This loaf is incredibly moist and tender, with a wonderfully sweet and satisfying flavor from the squash. The warm spice is perfectly suited to the flavor of the earthy roasted butternut squash, and the orange zest adds a lovely touch of brightness in the thick glaze.
By Tux Loerzel
This long cold winter has me craving something homey comforting and sweet, with a healthy dose of warm spice.
When I was thinking of how to satisfy my craving, at first I was going to make pumpkin bread but on a whim I decided to try it with butternut squash instead. Butternut squash, roasted and pureed, has much the same texture as pureed pumpkin, but has a brighter, fresher, sweeter flavor.
To compliment that brightness and sweetness, I added a bit of fresh orange zest to the recipe. I kept the cinnamon in the recipe for the traditional warmth, but in place of nutmeg I substituted a bit of ground ginger and clove to compliment the citrus. Then I topped the whole thing with a thick orange glaze.
This loaf is incredibly moist and tender, with a wonderfully homey and satisfying flavor. It’s such a fun yet familiar twist on traditional pumpkin bread. The warm spice is perfectly suited to the flavor of the earthy roasted butternut squash, and the orange zest adds a lovely touch of brightness. The bread itself is so perfect on it’s own that it doesn’t even really need the glaze, and would be just as good with a simple swipe of soft unsalted butter.
I added the glaze to boost the citrus flavor, but I have to admit that I found it just a bit too sweet for my taste. My sweet tooth just prefers something a bit more subtle. If you think you’re like me and might prefer a more refined sweetness, you could skip the glaze altogether if you like. You could also try using less sugar to make a thinner glaze, or even try a cream cheese icing instead. If you like a nice dessert-like sweetness though, just make the glaze as is. Either way, a slice of bread will be heaven with your morning coffee or perfect as a treat at the end of the day.
For more delicious citrus flavor, check out my Chocolate Orange Bundt Cake.
Adapted from Once Upon a Chef
- 1 small to medium butternut squash
- 2 teaspoons peanut or vegetable oil
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- zest of 1 orange
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1¾ cups sugar
- 1½ sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 large eggs
- zest of 1 orange
- ¼ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- 2 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar, sifted
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Rub flesh with oil and place cut side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes or until soft when pushed with a finger. Cool until cool enough to handle.
- Peel the skin off the outside of the squash, and puree the flesh in a blender or food processor, or in a bowl using an immersion blender.
- Measure out 2 cups of puree and save the rest for another use, or feed it to your dogs.
- Reduce oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour two 8 ½” x 4 ½” loaf pans.
- Combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, orange zest, and spices in a bowl. Whisk until well combined and set aside.
- In another bowl, mix together sugar, melted butter, and squash puree. Whisk in eggs, one at a time, until well combined. Fold squash mixture into flour mixture until combined.
- Turn batter into prepared pans, dividing evenly, and bake for about 65 – 75 minutes, or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Let loaves cool in pan about 10 minutes, then turn out on wire rack to cool completely.
- Once the loaves are cooled, whisk together the glaze ingredients until smooth and free of lumps. Pour over the loaves and smooth the top. Let the glaze set for a bit before slicing.