This Spiced Acorn Squash Bread is a moist, tender, and lightly sweetened quick bread that is perfect for a fall-flavored breakfast, snack, or dessert. Not only is it super easy to make, but this two-loaf recipe is also freezer-friendly, making it perfect for busy weekday mornings. Pair it with a warm cup of coffee or tea for a cozy fall treat.
Fall is my absolute favorite season for baking. Apples, pumpkins, cinnamon, maple syrup, and other warm spices come together to make all kinds of cozy, comforting baked goods.
Spiced pumpkin bread is a popular quick bread throughout the fall season. But, I wanted to try making quick bread with another type of winter squash - acorn squash.
But, what exactly is acorn squash? Acorn squash is a small to medium-sized winter squash that is nutty, slightly sweet, and mildly buttery-flavored. Compared to its popular pumpkin cousin, acorn squash is a little more watery and fibrous in texture.
For this acorn squash bread recipe, I replaced pumpkin puree with homemade acorn squash puree. It's perfect for when you have an acorn squash you don't know what to do with or if you're just looking to try something a little different this October.
Pair this warmly-spiced bread with a little butter and a cup of coffee and you're in for a cozy, cool weather morning that is hard to beat.
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Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Fall Flavors- Roasted winter squash, warm spices, and brown sugar come together to make this scrumptious fall-inspired quick bread. The smells floating through the air as this bread is baking will make you crave cool, cozy weather.
- Lightly Sweetened- Acorn squash bread is just the right amount of sweet. You can enjoy it for breakfast with a cup of coffee, as a mid-afternoon snack, or as a delicious dessert.
- Easy to Make- Acorn squash is such a wonderful, easy squash to roast. Its size makes it easy to handle and it cooks quickly compared to other types of winter squash.
Here are some notes on key ingredients. For a full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card below.
- Acorn Squash- A bit more fibrous than butternut squash and pumpkin, acorn squash is a sweet and nutty winter squash with green skin. Fittingly, the squash is shaped like an acorn and you can often find it next to the pumpkins and other squashes at the grocery store.
- Brown Sugar- I like to use a combination of granulated sugar and brown sugar. The brown sugar adds a deeper, caramelized flavor that pairs well with the warm spices.
- Canola Oil- A neutral-flavored oil, like canola oil, creates a super moist quick bread. Since it is liquid at room temperature, it helps the bread stay moist even after it cools.
- Spices- Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and allspice are classic fall baking spices. They lend a warm, earthy, seasonal flavor to this winter squash bread.
Seasonal Tip: Acorn squash can often be found year-round in grocery stores, but is generally in-season throughout the fall and winter. Have a garden? Try growing acorn squash as a fun and unique alternative to pumpkins.
Step by Step Instructions
Here is how to make this easy acorn squash bread.
Step 1: Roast the acorn squash. Preheat oven to 400°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the acorn squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Brush the flesh with olive oil and place flesh-side-down on the rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the squash is easily pierced with a knife. Allow it to cool for 10-15 minutes before handling. Either use a food processor, blender, or immersion blender to process the roasted acorn squash into a puree. Set aside.
Step 2: Prepare the batter. Reduce the oven to 350°F and grease two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans. Mix the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and spices in a large mixing bowl. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the sugars and canola oil until well combined. Then, whisk in the eggs, acorn squash puree, water, and vanilla extract. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, folding until just combined.
Step 3: Bake the bread. Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared loaf pans. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Easy Quick Bread Tips
- Measure the flour by weight. It's easy to measure too much flour because it compacts easily. The best way to avoid adding too much flour is to measure your flour by weight using a kitchen scale. Otherwise, spoon the flour into a measuring cup and level it off.
- Don't over-mix the batter. Quick breads, like this acorn squash bread, can become tough and dense if the batter is over-mixed. To avoid this, gently fold the wet and dry ingredients together until just combined.
- Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing. This acorn squash bread is super moist, which means it's best to let it cool completely before slicing. Slicing it too soon can result in gummy textured bread.
Substitutions and Additions
Here are a few ways you can customize this acorn squash bread to fit your diet and taste preferences.
- Acorn Squash- Pumpkin, butternut squash, or even sweet potato can be used in place of acorn squash.
- Flour- Replace up to half of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour or white whole wheat flour. For gluten-free bread, use a 1-to-1 gluten-free baking flour substitute.
- Sugar- Feel free to use all granulated sugar or all brown sugar, if you prefer. I have not tested this recipe with liquid sweeteners like honey or maple syrup so, I'm not sure if they will work here.
- Canola Oil- Avocado oil, light olive oil, vegetable oil, or any other neutral-flavored oil can be used in this recipe. Alternatively, 1 ⅓ cups of butter can also be used.
