Monday, 21 December 2009

Spiced Butternut Squash Loaf with Cream Cheese

A few weeks ago I went totally gaga over a recipe for Pumpkin and Cream Cheese Swirl Bread posted by Karine over at Food Gourmand.  First of all...I go gaga over everyone of Karine's recipes, and second I was totally craving some good North American Pumpkinny baked goods.  The problem you ask? Finding canned pumpkin is near impossible on this side of the pond, let alone in little Chelmsford!  I know there are a handful of places where I can get it in the capital...but am hard up to find anything here where I live. 

Mental note: stock up on canned pumpkin next time in London. my pleasure and total joy we got an itty bitty butternut squash in our veggie box last week! I had already been toying with the idea of substituting butternut squash for the pumpkin in the bread recipe...and low and behold there it was this morning just sitting there on my couter begging me to work my magic. 

I don't really know if it was magic that I ended up working, as the loaf didn't turn out quite like Karine's gorgeous picture, or that from Boys n Biscuits...but it is probably all down to the consistency of the pureed butternut squash, the fact that I halved the original recipe and my sheer desperation to have something to snack on.

I have been baking Christmas gifites for the last couple of weeks and it has been total torture having the gingerbread and shortbread sitting in the dining room taunting us.  We can't can't can't indulge and it has been really difficult.  So I partially blame the loaf oddity on the baked goods withdrawl I have been suffering.

For some reason the cream cheese layer (supposed to be a layer of squash batter, cream cheese swirl, layer of squash batter) didn't work, the top layer of the squash batter just sunk right through the cream cheese stuff.  I am going to give it another go, I think that perhaps the cream cheese mixture wasn't thick enough, and the squash batter was a bit too heavy...but the taste of the finished porduct is yummy....will be made better by a creamy cheesy centre next time!

Spiced Butternut Squash Loaf with Cream Cheese
*makes one 2lb loaf

for the butternut squash puree:
Peel and de-seed 1 small butternut squash (I didn't even weigh need a big enough squash for 1 cup of puree).
Cut into cubes and boil until tender.
Drain and mash sqush into a puree with potato masher

for cream cheese layer:
4 oz cream cheese, softened
3 Tbsp white sugar
1/2 egg
1/4 tsp vanilla

Put all ingredients in bowl, mix with beaters until smooth and creamy.

for cake batter:
1 1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup butternut squash puree
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
1 2/3 cup flour
1/3 cup water

Pre Heat Oven to 350f
In large bowl (or stand mixer) combine sugar and vegetable oil until light and fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time, mix
Add butternut squash puree
While mixing add baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and mixed spice. 
Slowly add half of flour, mix to combine
Add half of water
Add remaining flour, mix to combine
Add remaining water

Pour 1/2 of batter into greased/llined loaf pan
Spread cream cheese mixture ontop
Pour remaining batter on top

Bake in pre-heated oven for 50-60 mins, until tester comes out clean ( I think it took me a bit longer than that....just keep checking!)


  1. Anything with Cream cheese just has to be good.

  2. Oh no! I am sorry about your bread :(

    I remember, when I made this bread, I had a thick cream cheese mixture. I was afraid it would be too much but it actually turned out great. Did you use low-fat cream cheese or full=-fat cream cheese? I used full fat cream cheese..

    Otherwise, it might be that the squash puree is too heavy but you seem to have done the effort to remove excess water from it.

  3. Sage- Rita I agree anything with cream cheese is heaven....cheesecake for Christmas this year!

    Karine- I bummer...But it still tastes good, and I am going to give it another go... yup full fat! ALWAYS! probably down to me halving the recipe. Might make the WHOLE cream cheese mixture next time...but also the squash i think is heavier than canned pumpkin. hmmmmm