Gluten Free Butternut Cake

OK, people. We are about to reveal a recipe that could change your life. Well, if a dessert can do that, this one probably will. Everybody, and we mean everybody loves butternut cake. Even your picky cousin James who refuses to eat anything but pizza and peanut butter sandwiches gets excited when he sees Granny slicing butternut cake.

Strangely, we Southerners find that people from other parts of the country don’t usually know what this cake is. Not so much as heard of it. Sigh. This is tragic and must be remedied immediately.

Butternut cake is one of those recipes that families each have their own version of and they pass it down through the generations. It’s old fashioned comfort food at it’s finest. And it will make the perfect accompaniment to your New Year’s dinner of biscuits, pork, greens, and peas.

Here’s what you need to make it.

Icing Ingredients:

  • 1 /2 cup of grass-fed butter, at room temperature 
  • 1 tbsp. butternut flavoring (may also be called butter and nut flavoring) 
  • 16 oz. organic powdered sugar 
  • 8 oz. organic cream cheese, at room temperature 
  • 1 cup chopped organic pecans, preferably raw and fresh

 Cake Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup grass-fed butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
  • 4 organic free range eggs
  • 2/3 cup organic grass-fed milk
  • 1 tbsp. butternut flavoring (a.k.a. butter and nut flavoring)
  • 1 box of King Arthur Flour Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix


  1. Prepare the cake in three 8″x8″ round cake pans, equally dividing the dough between the three pans and baking it according to the package directions.
  2. While the cake is baking and cooling, chop the pecans and set the butter and cream cheese out to soften. Remember you need the cake to be completely cooled before you try to ice it or the icing will melt and slide off.
  3. Grab your electric hand mixer and a big bowl, then put the butter, flavoring, and cream cheese in it. Beat them until they blend together nicely and slowly add the powdered sugar a little bit at a time.
  4. Once all of the sugar is blended in and you have a nice, creamy, smooth icing, stir in the pecans until they evenly distribute throughout the icing. It really makes a difference in the flavor if the pecans are high quality fresh ones or not. We like to pick them up and crack them ourselves from local orchards. If you can’t or won’t do that, at least buy organic ones, or they will likely be dry and bitter in comparison.
  5. After the icing is done and the cake is cooled, put the first layer on a cake plate and start spreading the icing over it. Do this to all three layers. For an extra fancy touch, you can save out a few pecan halves and arrange them on the top of the cake in a pretty design. Even something as simple as five or so halves arranged in a circle to look like a flower makes an impression.
  6. You may want to keep the cake in the fridge, especially if your house is warm, or you know it will be sitting around very long.
  7. Be sure to enjoy this cake with people who are important to you. It is usually served only for special occasions like at birthday parties and for holidays in the South. Maybe light some candles and serve it on fancy china, too.
This entry was published on December 29, 2014 at 6:58 pm. It’s filed under Holidays, Indulge and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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