This Butternut Squash Bread is a fall inspired quick bread packed with creamy butternut squash and warming spices. Enjoy a slice for breakfast, dessert or an afternoon snack.
A fun twist on a favorite autumn treat! Just like my pumpkin bread, this vegan butternut squash bread is soft and moist and packed with warm fall spices.
Quick breads are easy to make and the perfect vessel for sneaking in extra fruit and veggies. Who couldn’t use a little more of those?!
Bake up a loaf today!
Ingredients you need
Ingredient notes and substitutions
Flour ~ All-purpose flour produces a soft, fluffy quick bread.
I haven’t tried it, but a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend meant to replace wheat flour at a 1:1 ratio should work just fine.
Cornstarch ~ Since this recipe is egg-free, a little bit of cornstarch helps the bread bake up fluffy and tender.
Sugar ~ Cane sugar works great here. You could use light brown sugar or coconut sugar if you prefer. The bread will come out a tad darker, but this isn’t a problem.
Butternut squash ~ You’ll need 1 cup of butternut squash purée for this quick bread recipe, plus another ¼ cup if you make the icing. You’ll need a squash that weighs about 3 pounds. You may have leftovers, but it’s better to have too much than not enough. Use leftover squash in salads, soups, or grain bowls.
Peel the squash and remove the seeds then chop it into bite-size cubes. You can either roast or steam these cubes until tender. Then mash with a fork. Alternately, you can purée the cooked squash in a food processor if you want it super smooth.
Roasting the squash brings out its natural sweetness and will provide the best flavor for the quick bread, but I’ve done it with steamed squash and frozen squash and both are tasty as well.
Time saving tip: A 10 ounce bag of frozen butternut squash cubes will yield 1 cup of purée. Simply defrost (drain off any excess liquid) and mash with a fork!
Canned pumpkin purée will work as a substitute.
Milk ~ Any unsweetened, plain non-dairy milk will do. I used oat milk, but almond milk or soy milk can be used.
Oil ~ Since butternut squash has little to no fat, oil helps to keep the bread soft and moist.
Spices ~ Cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger provide cozy fall vibes. A pinch of salt rounds out the flavors.
A splash of pure vanilla extract would be delightful added in here, too.
Extras ~ If my squash yields extra purée than the one cup needed for the bread, I’ll make a cinnamon squash icing to top it off. The icing is soft and creamy, kind of like a loose cinnamon cream cheese. This is entirely optional, however, as the bread is quite tasty on its own.
You could add some diced or shredded apples to the batter, dried cranberries, or even chocolate chips. Chopped nuts, like walnuts or pecans, or seeds, like pumpkin seeds, can also be added. Just don’t add too many mix-ins or the bread will fall apart.
A dusting of powdered sugar or a typical icing made with powdered sugar and milk would make an easy garnish for serving.
How to make the recipe
Please scroll down to the recipe card for exact ingredient measurements and instructions.
Add all of the wet ingredients to a bowl (1) and whisk well to combine (2).
In a separate mixing bowl, add all of the dry ingredients (3) and whisk well to combine (4).
Add the dry ingredients to the wet (5) and stir to combine (6) just until no white flour remains (7). Do not over mix!
Pour the batter into a prepared loaf pan (8).
Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (9).
Allow the bread to cool in the pan on a wire cooling rack for about 15 minutes before removing the loaf from the pan to continue cooling completely.
If you are using the optional icing, make sure the bread is completely cool before adding the icing.
I love this butternut squash bread with a cup of coffee in the morning. The kids love it in their lunchbox or as an after school snack.
It would even be great as a Thanksgiving dessert.
More fall treats you’ll love
Storage and freezing
Counter: Store this vegan butternut squash bread at room temperature in an airtight container on the counter for 2 to 3 days.
Fridge: If you need to store it long than 3 days, transfer it to the fridge for up to a week.
