Banana & Butternut Buttermilk Cake

Banana & Butternut Buttermilk Cake


Full cake w-type

Butternut squash is great in sweets and savories. If you are out of pumpkin & sweet potatoes or just want a change of ingredients this is a nice diversion. All three have a similar flavor & texture profile when added to baked goods.In this recipe I combine many seasonal flavors. The cardamom and cinnamon mixed with butternut squash give an interesting holiday twist to a traditional banana bread….or cake.

This cake is perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas breakfast, brunch or dessert. Top with some freshly whipped cream & chocolate sauce for an extra decadent treat!

moist, yummy, cake

Fresh Benefits

In this cake we find two Superfoods. I refer to these powerful foods in virtually every post. Our healthy, yummy diets should mainly consist of these dynamo’s.

Superfoods are healthy whole foods that pack in loads of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.  Fresh fruits, veggies, whole grains and lean proteins sustainably grown are our best bets.  To maintain the health benefits of these Superfoods it is best to cook them in health conscious ways…..steaming, broiling, braising and sautéing are clean, healthy preparations.  Deep frying, not.  In a future post I will get a list going that speaks about Superfoods in greater detail.

For more information on Superfoods: Livestrong: What is a Superfood?

Butternut Squash

This is an antioxidant powerhouse that helps boost the immunity and it has anti-inflammatory properties. Squash can be used in sweets and savories. From soups, baked goods, pastas, chilis, casseroles and salads……try it in your favorite dishes! To read more about the health benefits of Butternut Squash: HealthCastle: Squash Wholeliving: Health Benefits and Recipes


This Superfood is high in the mineral potassium and is a good source of the soluble fiber pectin. Bananas have the vitamin B6, which is one of the elements that helps regulate mood and metabolism. Here is some more info: Livestrong: 5 Things You Need to Know About Bananas

Yes, bananas are sweet, but they too can be used in your desserts and savories. They are great to eat out of hand, but they can also be used in curries, baked goods, and my favorite breakfast: Stuffed French Toast!

slice w-line


Banana & Butternut Buttermilk Cake

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 55 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Yield: 10-12 servings

Banana & Butternut Buttermilk Cake


  • 1 roasted Butternut Squash (see directions below)
  • splash of Canola Oil or Cooking Spray
  • 2 1/2 cups Unbleached All Purpose Flour (I used 1/2 Whole Wheat Pastry Flour and 1/2 Unbleached White, use what you have)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup softened Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar, Agave, Honey or Maple Syrup
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 2 Medium Bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup Butternut Squash, Mashed
  • 3/4 cup Buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Powdered Sugar for dusting
  • Optional
  • Whipped Cream


    Roasted Butternut Squash
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F with the rack in the center. Clean squash, leave skin on. Cut the top and then the bottom off. Cut the squash down the middle and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Slice squash into large chunks. Spray or lightly coat flesh with a bit of Canola oil. Spray baking pan as well. Put squash flesh side down in baking pan. Roast for about 50 minutes, until squash is very soft and golden brown.Let cool and remove the skins.Mash some squash so you have about 1/2 cup. You will have plenty of leftover squash for other recipes.
  • Cake
  • Preheat oven to 350?F with the rack in the center. Butter a cake pan, I used a 9x3 inch round pan. Sift all dry ingredients together, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Set aside.
  • With a mixer, beat butter at medium speed until fluffy. Add sugar and beat until well blended. Add eggs to the mixture, one at a time. Add mashed bananas, squash and vanilla. Alternately add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, stir until just combined. Add 1/2 the buttermilk. Repeat until all ingredients are added, ending with the flour. (5 additions total) Pour the batter into prepared cake pan(s). Bake in the oven for about 50-55 minutes. It will be done baking when a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Start testing at 50 minutes. Cool cake in pan. When it is cool, flip it out, dust with powdered sugar. Top with whipped cream if desired.

Fresh Variations

  • Want to make smaller cakes or muffins?  Click the following link to learn more about baking times and temperature variations according to pan size: Joy of Baking: Pan Sizes
  • Add a handful of floured nuts or dried fruit to the batter before baking.
  • Add a few handfuls of semi-sweet chocolate chips.
  • Not keen on Butternut Squash?  You can also Pumpkin or Sweet Potato mash.
  • Serve with some dairy based or soy whipped cream, ice cream or frozen yogurt.
  • I like mine served with a dollop of stevia sweetened Thick Greek Yogurt or freshly whipped cream.

Butternut Squash Dessert Recipe Links

13 Responses to Banana & Butternut Buttermilk Cake

  1. Oh, Marla, this cake looks downright perfect for the holiday season and is just the sort of cake I would make to suit my own tastes. It’s full of good-for-us and yummy seasonal veggies, looks super-moist, has my favorite “secret” cardamom seasoning, and skips the frosting. Who would need the latter with all the deliciousness and natural sweetness already found here?

    • Barbara: I also don’t need tons of frosting or glazes when the cake itself has enough flavor. Besides, think of all the calories we save when we skip those things. For me adding squash, pumpkin or sweet potato adds so much to the taste & overall texture of cakes, cookies, breads, etc. All a good thing.

  2. This looks delicious. Not only do you make amazing food, you always take great photos of them and decorate them so pretty.

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