Cozy up with a slice of this unforgettable butternut squash bread. I promise it will become a new autumn favorite. It is warm and perfectly spiced and a great alternative to pumpkin bread!
What is it
This butternut squash bread is a warmly spiced quick bread recipe that is light and packed full of flavor. It is perfect with a glass of tea or coffee.
Butternut squash is actually a very good replacement for pumpkin puree which sometimes goes through shortages. The flavors are very similar as they are both squash, so you can use them interchangeably.
It is great to slice and enjoy during the cold autumn and winter days.
Why you'll love it
This delicious quick bread is a wonderful way to celebrate all the wonderful autumnal spices that make your house smell amazing and try something new outside of the traditional pumpkin or apple bread recipe.
The great thing is that it seems to taste better over time as the the spices really seem to come alive
What I love about this butternut squash bread recipe is very simple to put together and only requires a few simple key ingredients, most of which you may already have in your kitchen. You can find the whole list of ingredients and measurements in the recipe card below.
- Flour - This is where we get a lot of our structure. I recommend using unbleached all-purpose flour, or even white whole wheat flour.
- Sugar - For the best texture and flavor, the recipe calls for both granulated and brown sugar. The light molasses flavor from the brown sugar really helps to deepen and enhance the flavors of the spices.
- Salt - The salt enhances the flavors of all the spices and the puree to make them come alive on your tastebuds. It might be tempting to skip the salt, but it is really important to keep the flavors from falling flat and feeling bland. The recipe was tested using fine sea salt, but kosher salt will also work.
- Spices - We use a medley of autumnal spices including cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. You can also add a pinch of allspice, cloves, or cardamom. Using pumpkin pie spice instead to keep things simple is also an option. .
- Butternut squash puree - The star of the recipe. The recipe also works for pumpkin puree. In fact, you can often use the two interchangeably. They have a similar flavor when baked. The benefit of using butternut squash puree is that it rarely sells out at the grocery stores, unlike canned pumpkin puree. There is also a wonderful sense of satisfaction making your own butternut squash puree. You will need one small whole butternut squash.
- Oil - We use oil instead of butter to let the other flavors shine. It also helps to keep the bread from drying out. I recommend any neutral-flavored oil that you like!
- Juice - A splash of juice adds a lot of dimension to the bread. Not just any juice though. You should use orange juice for the best flavor, however, apple cider will also work
- Vanilla - We use vanilla to round out the flavors of the loaf. I recommend using pure vanilla extract of vanilla bean paste.
How to make
This butternut squash bread is very easy to make. The most difficult part is making the butternut squash puree we need for the recipe. Luckily, a single squash makes enough for a few loaves so you can get more than just one single loaf for your work.
- Roast the butternut squash. Start by cutting the squash in half along its length and gutting out the seeds. Roast cut side up smothered with butter and spices.
- Allow the roasted squash to cool to room temperature. Scoop out the flesh and mash!
- Whisk ¾ cup of the butternut squash in a large mixing bowl along with the wet ingredients. Mix together the dry ingredients in a separate large bowl, then mix in the wet ingredients. Stir until just combined. A few lumps in the batter are fine.
- Pour the batter into a prepared loaf pan and place the pan on a baking sheet. Bake until a few crumbs cling to a toothpick when inserted in the middle.
- Remove and allow the bread to cool for 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely to room temperature.
I've had a few people ask, the loaf pan I used is from Nordicware! In the photos I topped the bread with a glaze. It is not a part of the recipe, as it isn't really integral to the recipe. If you are wondering though, I used caramel sauce with powered sugar, a touch of instant espresso, and heavy cream!
The most important way to ensure you get the best results is to make sure you are correctly measuring your ingredients, particularly the flour. You should fluff up the flour and then spoon it into your measuring cup then sweep of the excess. If you want to make sure you get consistent results, you can convert the recipe to metric and use a kitchen scale.
If your butternut squash puree seems to be on the thing side, you can place it on a paper towel-lined fine mesh strainer over a bowl to remove some of the liquid.
Do not overnix. You want a few lumps in the batter. Mixing too much will start to develop the gluten and give you a tough, dry loaf.
Leave the bread to cool completely to room temperature. To fully enjoy and experience and taste all those amazing fall flavors, the bread is best enjoyed once it has time to fully cool and let the flavors fully develop.
If you want to add a bit more to your homemade butternut squash bread, you can try to mix in or top it with something delicious and fun.
- Fold in milk chocolate or white chocolate chips
- Chopped nuts like roasted walnuts are delicious in the bread, or you can top it with sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds
- Sprinkle the top with cinnamon sugar for a delicious crunch topping.
- Mix in dried fruits like dried cranberries or chopped dried apricots.
The loaf is good at room temperature for up to a week in an airtight container. You can freeze the loaf in an air tight container for up to a month.
You can freeze leftover puree in an airtight container for up to a month as well.
Yes! You can use regular pumpkin puree. Roasted and mashed sweet potatoes would also work well!
Yes! This bread would be great with a cinnamon swirl, chocolate chips or even topped with a nice streusel.
If you want to do more with your butternut squash, you can try this butternut squash hummus. butternut squash pie, and butternut kale salad. For other similar autumn recipes, you might want to try this chocolate chip pumpkin muffin recipe or honey pumpkin bread. These pumpkin cream cheese bars and pumpkin coffee cake are also great.
Butternut Squash Bread
For the butternut squash puree
- 1 medium butternut squash
- 4 tablespoons butter
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
For the bread
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¾ cup butternut squash puree
- 2 large eggs beaten
- ½ cup flavorless oil
- ⅓ cup orange juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Cut the butternut squash in half along its length. Rub with butter.
- Roast for 45 minutes then scoop outside the insides. Mash well with the spices, and allow it to cool to room temperature. *
- Grease and flour a 9 x 5 loaf pan.
- Stir together the sugars, four, baking soda, salt, and spices together in a large bowl, set aside.
- Whisk together the butternut squash puree, eggs, oil, orange juice, and vanilla together until well-combined.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, then stir until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the baking pan and bake for 50 - 60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean