You can bake with a variety of both summer and winter squashes. In the summer, zucchini is a frequent contributor to cakes and muffins, while pumpkin is the star in many fall pies. While sugar pumpkins are probably the most popular type of winter squash to bake desserts with, they’re not the only squash to choose from. This Butternut Squash Quick Bread is a riff on traditional pumpkin bread that uses – you guessed it – butternut squash as its base.
Like pumpkin bread, this recipe starts with a cup of butternuts squash puree. Despite what you may have heard, canned pumpkin is not butternut squash, though both are similar types of squash. Butternut squash has a milder and somewhat sweeter flavor than regular pumpkin. If you’re fortunat enough to find canned butternut squash puree, you can go ahead and use that. If not, you can make your own using the same method that I use to make pumpkin puree from scratch. Be sure to strain the puree before using it so that it is as smooth as possible.
This recipe mixes up very quickly once you have your puree ready to go. I kept it simple as far as the spices go so that you get some of the natural flavor of the butternut squash in the finished bread, though you can absolutely spice it up with cinnamon, ginger or nutmeg by adding them in with the dry ingredients. You can also mix in up to 2/3 cup chopped, toasted nuts or dried fruit, to give a little extra texture to the bread. I personally like it plain, but I cut it in thick slices and lightly toast them (sometimes adding a smear of butter, too) before serving. The bread is topped with a generous sprinkle of coarse sugar. which adds a little textural contrast with the moist, soft crumb of the loaf. Leftovers will keep for several days in an airtight container.
Butternut Squash Quick Bread
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup butternut squash puree
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
1 tbsp coarse sugar
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan, lining the bottom with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, egg, vegetable oil, butternut squash puree, vanilla and milk until smooth. Stir in dry ingredients until no streaks of flour are visible. Pour into prepared pan and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean or with only a few moist crumbs attached. Allow loaf to cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 1 loaf.