Making acorn squash bread is one of the best ways to use this vibrant winter squash! The loaf features acorn squash puree, applesauce, and ground walnuts, accented by cinnamon and nutmeg and finished with an apple cider glaze. This delicious acorn squash dessert recipe can also be served as a snack or as part of a fall or holiday brunch spread.
Ok, so this recipe is SUPER delicious. My Banana Pumpkin Oatmeal Bread better move over, ‘cuz there’s another squash for fall baking in town!
Acorn squash bread is cozy and moist and sweet (but not overly sweet). The squash puree combined with ground walnuts and applesauce in the batter yields the most perfect fall flavor profile. Plus, the two-ingredient apple cider glaze on top really completes the autumnal vibe. I’m here for it!
After that description, you may be thinking you can only make this amazing acorn squash dessert (or snack or breakfast!) in the fall. Wrong! It’s a great choice all winter long and would be amazing for a Christmas morning brunch.
You can even make Acorn Squash Puree now when squash is abundant and freeze it for later, so you can whip a loaf in April if you’re feeling like it. I won’t tell on you. Promise. Alright, I’ve gone on long enough. Let’s get baking!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Pureed acorn squash: Make it in advance to save time. You can also substitute other types of pureed squash, such as butternut squash or pumpkin, but keep in mind that they will yield a slightly different flavor profile.
- Extra virgin olive oil: Melted coconut oil, canola oil, or melted butter can also be used.
- Eggs: I have not tried the recipe with flax eggs, but I believe they would work well if you need to make a vegan version.
- Applesauce: Use unsweetened.
- Granulated sugar: There is a smaller amount of sugar than usual sweet breads since the squash and applesauce also add sweetness.
- All-purpose flour: I suspect that whole wheat flour or 1-to-1 gluten-free baking flour would both work well but have not tried them.
- Baking soda and baking powder: Don’t skip them.
- Ground walnuts: Substitute ground almonds or almond meal if desired.
- Seasonings: Vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, and kosher salt.
- Apple cider: Use unsweetened.
- Powdered sugar: This makes the glaze thick so you can drizzle it over the top of your acorn squash bread!
To see the full recipe card, complete with ingredient quantities and step-by-step instructions, scroll to the bottom of the post. Here’s an overview of the steps with process shots to guide you. To save time, complete the first four steps ahead of time so that you have squash puree prepared before you want to make acorn squash bread.
Slice an acorn squash in half from stem to bottom. Remove the seeds with a spoon.
Cook the acorn squash either in the Instant Pot or roasted in the oven.
Scoop the cooked acorn squash out of the skin into a food processor or blender.
Blend until smooth.
Grind the walnuts in a food processor. You can rinse it out with water and dry with a paper towel before grinding the walnuts, or just grind them before the squash.
Mix the dry ingredients together: ground walnuts, flour, baking soda and powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
Whisk the wet ingredients together in a large bowl. These include the squash, olive oil, eggs, applesauce, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones and mix until just combined.
Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 50 to 60 minutes at 350 degrees F.
Make the apple cider glaze by whisking together apple cider and powdered sugar. Spoon the glaze over the bread after letting it cool for a few minutes.
Storage and Reheating
Acorn squash bread can be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator or freezer. You can keep it in an airtight container on the counter for a few days, but it will spoil the easiest at room temperature. To prolong shelf life, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
To freeze squash bread, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then foil. Place it in a freezer bag or container. Freeze for up to six months.
You can enjoy this bread cold or warmed. I like to put slices under the broiler for a few minutes so they get warm and slightly toasted. If you want to toast this bread, I recommend doing it under the broiler as mentioned or in a skillet, since it will not hold up well in a toaster.
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Acorn Squash Bread with Apple Cider Glaze
Acorn Squash Puree (need 1 cup)
- 1 small acorn squash
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
Apple Cider Glaze
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 2 to 3 teaspoons unsweetened apple cider
Acorn Squash Puree
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- If you did not make the acorn squash in advance, slice the acorn squash in half from stem to bottom. Remove the seeds with a spoon and discard. Rub the flesh with olive oil. Place the halves cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until the flesh can easily be pierced with a fork.
- Alternatively, you can cook the squash in the Instant Pot by following these instructions.
- When the squash is cooked, scoop out the flesh into a food processor or blender. Blend until you get a smooth puree. Measure out 1 cup of puree for the recipe.
- Decrease the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch loaf pan and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together 1 cup of squash puree, olive oil, applesauce, eggs, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract.
- In a separate bowl, combine the ground walnuts (chopping them in a food processor works best), all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
- Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the wet ones. Mix until the batter is just combined. You don't want to over-mix it.
- Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan. Place on the center rack of the oven. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let the loaf cool for about 10 minutes before removing from the pan and adding the glaze.
Apple Cider Glaze
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and apple cider. Add more or less cider depending on how thick you want the glaze to be.
- When the bread has cooled for about 10 minutes, remove it from the loaf pan. Place on a serving dish. Spoon the glaze on top of the loaf.
- Cut into slices, and enjoy!
- Leave a rating or review by tapping the stars on this recipe card (above) or in the comments section (at the end of the post)!
- The preparation time includes the time it takes to make pureed acorn squash. To save time, make the puree in advance.
- Store the bread in an airtight container on the counter for a few days. To prolong the shelf life, store the container in the fridge for up to a week.
- To freeze the loaf, let it cool completely then wrap tightly with plastic wrap followed by foil. Place in a freezer bag or airtight container. Freeze for up to 6 months.
- You can substitute other types of squash in this bread, such as pumpkin or butternut squash, but keep in mind that they may yield slightly different flavors.
Happy baking! – Lizzie