Butternut Squash Cake Recipe (naturally sweetened)

WAIT! Before you jump to the recipe for this butternut squash cake be sure to check out the tips for cooking with butternut squash and how you can make this cake even if you don’t have a whole squash (it’s easier, anyways!)

This homemade cake recipe will surprise you with its sweet flavor and healthy ingredients. This butternut squash cake recipe is chock full of nutritious squash, natural sweeteners, and delicious flavor. You’ll be making this lovely cake with naturally sweetened cream cheese frosting on a regular basis for your family!

It is basically a squash spice cake with cream cheese frosting, let’s be honest. But a butternut squash dessert is sooo much cooler than an everyday spice cake, amiright.

Naturally Sweetened Butternut Squash cake with Maple Syrup Cream Cheese Frosting. Tastes like a spice cake but has more nutrition!

This Butternut cake recipe and frosting uses maple syrup to sweeten it. Only maple syrup. And, if you are lucky enough to have a local supply (like we are)…you are excited right about now, aren’t you! You understand the amazingness that means! Recipes using natural sweeteners are my favorite, for sure!

This collection of our favorite frosting recipes includes all the frostings we routinely use on our cakes! Full recipes included.

Be warned: if you are interested in Pinterest/Instagram perfect cakes and desserts you can move right along from this recipe. This recipe is about crazy tasty, make your belly happy, and feel like home kind of food.

Okay, most of our recipes aren’t built for pretty. But this one, especially. But it’s so darn good.

Tastes like a spice cake! This Butternut Squash Cake is full of extra nutrition and delightful fall flavor.
Do I have to use freshly roasted Butternut Squash?

No, for sure not. It’s fairly easy to roast up a squash and use the leftover butternut squash from other recipes but, I often will take shortcuts to make this quick and easy…

The easiest way to use butternut squash is to get it pre-cut in bags from your grocery store (found in the produce section). If you don’t have access to that and don’t want to go through the trouble of preparing a butternut squash, you can use canned pumpkin puree instead.  Just make sure you use pumpkin puree and NOT pumpkin pie puree.  Pumpkin pie puree already has a bunch of spices and sweeteners added to it, so your butternut squash cake will taste wonky.

Butternut Squash Cake

Another great trick… the baby food aisle. It sounds strange but you can get already pureed butternut squash in the baby food section. So, if you are looking to save some time, shop the baby section.

Quick trick for this butternut squash cake: line your pan with parchment paper, spray and flour the parchment paper, and then when the cake is done pick up the paper edges, flip it over (be sure to let it cool a couple of minutes!), and voila!…no dishes!

Butternut Squash Cake Ingredients

Maple Syrup Cream Cheese Frosting 

The frosting for this cake is also naturally-sweetened and utterly divine. You’ll be eating it by the spoonful! There have been a few readers that commented and let us know that it works great to sub out honey for the maple syrup, if you prefer. If you do so, decrease the amount of honey by half and then add it back as needed.

Butternut Squash Cake with Maple Syrup Cream Cheese Frosting

Cake for YOU. Cake for YOU. And cake for YOU.

This butternut cake recipe is a great way to introduce veggies to your kids in a new way! Ask them if they can taste the squash in the cake? We bet they will say no!

This squash cake is delicious. Not, oh my gosh call Mom delicious. (that would be my homemade chocolate cake recipe) But, really, really good. Truly! The kind of cake you could make every single day and not feel one bit bad about. The kind of cake you make for company. Or for Sunday brunch. Or because you had a bad day. It is just that versatile, easy, and delicious.

Butternut Squash Cake (naturally sweetened)

| 8 large slices
Prep Time | 20 minutes
Cook Time | 40 minutes
Total Time | 1 hour
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
This cake and the frosting are naturally sweetened, easy to make, and delicious! A recipe you’ll make again and again!


Round Cake Pan


  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup (use local, or real! Do NOT use fake pancake syrup)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 tablespoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup butternut squash cooked and mashed(or can of pumpkin puree)

Cream Cheese frosting

  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • 3 tbsp butter softened
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup or honey
  • pinch salt
Check out our Kitchen Reference Guide for help with unfamiliar terms.


  • Turn the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Beat the oil and syrup together.
  • Add eggs and yogurt,beat well.
    Butternut Squash Cake is an easy and simple recipe that creates a delightfully light, moist, and flavorful cake. An oldie but goodie.
  • Stir the flour, baking soda, and baking powder in. Stir gently.
  • Add spices and squash. Stir just until mixed.
    Butternut Squash cake recipe is easy to make and creates a moist, flavorful, and light cake using only natural sweeteners.
  • Spray (or line with parchment paper) a 9inch pan.
  • Pour the batter into the pan.