- Eggs- Try using flax seed, chia seed, or applesauce in place of the egg.
- Water- Milk, apple juice, or orange juice can be used to substitute the water.
- Gluten-Free- Replace the all-purpose flour with gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour to make this recipe gluten-free. My favorite is Bob's Red Mill.
- Dairy-Free- Acorn squash bread is already naturally dairy-free.
- Egg-Free- Swap the eggs for flax eggs, chia eggs, applesauce, or a vegan egg replacer.
- Chai Flavored- Replace the spices in this recipe with a few teaspoons of this Chai Spice Blend.
- Nuts- Toasted and chopped walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, almonds, or pistachios would add a wonderful crunch to this easy acorn squash bread.
- Seeds- Try adding chia seeds, sunflower seeds, pepitas, or hemp seeds for a boost of fiber and healthy fats.
- Dried Fruit- Dried cranberries, raisins, plums, dates, or figs would bring a little extra sweetness.
- Chocolate Chips- Speaking of sweetness, how about a few handfuls of chocolate chips? White chocolate chips would also be delicious.
- Other Vegetables- Shredded beets, zucchini, or carrots would add lovely specks of color, flavor, and moisture.
What to Serve With Acorn Squash Bread
- Butter or Margarine
- Peanut Butter
- Cream Cheese
- Greek Yogurt
- Fresh Fruit
- Jellies and Jams
- Grilled with Butter
- Drizzled with Glaze or Icing
- Tea or Coffee
Storage and Reheating
During the fall and winter, I love baking quick bread. But, sometimes I can't eat it all before it goes bad. Luckily, acorn squash bread is perfect for freezing. I love that this recipe makes two loaves because I can enjoy one now and freeze one to enjoy later.
How to Store
- Room Temperature- Allow the acorn squash bread to cool completely before wrapping tightly in plastic wrap or placing inside of an airtight container. The bread will stay good at room temperature for 2-3 days.
- Refrigerator- For longer storage, you can refrigerate this quick bread for up to 7 days.
- Freezer- Acorn squash sweet bread freezes very well. I recommend freezing any bread you won't eat within a few days and pulling it out to defrost as needed. Stored properly, this bread can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Quick Tip: Make the acorn squash puree up to one week ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
How to Reheat
While acorn squash bread can be enjoyed at room temperature, sometimes you just want a warm, buttery baked good for breakfast or dessert. If your bread is frozen, allow it to come to room temperature on the counter for a few hours before warming.
- Microwave- Place a slice of bread on a microwave-safe plate and lay a damp paper towel over it. Heat on HIGH in 30-second intervals until warm and steaming.
- Stove- Heat a little butter or oil in a skillet over medium heat. Grill the bread until crispy and golden brown on both sides.
- Oven- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place slices of acorn squash bread on a baking sheet and heat for 5-10 minutes or until warmed. I recommend adding a bit of butter to the bread slices before reheating in the oven.
Frequently Asked Questions
Nope, no need to peel the acorn squash. All you have to do is slice it in half and remove the seeds. I often remove the stem as well to make slicing it in half easier. Once it's roasted, the flesh is easy to scoop out of the skin.
Acorn squash is mild in flavor. It is slightly sweeter and nuttier than butternut squash. Texturally, it is a bit stringier and more fibrous than butternut squash or pumpkin, but this isn't noticeable once it's made into a puree.
Of course! Both the acorn squash puree and the bread can be made ahead and stored. See the Storage and Reheating section for tips.
More Quick Bread Recipes
Acorn Squash Bread
- Immersion blender, blender, or food processor
For the Acorn Squash Puree
- 1 whole acorn squash makes about 2 cups of acorn squash puree
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
For the Acorn Squash Bread
- 3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- ½ teaspoon cloves
- 1 ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar packed
- 1 cup canola oil
- 4 eggs
- ⅔ cup water
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the acorn squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Brush the flesh with olive oil and place flesh-side-down on the rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the squash is easily pierced with a knife. Allow it to cool for 10-15 minutes before handling. Either use a food processor, blender, or immersion blender to process the roasted acorn squash into a puree. Set aside.1 whole acorn squash, ½ tablespoon olive oil
- Reduce the oven to 350°F and grease two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans. Mix the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and spices in a large mixing bowl. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the sugars and canola oil until well combined. Then, whisk in the eggs, acorn squash puree, water, and vanilla extract. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, folding until just combined.3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon allspice, ½ teaspoon nutmeg, ½ teaspoon ginger, ½ teaspoon cloves, 1 ½ cup granulated sugar, ½ cup brown sugar, 1 cup canola oil, 4 eggs, ⅔ cup water
- Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared loaf pans. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Storage: Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Make the acorn squash puree up to one week ahead of time and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.