Guest chef

Sarah Randell

Our very own food director, and former food editor to Delia Smith, Sarah has written more than 1000 recipes for the magazine. She is also author of the delightful baking book, Family Baking and Marmalade; A Bittersweet Cookbook.

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Butternut, chocolate and toasted pecan cake

  • Serves 10-12
  • Prep 30 mins
  • Total time 1 hr 10 mins
3.4/5 rating (27 votes)
Butternut, chocolate and toasted pecan cake
Butternut, chocolate and toasted pecan cake

step by step

  • 1Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4. Grease 2 x 20cm sandwich tins and line the bases with baking paper.
  • 2Bake the nuts for 8-10 minutes. Tip the flour, baking powder and cinnamon into a food mixer. Mix in the eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla. Stir in the squash and chocolate. Chop the nuts and add 100g.
  • 3Divide the mixture between the tins and bake for 35-40 minutes. Cool for a few minutes, then turn on to a wire rack and leave until cold.
  • 4For the icing, break the chocolate into pieces in a bowl. Heat the cream and sugar, stirring, until just below simmering point. Pour the cream on to the chocolate; stir to melt. Cool, then chill the icing for 20 minutes.
  • 5Sandwich the cake with the icing; spread the rest on the top and sides. Sprinkle with the remaining nuts.
  • Recipe photograph by Karen Thomas

Get ahead

Make up to 2 days ahead.

You will need

  • 150g pecan nuts
  • 300g plain flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 large eggs
  • 275g light muscovado sugar
  • 250ml groundnut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250g peeled and deseeded butternut squash, coarsely grated
  • 100g dark chocolate, chopped

For the chocolate icing:

  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 200ml double cream
  • 50g icing sugar

+ Nutritional Information