.
We arrived home in a haze and I decided I needed to get some things prepped for the week before I completely crashed. I made a loaf of bread for sandwiches and toast and decided to finally roast the butternut squash and pumpkin that I had from Kevin’s garden. I cleaned, organized and went to a store to get what Mark needed for lunches for the week. Of course while I was there I saw the bricks of cream cheese were on sale and were begging me to buy them. Immediately I decided the roasted squashes were going to become coffee cakes, breads, muffins and cookies and they were going to involve cream cheese.
If you’ve never used cream cheese in batters for anything other than cheesecake, you’re about to have your world rocked. The texture that cream cheese creates is unbelievable. It is incredibly moist and tender with an addictive creaminess. It really can’t be beat.
I should point out I absolutely never use reduced fat anything. Not milk, cheese, cream cheese, yogurt or sour cream. We use full fat everything in this house sometimes including heavy cream in our coffee so I definitely can’t comment on how it would turn out with reduced fat items. I couldn’t even really recommend it. We simply don’t believe in unnaturally ‘light’ food. If you do, you’re doing so at your own risk!
I also recommend going the extra mile and roasting your own squash. I know butternut is available in a can in some stores but there really isn’t a comparison between canned and roasting it yourself. I’ll fully admit to being prematurely excited for pumpkin season and using canned as a temporary solution to my addiction but the second the real thing is in season, I give cans the cold shoulder and use freshly roasted squash 100% of the time. Just roast a bunch of them all at once, make the puree and freeze anything you aren’t going to use within a week and then you have a freezer full ready for whenever you have a hankering.
Happy Baking friends!
- ¼ cup of butter, room temperature
- 4 oz brick style cream cheese, room temperature
- ¾ cup dark brown sugar
- ⅓ cup cane sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup butternut squash puree
- ⅓ cup full fat sour cream
- ¼ cup whole milk
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ tsp cloves
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Grease an 8x8 in pan and line with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream butter, cream cheese and sugars together until light and creamy, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary.
- Add eggs and vanilla, one at a time and beat until light and fluffy.
- Add butternut squash puree and mix well.
- Combine sour cream and milk in a small bowl and whisk until well combined then add to the stand mixer. Beat well.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, soda salt and spices then slowly add them to the mixer, mixing on medium-low.
- Mix until just combined, taking care not to over mix then pour in to prepared cake pan.
- In another bowl, combine all streusel ingredients, using your fingers to rub the butter in to the flour/sugar mixture. When mixture resembles coarse crumbs, pour over top of the cake batter.
- Press down lightly to help the streusel stick to the batter.
- Bake on the center rack for 50-55 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
- Allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20-30 minutes then carefully remove it from the pan using the parchment paper sides.
- Allow to completely finish cooling on the wire rack then cut in to 12 slices.
Slices will keep in an airtight container on your counter for up to 5 days.
You can use pumpkin puree in place of the butternut squash if you wish.
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