Yields about 18 mini bundt cakes
2 1/2 cups (500g) granulated sugar
1 cup (240ml) canola oil
3 large eggs, at room temperature
3 cups (360g) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups (15 oz.) butternut squash puree (instructions follow)
Butter amaretto syrup
1/2 cup (120ml) water
1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup(120ml) amaretto liqueur
Pinch of salt
2 cups (230g) confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon amaretto
2-3 tablespoons milk or cream to thin
1 drop each yellow and orange food color
For the cakes, preheat oven to 350° F. Spray a multi cavity mini-bundt cake pan (such as Nordicware Bundtlette pan) with flour-based baking spray.
In a large bowl, combine sugar and oil until blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and cloves; add to egg mixture alternately with squash puree, beating well after each addition.
Scoop the batter into the bundt pan cavities within 1/2 inch of the tops. Cover unused batter in the bowl with a damp tea towel. Bake for 24-27 minutes, or until the bundt cakes are well puffed, and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes and turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Wash the pan, coat with flour-based baking spray and bake remaining batter; repeat until all the batter has been used.
For the syrup, combine the water and sugar in a microwave-safe bowl; heat at 100% power for 1 minute, and stir. Heat for an additional 30 seconds and stir until the sugar is melted. Stir the melted butter into the hot liquid; add the amaretto and pinch of salt. Stir to combine. Quickly dunk each cake in the liquid and transfer to wire racks. Let stand until the syrup is well-absorbed, about 10 minutes.
For the glaze, combine the confectioners’ sugar, amaretto, and 2 tablespoons of cream in a medium bowl. Blend with a whisk to combine. Add more milk or cream as needed to form a thick glaze that holds in the balloon of the whisk for a moment before falling in a ribbon back into the bowl. Add the food color and mix again. Spoon the glaze over the cakes. Let stand until the glaze crusts, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately. Store the cakes in an air-tight container.
**To make this recipe as one large bundt cake, pour the batter into a 10-inch tube pan and bake for 60-65 minutes, or until a toothpick tester comes out clean.
How to make butternut squash puree:
Wash and carefully cut off the stem and base ends of a medium whole butternut squash; half lengthwise. Dig the seeds and membranes out with a large sturdy spoon. Butternut squash are firm and can be hard to cut! Microwave halves for about three minutes to soften and loosen the skin for easy and safer peeling! Remove skin from halves with a sharp knife. Place halves face down in a baking dish or roasting pan; pour water into dish around squash about 1/2 inch deep. Cover with foil and roast for an hour or until fork tender. Let cool and chop into small cubes. Puree in a blender or in a food processor until smooth.