Cream Cheese Frosting

    Beat all of the ingredients together and add additional sweetener, as needed.



      top with Cream Cheese frosting!


      Calories: 380kcalCarbohydrates: 44gProtein: 5gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 132mgPotassium: 262mgFiber: 1gSugar: 18gVitamin A: 1950IUVitamin C: 3.7mgCalcium: 101mgIron: 2mg

      Recipe Tester Lisa says…

      This was very easy and it’s really really tasty!

      About The Author

      64 thoughts on “Butternut Squash Cake Recipe (naturally sweetened)”

      1. 5 stars
        This is outrageously delicious!! I cut back on the nutmeg because it is such a strong flavor, but the cake can definitely take more than I used. I did add 1/2 t. of ginger because I’m a huge fan. Other than that I made the cake exactly as written. Fabulous! I’ve bookmarked the page and will be making it often. I always have a lot of butternut squash on hand (I buy a lot when they’re on sale and they keep in my garage). Such an easy cake to make for such a tremendous outcome. Thank you for sharing!

      2. I love those additions and might have to try that myself ;). Too bad about the frosting! But, it’s always good to try new things. That’s how we learn.

      3. 5 stars
        I made it with more spice and added some currants, walnuts and orange zest. My frosting failed, I wanted to be creative and added butter, orange zest and vanilla extract and it curdled. My own doing with experimenting too much. Great recipe that works and is delicious 😋 thank you for posting :)

      4. Zahra Al Shehab

        5 stars
        Amazing and super yummy . It is my favorite to bake . Fun to prepare as it is like silky mix and yummy to eat and healthy.
        Thank you so much for sharing

      5. 5 stars
        I cannot properly express how phenomenal this cake is! I made it with oat flour and extra cinnamon, and it came out so fluffy, moist, and tender, everything a cake should be. My brother and I finished it in a few days, and he never enjoys my healthier baking, so this is a big win!

      6. Actually, no. But always add in what you prefer. Nutmeg is a strong flavor that might not be your thing. Go ahead and halfsies that amount.

      7. Sometimes I add a bit more leavening when I sub out almond flour in cakes to help give it a bit more rising power. This is a pretty heavy cake and more like a gingerbread cake texture than a traditional cake.

      8. I have been using almond flour/meal for about half the flour in cake recipes- but this only works if there are enough eggs for a rise. That technique would work for this cake. This cake sounds much like carrot cake, which is pretty substantial too and also uses oil. Many thanks for this idea.

      9. Hoooraaaayyyy!! I love that these kind of recipes can win even at birthday parties. And the ginger and cardamom addition is genius. I’m going to copy that!

      10. 5 stars
        I baked this for my son’s first birthday today and it was magic! Added some ginger and cardomom. And then decorated it with fresh slices of mango, gooseberries and lemon-rind. (I baked a chocolate cake as a backup incase someone didnt like the butternut, but the orange cake won! A winner, hardly any left. Gonna have to bake another one. Thanks for posting this recipe. I love the natural healthy ingredients. I think it was the most relaxing kids birthday party I’ve ever experienced. Kids are actually so nice when they are not on a crazy sugar high!

      11. 5 stars
        I’m excited to be makin this recipe. Can i use gluten free flour and lactose free yoghurt instead? Thank you

      12. You know, I’ve never tried it. I think it needs to be cooked and pureed for the consistency to be correct. But, if you do try it…let me know how it goes!

      13. I’m sure they could. I never have and can’t say with certainty how many to add. I would try 1/3 cup and see what you think of that.

      14. 5 stars
        What gave the frosting in the photo a spicy look? The recipe above for frosting makes it all white…

      15. Gah!! The magical world of internet. Where things change and move. If you look at the very top of the recipe it shows cook time. IT’s small and hard to find. Totally annoying, that way. But, for this recipe we recommend 40 minutes. I would check at 30 and see what you have and probably go another 10. Good luck! This is so tasty!

      16. Oh no!! We updated our recipe
        System and it must have messed with some of the recipes. Here it is…
        1/2 cup cold heavy cream
        4 ounces cream cheese at rom temp
        4 tablespoons honey
        1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

      17. What is the recipe for the frosting? Can I use yogurt with cream cheese for the frosting THanks, I can’t wait to try this recipe.

