Carrot Cake and Butternut Squash Soup Recipes

Carrot Cake with Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting
from Crystal Williams

Cake Ingredients:

  • 2-3/4 c. chopped walnuts (3/4 c. for the cake)
  • 2-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1-1/2 c. sugar
  • ½ c. packed light brown sugar
  • 1-1/4 c. vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ c. smooth applesauce
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • 2 c. grated carrots (about 4 medium)

Frosting Ingredients: 

  • 1 4-inch piece ginger
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh orange juice
  • ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 – 8 oz. packages cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3 c. confectioners’ sugar sifted

Serves 8 to 10

Make the cake:

  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees.
  2. Coat two 9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray line the bottoms with parchment paper.
  3. Spread the walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted; about 5 minutes. Let cool, then finely chop.
  4. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and salt into a medium bowl.
  5. Beat the granulated sugar, brown sugar and vegetable oil in a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium high and add the eggs, one at a time; beat until light and smooth, about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low; add the applesauce, orange zest and vanilla and beat until just smooth. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat until just combined. Add the carrots and ¾ cup walnuts and beat until just combined.
  6. Divide the batter between the prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool 10 minutes in the pans, then remove to the rack to cool completely; remove the parchment. (Cakes can be made a day ahead; let cool completely, then wrap in plastic wrap.)

Make the frosting:

  1. Peel the ginger and grate onto a piece a piece of cheesecloth. Wrap in the cheesecloth and squeeze the juice into a small bowl (you should get about 1 tablespoon). Add the orange juice and vanilla.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Beat in the juice mixture. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar. Increase the speed to high and beat until smooth, about 2 more minutes.


  1. Place 1 cake layer on a plate. Spread with 1 cup frosting, then top with the second cake layer. Cover the top and sides with the remaining frosting. Press the remaining walnuts into the sides of the cake.
  2. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.


Butternut Squash Soup with Tortellini
from Jill Siegmund


  • 2 lbs butternut squash
  • 2 14-oz. cans vegetable broth
  • Pinch ground red pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. butter or margarine
  • 1 9-oz. package refrigerated cheese-filled tortellini
  • 1 Tbsp. molasses


  1. Peel squash. Halve lengthwise. Remove seeds and discard. Cut squash into ¾ inch pieces.
  2. In a large saucepan combine ½ cup water, squash, vegetable broth and red pepper. Cook, covered, over medium heat for 20 minutes or until squash is tender.
  3. Transfer one-fourth of the squash mixture to a blender container or food processor bowl. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Repeat with remaining portions, one at a time, until all the mixture is blended. Or blend the whole batch with an immersion blender.
  4. Return blended mixture to the saucepan. Bring just to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Add butter; stir until just melted.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the ravioli according to package directions; drain. Ladle hot soup into bowls. Divide cooked ravioli among the bowls. Drizzle with molasses.

Makes 5 side-dish servings (about 6 ½ cups)