Freezer: You can even freeze this bread! Do not add icing if you plan to freeze it. Wrap the completely cooled loaf tightly in plastic wrap or parchment paper followed by aluminum foil. Transfer the wrapped loaf to a freezer-safe plastic zip top bag. It should keep well for up to 3 months.
Let it thaw overnight in the fridge before serving.
Pro tips and tricks
~ Measure the flour using the spoon and level method. Fluff up the flour, spoon it into a measuring cup, then run the back of a knife across the top to level it off.
~ Mix the batter just until no white flour remains visible. A few lumps are fine. Do not over mix!
~ For best flavor, roast the squash. You don’t have to peel the squash if you’re roasting halves…just scoop out the flesh when it’s done. Prep time is quicker, but cook time is longer, about 50 minutes. For roasting cubes, you’ll have to peel it first then cut into cubes, which takes longer to prep but cuts down on cook time, about 25 to 30 minutes.
~ To save time, use a 10 ounce bag of frozen squash cubes. Simply defrost, drain any excess liquid, and mash.
~ Line the loaf pan with parchment paper and let the ends overhang so you can use them as handles to pull out the loaf after baking.
~ If the loaf is browning too much on top before the middle is cooked, tent a piece of aluminum foil over the top and continue baking.
~ Let the bread rest in the pan for about 15 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to continue cooling completely.
Yes. Canned pumpkin purée, not pumpkin pie filling, can be substituted for the butternut squash purée.
Sure. Fill the cavities of the muffin pan about ⅔rds full. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Yes! Cool the bread completely then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap followed by aluminum foil. Transfer to a freezer-safe plastic bag. It should keep well for up to 3 months.
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! If you tried it, please use the rating system in the recipe card and leave a comment below with your feedback.
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Butternut Squash Bread
For the butternut squash purée
- 3 pound butternut squash or 1 packaged (10 oz) frozen butternut squash cubes
For the Butternut Squash Bread
- 1 cup butternut squash purée
- ¾ cup organic cane sugar
- ¾ cup unsweetened, plain non-dairy milk
- ¼ cup grapeseed oil or other neutral oil, like canola or vegetable oil
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Cinnamon Squash Icing (makes about 1 cup), optional
- ½ cup cashews soaked in warm water for at least 30 minutes.
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup or to taste
- ¼ cup butternut squash purée
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ cup non-dairy milk or more as needed
For the butternut squash purée
- (Recommended) To roast you have two options.1) Cut the butternut squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place the halves cut side up on a rimmed baking sheet and roast in a 400°F oven for about 50 minutes or until tender. Remove from the oven. Once cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh and mash well.or2) Peel the squash, scoop out the seeds, then chop into bite-size pieces. Places the squash cubes on a parchment lined rimmed baking sheet and roast for 25 to 30 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork. Once tender, mash with a fork or transfer to a food processor and blend until smooth.
- (Alternately) Peel the squash, scoop out the seeds, and chop into bite-size pieces. Place in a sauce pan covered with water by about 1 inch. Steam until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain. Then mash using a fork or potato masher.
- (If using frozen squash) Defrost in a microwave safe bowl. Drain off any excess liquid.
For the Butternut Squash Bread
- Pre-heat your oven to 350°F. Line a 9×5 loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the butternut squash purée, sugar, milk, and oil.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir just until no visible flour remains. A few lumps are okay. Do not over mix.
- Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan.
- Bake 55 to 60 minutes until golden and a toothpick or wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let cool for 15 minutes in the pan on a wire rack before removing the loaf from the pan and continuing to cool completely.
For the Cinnamon Squash Icing
- As soon as the bread comes out of the oven, add the cashews to a bowl and cover with hot water. Let soak while the bread cools.
- When ready to ice the bread, drain the cashews and add them to a high speed blender along with the maple syrup, squash purée, cinnamon, and milk. Blend until smooth and creamy.
- When the bread is completely cool, spread the icing over the top of the loaf. Alternately, you can use a spoon to drizzle the icing over the bread.
Nutrition values are calculated using online calculators and are estimates only. Please verify using your own data.