      18. What a fantastic idea!! I love this recipe and never thought to do anything beyond cupcakes and cakes. So clever and smart!

      19. 5 stars
        P.S. I didn’t use icing, or anything extra. It didn’t need it! Very moist, perfect consistency (not too dense), and wonderful leftover! We just ate it like bread!

      20. 5 stars
        I made this exactly as directed except for one thing: rather than baking, I poured the batter into my waffle iron! OMG! DELICIOUS! Fast, easy, and perfect every time! I have a round Oster Belgian waffle maker. Set it on low and cooked it for a total of 3 minutes. Made exactly 4 waffles using 1 cup of batter per waffle. Will be doing this again! (Possibly tomorrow! Haha!)

      21. Thank you!!! I’ve changed that. One of my greatest challenges is grammar. When I got into this business it was for creating and sharing and I completely underestimated the writing part. Thanks for the help!

      22. Another great trick… the baby food aisle. I know, it sounds strange but you can already pureed butternut squash in the baby food section. So, if you are looking to save some time, shop the baby section

        In above paragraph you forgot a word. : GET between the words can and already. Or between already and pureed

      23. Bethany @ Athletic Avocado

        This cake looks so good! I love all the wholesome ingredients used here! This means I can have two slices ;)

      24. Yes, it does mean cup. I should go in and clarify that so it is more clear. Thanks for asking!

      25. What does 2/3 c. Mean for olive oil. Do you mean “cup”. I just want to be sure since you wrote cup for the other ingredients but just “c” for olive oil and maple syrup. Thank you!

      26. Heather Mason @Nutty Nutrition

        This cake does look delicious. I know you made the disclaimer that it contains natural sugar in the first paragraph, but you went on to call it sugar-free many other times. Cup per cup, maple syrup has more sugar in it than white sugar does. 3/4 cup of maple syrup has 160 grams of sugar in it, 3/4 cup of white sugar has 150 grams of sugar in it. There is very little scientific evidence that maple syrup is healthier than white sugar.

      27. Faith (An Edible Mosaic)

        This sounds incredible! I love the butternut + maple combo and I bet it’s lovely in a cake.

      28. Thanks Olya!!! We love to hear the ways people use our recipes, and to hear that others like them as much as we do! It’s also great to hear that your substitutes worked out well; we might have to try ours that way, too!!!

      29. I made this cake recently and it was superb. I used sifted whole wheat flour only because it’s the only one I had on hand, and it made the cake more dense – kind of like a pound cake. It made it even better than expected. My husband could not believe how delicious this was and that there was no added sugar. I will definitely make it again. Amazing recipe! I also used honey instead of maple syrup in the cake. I really liked the way it came out. And I substituted honey in the frosting for the maple syrup. It was amazing. One of the best cakes I’ve made. Thanks!

      30. I ran it in WW recipe builder with low fat plain greek yogurt and full fat cream cheese, the total recipe points were 111. If you plit the cake into 10 servings, each serving is 11 points.

      31. We haven’t tried it…but you should! Let us know if it works out…and if doesn’t, blame us :)

      32. Glad you liked it! We’re starting to get the feeling our oven might cook a bit hot, so it was wise to just check on it.

      33. So I tried this…only thing…unfortunately 45 mins was not long enough..even though the tester came out pretty dry..should have gone with my instincts and kept it in the oven longer…the centre was not cooked..Thank heavens I’m not on Masterchef…. The outer edge of the cake is good, very moist and the cream cheese frosting is lovely. I think I will make cupcakes next time for individual servings…

      34. Thanks Jane! Yes, and those people would be wise to try a substitute like almond or coconut flour. However, we wrote this recipe for the many of our readers that are avoiding processed sugars and not necessarily diabetic diets. We’ve actually been getting a good lesson in the difference between sugar free for “clean eating” diets and diabetic diets. So interesting!

      35. Actually, all of those worried about maple syrup (which has a low glycemic index) should be more worried about the flour, which immediately turns to glucose.

      36. Thanks! That is probably a better term. We mean to say that this is not full of processes sugar. I think I need a lesson in the correct terms ufda!

      37. Just to clarify, this is not a “sugar-free” dish, but more correctly stated it is naturally sweetened with maple syrup…..

      38. Thanks Natalie! We’re actually moving that direction, because we LOVE eating naturally sweetened foods.

      39. Okay, I am so excited to make this! I would LOVE to see more naturally sweetened recipes here! Great blog!

      40. This sounds amazing! I am pinning this and will be giving it a try. Thanks for sharing.
        Pieced Pastimes

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