This Butternut Squash Bread is a delicious twist on pumpkin bread with homemade butternut squash puree and topped with a buttery crumb topping and an easy maple glaze. You’ll love the soft and tender texture and warming flavours of cinnamon and ginger in this loaf!
Why should pumpkin bread get all the glory this time of year?! This butternut squash bread is moist and fluffy and packed with all the cozy fall flavours.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I still have a love for all things pumpkin! This healthy pumpkin bread and pumpkin bundt cake (with chocolate swirl) are usually on repeat during the fall baking season. But, I’m having a moment with butternut squash, so here we are with this butternut squash loaf!
The bread itself isn’t overly sweet as the crumb topping and maple glaze bring plenty of sugar to the loaf. If you like your quick breads a little less sweet, just bake it without the crumb topping.
If you have a sweet tooth, however, I highly recommend the crispy, buttery, sugary streusel topping and maple glaze!
Why you’ll love this recipe
- It’s dairy-free. The recipe calls for almond milk and vegan butter, so it’s great for those who have a dairy sensitivity. If you don’t need the bread to be dairy-free, you can just swap in dairy milk and butter.
- The streusel topping. It’s sweet and buttery and bakes into the top of the bread for a crispy layer that goes perfectly with a generous drizzle of maple icing sugar glaze.
- No electric mixer required. You don’t need to break out your stand or hand mixer for this recipe. You just need a few bowls, a whisk and a spatula to make this bread.
Details on a few ingredients
Butternut squash – You’ll need 1/2 a cup of butternut squash puree, which helps make the bread soft and tender. I use homemade puree (instructions included in the recipe card below), which is super easy to make. Just make sure it’s mashed well and not too watery.
Flour – I typically use whole wheat flour in cakes, but wanted to try this loaf cake with all-purpose white flour to let more of the butternut squash colour shine through. If you want to substitute with whole wheat flour, just reduce the amount of flour by 1/4 cup.
Spices – We are going heavy on the ground cinnamon and ginger in this recipe as it goes in both the batter and the crumb topping. For the best flavour, make sure your spices are fresh.
Butter – A quarter cup of cold, cubed butter is used in the crumb topping. I used vegan butter but you can use dairy butter if you don’t need the bread to be dairy-free.
How to make butternut squash puree
This couldn’t be easier to make!
Preheat your oven to 375F and line a rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan with parchment paper.
Cut a butternut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. (Save the seeds and roast them like these air fryer pumpkin seeds).
Place the two halves cut side down on the baking sheet.
Roast for 35-45 minutes, or until a knife easily pierces the flesh.
Remove from the oven and let cool enough to handle.
Using a spoon, scoop the flesh out into a bowl and mash with a fork.
Store in the fridge and use within 3-4 days.
How to make crumb topping
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and spices.
Add in the cold cubes of butter and use a fork or your finger tips to crumble together.
The mixture should be crumbly with pieces of butter throughout. If the mixture doesn’t look crumbly enough, just use your fingertips to press the flour and butter together to shape some of the crumbs.
Place in the fridge while you make the bread batter. (This will keep the buttery pieces cold).
How to make butternut squash bread
Preheat the oven to 325F. Grease a loaf pan and line it with overhanging parchment paper.
In a large bowl, sift together your dry ingredients.
In a separate large bowl, whisk together the sugar, milk and oil. Whisk in the squash, then the egg and vanilla.
Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and stir until just combined. Be careful not to over mix.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and tap the bottom of the pan on the countertop to help remove any large air bubbles.
Top with the crumb topping and bake for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the bread comes out clean.
In a small bowl, stir the powdered sugar and maple syrup together to make the maple glaze.
Let the bread cool completely before drizzling on the glaze.
- Use pumpkin puree instead of butternut squash.
- If you don’t need this bread to be dairy-free, you can use dairy milk and butter.
- Instead of coconut sugar, you can substitute brown sugar in the crumb topping.
- You can use granulated sugar in place of cane sugar in the bread.
- Use other spices like pumpkin spice or chai spice. You can also add a little ground allspice or cloves.
- If you’d like to use whole wheat flour in this recipe, I suggest reducing the amount by 1/4 cup as whole wheat flour is more absorbent than white.
How to avoid holes or tunnelling in your bread
Here are a few tips that work for me to minimize large holes or tunnelling in my breads and cakes.
- Make sure your cold ingredients are brought to room temperature.
- Avoid over mixing the batter. Fold in the dry ingredients until they’re just incorporated.
- Once you pour the batter into the pan, tap the bottom of the pan off the countertop to help release some of the large air bubbles in the batter.
Storage and freezing
Once fully cooled, the pumpkin bread should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature. It will stay tender and moist for 3-4 days. Just note that the crumb topping will start to soften after a few days.
If you would like the bread to last longer, you can store it in the fridge for up to a week.
To freeze the bread, let it cool completely and then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and place in a resealable freezer bag. It should last for up to 3 months in the freezer.
To defrost the bread, just keep it in the plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for a few hours. Once defrosted, the crumb topping will be a little soft but it’s still delicious.
