Are you seeking a delicious and wholesome treat that will warm your heart and satisfy your taste buds? Look no further than butternut squash bread! This delightful baked good takes advantage of the natural sweetness and velvety texture of butternut squash to create a moist and flavorful loaf that is perfect for breakfast, snack time, or even as a dessert.
Butternut squash, a powerhouse of nutrition and versatility, offers a bounty of vitamins, minerals, and fiber in a single vegetable. It adds a unique twist to traditional bread recipes, providing a subtle yet distinct flavor profile that complements a variety of ingredients. Whether you enjoy autumn-inspired flavors or simply want to incorporate more vegetables into your diet, butternut squash bread is a fantastic choice.
Making butternut squash bread is a relatively straightforward process, and you don't need to be an experienced baker to enjoy the fruits of your labor. The bread batter is typically a combination of pureed butternut squash, flour, eggs, sugar, and a selection of warm spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. These aromatic spices infuse the bread with a delightful fragrance filling your kitchen as it bakes.
In this post, I will show you how to make butternut squash bread with only a handful of ingredients and along with some tricks and tips to make the perfect loaf of butternut squash bread. After giving it a try, this could easily turn into one of your beloved butternut squash recipes. Whether you enjoy it plain, toasted with a spread of butter, or paired with a cup of hot tea or coffee, this butternut squash bread recipe will be comforting and a delightful treat that will leave you wanting more.
Homemade Butternut Squash Bread Recipe
1. To prepare, preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and either grease a loaf pan with coconut oil or line it with parchment paper.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Whisk the ingredients together thoroughly and set the mixture aside.
3. In a separate bowl, vigorously whisk the eggs until they are thoroughly beaten. Add the maple syrup or honey, melted coconut oil, butternut squash puree, applesauce, and vanilla extract. Continuously stir until the ingredients are thoroughly blended together.
4. Gently pour the wet ingredients into the bowl containing the dry ingredients. Utilize a spatula or wooden spoon to combine everything until it just mixed delicately. Exercise caution not to overmix, as it may result in denser bread.
5. Transfer the batter to the loaf pan that has been prepared, ensuring an even distribution. Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds on top of the batter, evenly scattering them.
6. Put the pan in the preheated oven and bake for around 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread emerges clean.
7. After the bread is fully cooked, take it out of the oven and allow it to cool in the pan for approximately 10 minutes. Then, transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.
8. Slice and serve the healthy Butternut Squash Bread as desired. It can be enjoyed plain, with a spread of nut butter, or even with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a drizzle of honey.
Tips & Notes
Choose a ripe butternut squash: Look for a butternut squash that is firm, with a dull skin color and no soft spots. Ripe squash will yield a sweeter and more flavorful puree.
Create your own butternut squash puree by peeling the squash, eliminating the seeds, and cutting it into chunks. Steam or roast the squash until it's tender, then mash or blend it until smooth. Homemade puree adds a fresh taste and ensures no additional ingredients or preservatives.
Don't overmix the batter: Excessive mixing can result in a dense and tough texture. Stir the wet and dry ingredients together only until they are combined. Don't worry if there are a few lumps in the batter.
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5.7g
Saturated Fat 4.8g
Total Carbohydrate 25.7g
Dietary Fiber 0.9g
Total Sugars 9g
Vitamin D 3mcg
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Use a toothpick or skewer to check for doneness: Insert a toothpick or skewer into the center of the bread to check its doneness. The bread is considered ready if the toothpick comes out clean or with a few crumbs. If the toothpick has wet batter on it, bake the bread for a few more minutes and test again.
Allow the bread to cool completely: While it may be tempting to slice the bread while it's still warm, it is recommended to let it cool completely on a wire rack. This allows the bread to set and enhances its texture.
What Ingredients You Will Need To Make Butternut Squash Bread
Whole wheat flour
Whole wheat flour is created by grinding the complete wheat kernel, which includes the bran, germ, and endosperm. It retains more nutrients and dietary fiber compared to refined flour. Whole wheat flour adds a nutty flavor and a hearty texture, boosting the butternut squash bread's nutritional value.
Baking powder, an essential leavening agent, aids in the rising of the bread. It is composed of a mixture of baking soda, cream of tartar, and occasionally cornstarch. When mixed with moisture and heat, baking powder releases carbon dioxide gas, causing the butternut squash bread to expand and become light and fluffy.
Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, serves as an additional leavening agent. When combined with acidic ingredients like buttermilk or vinegar in the batter, it reacts to generate carbon dioxide gas bubbles. This process helps the butternut squash bread rise and creates a tender texture.
Salt is a flavor enhancer that balances the sweetness and brings out the other flavors in the butternut squash bread. It also regulates yeast activity and strengthens the gluten structure, resulting in a better texture.
Ground cinnamon is a warm, aromatic spice that adds a cozy and comforting flavor to the butternut squash bread. It pairs perfectly with the butternut squash and other spices, creating a delightful blend of flavors.
Ground nutmeg has a slightly sweet and nutty flavor, adding depth and complexity to the butternut squash bread. It works harmoniously with the other spices, enhancing the overall taste experience.
Ground cloves offer a robust and unmistakable flavor profile characterized by subtle sweetness and spiciness. They contribute warmth and depth to the bread, enhancing its overall complexity and aroma.
