Edible Holiday Gifts Part II: Squash Harvest Bread

squash harvest bread

These squash loaves are one of my favorite fall and winter treats. They are super hearty from the chopped nuts and seeds, perfectly spiced and stay most and delicious for days on the counter. This recipe makes two, nice sized loaves which makes it perfect for gift giving. I like to bring one along to holiday parties as a hostess gift, so my generous friends don't have to worry about cooking breakfast for themselves the next morning. This recipe also bakes up beautifully into paper baking molds, which makes it an even cuter gift to give (I have included some resources down below).

Squash Harvest Bread

adapted from the Macrina Bakery Cookbook

yield, 2 9x5 loaves or 6-8 smaller loaves

2 cups roasted squash purée (butternut, red kuri, or kabocha work great and canned pumpkin puree is just fine here too)

1/2c walnut halves

1/2c pecan halves

1c pepitas

2t baking soda

2t baking powder

3 1/2c flour

1/2t nutmeg

1 1/2t cinnamon

1 1/2t salt

1 1/2c light brown sugar

1 1/2c granulated sugar

1c canola oil

4 eggs

3/4c buttermilk

To Toast the Nuts and Seeds

Spread them on a baking sheet in an even layer and bake in a 375º oven for 10-15min or until they are nice and toasty. Cool the nuts completely and chop them medium/fine.

For the Loaves

Turn the oven down to 325º

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices. Stir in the chopped nuts and seeds, reserving a few tablespoons to sprinkle over the top of the loaves.

2. In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the oil and sugars. Mix on medium high for 4min. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the squash puree and mix for another 2 minutes. Then add the eggs one at a time, mixing until well combined.

3. Alternate adding the flour (3 parts) and the buttermilk (2 parts) and stir gently to combine completely, being careful to scrape down to the bottom of the bowl.

4. Pour the batter into oiled loaf pans, filling them 2/3 full, and sprinkle with the reserved nuts. Bake large loaves for 60min, smaller loaves for 25-35min depending on size. They are done when a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 20min before unmolding.


- For gift giving, paper loaf pans like Here are some online resources make sure to search for "paper baking molds".

- Here is a to food52's easy peasy squash roasting technique and video.

- For 2 cups of squash puree, you'll need about a 1 lb squash