It's no secret how much I love fall. I’m enjoying every minute of the weather cooling down just enough to make me want to open my windows, wear boots and hoodies, enjoy all the changing foliage while walking my Golden Retriever Rizzo, transition from iced beverages to hot, eat all things pumpkin, and of course, everything apple.
Rizzo is a big fan of pumpkin and apple too – both are great sources of fiber for dogs and pumpkin really helps with upset stomachs!
Speaking of apples, our store in Lincoln Square has been smelling incredible this week as we’re in full pie production mode for Apple Fest this weekend, Saturday, October 2nd and Sunday, October 3rd, down Lincoln Ave in Lincoln Square. We’re baking nearly 200 pies for pre-order only, so if you haven’t ordered yours yet, don’t miss out! We’ll be out front selling Right Bee Cider hard cider by the glass and will have some of their newer flavors inside the store.
While I love apple, I also do love pumpkin, and I recently decided that butternut squash, once roasted and pureed, can really be substituted for pumpkin (both sweet, orange squashes), and so I set out to make a butternut squash bread, after exhausting my loaf pan with countless banana breads this year. Butternut squash bread? Sounds crazy, I know, but it really is delicious. It does take some planning as I recommend roasting your own squash (as opposed to a can), but the results are worth it!
This butternut squash bread is bound to be a hit at your next brunch, in the morning with your coffee, or as an anytime-of-day-snack. The kids will love it, too! You can have fun with the add-ins – nuts, chocolate chips, raisins, dried cranberries – whatever you like. The batter can be used for muffins, or baked in a Bundt pan as well, if you are looking for different serving options. I added dates, dried cranberries and walnuts to mine, and it was truly a taste of fall.
Butternut Squash Bread with Dates, Cranberries, and Walnuts
Scroll down for a printable version of this recipe
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 2 hours
1 butternut squash (medium to large in size)
2 Tablespoons grapeseed oil
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon all spice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup turbinado sugar (or brown sugar)
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
1/3 cup pitted dates, chopped
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Cut the top and bottom off your butternut squash to make it stable.
3. Cut the butternut squash in half, vertically.
4. Scoop out and discard the seeds and pulp.
5. Rub flesh and skin of squash with grapeseed oil.
6. Roast flesh side down, on parchment lined baking sheet, for 60 minutes or until tender.
7. Let cool for 5-10 minutes until it can be handled. Turn oven down to 350 degrees.
8. Scoop out cooked flesh into food processor and process until smooth (about 1 min).
9. Measure out 2 cups of puree (reserve any extra for dinner later!) into a large mixing bowl.
10. Add two eggs to squash puree and stir to combine.
11. Add cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice (you can alternatively use pumpkin pie spice if you have it on hand), salt and vanilla bean paste. Stir to combine.
12. Add vegetable oil, and stir to combine.
13. In a small bowl, mix 2 cups all purpose flour and 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda.
14. Add half of dry ingredients to the wet ingredient (squash) bowl. Stir to combine.
15. Add the remaining dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Stir to combine.
16. Add nuts, dried fruit, or chocolate chips (1-1.5 cup total) to the batter and stir to combine. I used 1/3 cup dates, 1/3 cup dried cranberries and 1/2 cup walnuts.
17. Grease a loaf pan and spread batter evenly into loaf pan.
18. Bake at 350 for 60 min, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
If you’re ready to get baking, we’d love to see you soon. We have some really great baking class coming up at both locations!
At Lincoln Square:
At the Merchandise Mart:
- Hands-On Gluten-Free Desserts Saturday, October 30 10:30am
- Donut Boot Camp Saturday, November 21 10am
If you can’t make it to an in-person class, we do have some excellent virtual options. If you’re a squash lover like myself, you have to check out our Virtual Squash Workshop. On Saturday, November 6 at 3pm CST, we’re making Butternut Squash Bisque with Ancho Chili and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds and Roasted Acorn Squash Stuffed with Kale-Gruyere Bread Pudding. And if you’re looking to keep baking, we’re hosting Virtual Fall Desserts on Saturday, October 23 at 12pm CST.
Lastly, we’ve got your baking needs covered in our retail store from loaf pans, to vanilla bean paste and everything in between.