Eggs fulfill various roles in baking, serving as a binding agent that aids in the cohesion of the ingredients. Eggs also provide moisture, richness, and structure to the butternut squash bread. Additionally, they aid in leavening and contribute to a light and fluffy texture.
Pure maple syrup
These natural sweeteners add sweetness and flavor to the butternut squash bread while providing some additional nutrients. Aside from maple syrup, you can use brown sugar, honey, coconut sugar, or dates syrup.
Coconut oil, derived from plants, imparts moisture and richness to the bread while infusing a subtle coconut flavor. Coconut oil is considered a healthier option compared to some other oils due to its unique composition of medium-chain fatty acids.
Butternut squash puree
To create butternut squash puree, cook the flesh of the squash and then mash it into a smooth consistency. It adds natural sweetness, moisture, and a vibrant golden color to the butternut squash bread. Butternut squash is a nutrient-dense vegetable, rich in vitamins A and C, as well as dietary fiber.
Unsweetened applesauce serves as a natural sweetener and can be used as a partial substitute for oil in bread. It contributes moisture and tenderness and imparts a delicate apple flavor. Applesauce also helps reduce the overall fat content of the butternut squash bread while maintaining its deliciousness.
Vanilla extract elevates the overall flavor profile of the butternut squash bread, adding a delightful enhancement. It adds a sweet and aromatic note that complements the other ingredients, providing depth and balance.
Adding pumpkin seeds to your healthy Butternut Squash Bread can be a wonderful way to introduce additional texture, flavor, and nutritional value. Pumpkin seeds, commonly referred to as pepitas, are the edible seeds found within pumpkins. They possess a mildly sweet and nutty taste that can beautifully complement the flavor of the butternut squash bread.
How To Elevate this Recipe
Add a cream cheese swirl
Create a delightful surprise by adding a cream cheese filling. Prepare a simple mixture of cream cheese, a touch of sweetener, and a splash of vanilla extract. Pour half of the batter into the loaf pan, spoon the cream cheese mixture on top, and then add the remaining batter. With a knife, create gentle swirls to achieve a marbled effect.
Incorporate dried fruits
Elevate the flavor and texture by incorporating dried fruits like raisins, cranberries, or chopped dates. Prior to adding them to the batter, soak the dried fruits in warm water or orange juice for a few minutes to rehydrate and enhance their plumpness.
Experiment with different spices
Consider adding a pinch of ground ginger, cardamom, or pumpkin pie spice to the spice mix. These spices can lend a unique and aromatic twist to the bread.
Create a crunchy and sweet topping by combining oats, whole wheat flour, a small amount of coconut oil or butter, and a touch of sweetener. Before baking, generously sprinkle the streusel mixture over the batter to introduce a delightful texture to the crust.
Glaze or icing drizzle
Once the bread is cooled, drizzle it with a simple glaze or icing. Combine powdered sugar with a small quantity of milk or citrus juice until a smooth glaze is formed. For the icing, combine powdered sugar with a touch of cream cheese or vanilla extract and thin it out with milk until you achieve the desired consistency.
To add an additional depth of flavor, toast the walnuts or pecans before incorporating them into the batter. Toasting amplifies their natural oils and intensifies their nutty taste. Just spread the nuts evenly on a baking sheet and toast them in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for 5-7 minutes or until they turn lightly golden and emit a fragrant aroma.
Use decorative loaf pans
Instead of a regular loaf pan, consider using decorative pans like bundt pans or mini loaf pans. This will give your Butternut Squash Bread an appealing shape and make it visually appealing.
Adding chocolate chips to Butternut Squash Bread can be a delightful twist that adds a touch of indulgence and sweetness to the recipe. Opt for high-quality chocolate chips that you enjoy, such as semi-sweet, dark, white chocolate chips or milk chocolate. You can also use mini chocolate chips, which distribute more evenly throughout the bread.
How To Store Leftovers
To maintain the freshness of the bread, preserve it in an airtight container or tightly wrap it in plastic wrap. The butternut squash bread can be stored at room temperature for approximately 3-4 days. Store it in a cool and dry area, ensuring it is away from direct sunlight or heat sources.
For extended storage, refrigerate the bread. It will remain fresh for up to a week when kept refrigerated. Please be aware that refrigeration may cause a slight alteration in the bread's texture, resulting in a denser consistency.
For long-term storage, freezing is the ideal choice. Wrap the bread tightly in plastic wrap and then place it in a freezer bag or airtight container. This will help maintain its quality and freshness. Frozen Butternut Squash Bread can last for up to 2-3 months.
When you're ready to savor the bread, take it out from the freezer and allow it to thaw at room temperature for a few hours. Alternatively, you can thaw it overnight in the refrigerator. Once thawed, you can slice and enjoy it as is or lightly toast it for a warm and toasty treat.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can I use canned butternut squash puree instead of fresh?
Yes, canned butternut squash puree can be used as a convenient substitute for fresh puree. Just make sure to use pure butternut squash puree without any additional ingredients or seasonings. If butternut squash puree is unavailable, you can use pumpkin puree, sweet potato puree, or another type of canned squash.
Can I add mix-ins like nuts or dried fruits?
You can add mix-ins like chopped walnuts, pecans, raisins, or cranberries to the bread batter for added texture and flavor. Fold them in gently just before baking.
Can I use other winter squash varieties instead of butternut squash?
Yes, feel free to explore and experiment with other winter squash varieties, such as acorn squash or kabocha squash. They will impart slightly different flavors but should work well in the recipe.