Frequently asked questions
Absolutely! If you want to make this bread without the streusel, just reduce the bake time by 5-10 minutes.
I used my 8.5 x 4.5 inch loaf pan for this bread. If you have a 9 x 5 inch pan, you should reduce the baking time by about 5-8 minutes.
Yes, you can use canned butternut squash in place of the homemade puree.
Key recipe tips
- Type of loaf pan. If you’re using a dark loaf pan, the bottom and sides of your bread will brown more quickly than if you’re using a lighter coloured loaf pan. I find lining a pan with parchment paper helps minimize over browning.
- Parchment paper. I lightly spray my cake pans and then line them with overhanging parchment paper, just enough to be able to grab the ends of the paper to easily lift out the bread.
- Room temperature ingredients. This is important to ensure the ingredients mix together properly. Cold ingredients may affect the texture of the bread.
- Measuring flour properly. Spoon and level the flour to ensure you use the correct amount of flour for this recipe.
- Don’t over mix the batter. You want to fold the dry ingredients into the wet mixture until just incorporated. Over-mixing can lead to dense or gummy bread.
- Refrigerate the crumb topping (streusel). The key to a good crumb topping is the buttery bits throughout so you don’t want your butter to get warm and soft. For the best results, I suggest making the streusel first and placing it in the fridge while you prepare the bread batter.
- Let bread cool completely. Wait until the bread is cooled completely before adding the maple glaze. Otherwise, it may melt into the bread. Also, if you try to slice the bread while it’s still warm, the streusel topping may break apart.
- Toothpick test. Oven temperatures can vary so I always test loaf cakes for doneness by sticking a toothpick into the centre. If it comes out clean (or with just a few crumbs), the loaf is ready to come out of the oven.
Other butternut squash recipes
- Butternut Squash Quiche with Spinach and Prosciutto
- Air Fryer Butternut Squash
- Roasted Red Pepper and Butternut Squash Soup
If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below!
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Butternut Squash Bread with Crumb Topping
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cooling Time: 3 hours
- Cook Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
- Total Time: 5 hours
- Yield: 10 slices
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
This Butternut Squash Bread is made with homemade butternut squash puree and topped with a buttery crumb topping and an easy maple glaze. You’ll love the soft and tender texture and warming flavours of cinnamon and ginger in this loaf!
For the squash puree:
- 1 small butternut squash
For the crumb topping:
- 1/2 cup all-purpose white flour, spooned and levelled
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 cup vegan butter, cold and cubed
For the bread:
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose white flour, spooned and levelled
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup cane sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk, room temperature
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup butternut squash puree, room temperature
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the maple glaze:
- 4 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
Make squash puree:
- Preheat oven to 375F and line a rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan with parchment paper.
- Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and place the two halves cut side down on the baking sheet.
- Roast for 35-45 minutes, or until a knife easily pierces the flesh.
- Remove from the oven and let cool enough to handle.
- Using a spoon, scoop the flesh out into a bowl and mash with a fork.
- Store in the fridge and use within 3-4 days.
Make crumb topping:
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and spices.
- Add in the cold cubes of butter and use a fork or your finger tips to crumble it together. The mixture should be crumbly with pieces of butter throughout. If the mixture doesn’t look crumbly enough, just use your fingertips to press the flour and butter together to shape some of the crumbs.
- Place in the fridge while you make the bread batter.
Make the bread:
- Preheat oven to 325F. Grease a loaf pan and line it with overhanging parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda and salt.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk together the sugar, milk and oil. Whisk in the squash, and then the egg and vanilla.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and stir until just combined. Be careful not to over mix.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and tap the bottom of the pan off the countertop to help remove any large air bubbles.
- Top with the crumb topping and bake for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the bread comes out clean.
- Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes before lifting out and transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- In a small bowl, stir together the powdered sugar and maple syrup until smooth. Drizzle over the top of the bread.
- Slice and serve!
- Even with a small butternut squash, you will have extra puree. You can always double the recipe, or save some for another recipe.
- Be careful not to over mix the bread batter as this can lead to a dense or gummy bread.
- For the crumb topping, I used Earth Balance vegan buttery sticks. If you don’t need the bread to be dairy-free, you can use dairy butter.
- You can substitute granulated sugar for the cane sugar in the bread and brown sugar for the coconut sugar in the crumb topping.
- Refrigerate the crumb topping while you make the bread batter so the streusel pieces stay firm and cold.
- Tapping the bottom of the pan on the counter will release large air bubbles and help minimize holes in your bread.
- Wait until the bread is cooled completely before adding the maple glaze as it will melt if the bread is warm.
- Be sure to check out the other sections above the recipe card for more detailed advice and suggestions for making this recipe.
Keywords: butternut squash cake
I tried this recipe for a family get together and it was a hit! Some people were skeptical at first of the squash but they ended up loving it. The recipe was detailed and easy to follow. Will definetly be making this again.
I’m so happy to hear that. Thanks for letting me know Andy!