This vegan butternut bread makes the perfect fall treat. It requires just 15 minutes of active kitchen preparation + a handful of simple ingredients, and it’s a total crowd-pleaser. Sweet enough to entice yet not so sweet that it can’t be served up with a slather of vegan butter and jam for breakfast!
One of my friends recommended that I start watching the Great British Baking Show (GBBS), and I'm totally hooked. I like to think that I'm doing (highly enjoyable) research on baking techniques as I watch. I mean, that's exactly what I'm doing, right?
But really, truly it gets the wheels turning. I think about all the totally un-vegan goodies that deserve the chance to be veganized.
Oh yes, and I'm also learning new British English adjectives and terminology. Words like stodgy, sharp (to describe something tart), and brill (short for brilliant).
And also, it just really makes me crave sweets. Breads, puddings, cakes, cookies, meringues, pastries, pies, etc.
So it should come as no surprise to you or me that much of my recipe brainstorming as of late has centered totally around baked goods. Love it or hate it, you have GBBS to thank.
To make this simple one-bowl vegan butternut bread, you'll start with a flax egg.
Whisk together a bit of ground flaxseed and some filtered water. Let the mixture rest for about five minutes, or until it thickens into a goopy, egg-like consistency.
Then, whisk in the remaining wet ingredients, including butternut squash purée (you can find canned butternut purée at Trader Joe's), finely grated butternut squash, coconut sugar, grapeseed oil, maple syrup, and vanilla.
Once the wet mixture is ready to go, get to work on the dry ingredients.
Stir the dry ingredients, one by one, into the wet mixture.
The batter (see above) will be thick and fluffy with a deep bronzy orange hue.
Once the batter is ready, scoop it into a parchment-lined (or greased) loaf pan. If desired, sprinkle the surface with pepitas and hemp hearts for a bit of eye appeal.
Bake for 50+ minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Let the butternut bread cool in the pan for about 15 minutes and then transfer it to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
Then, slice and enjoy all on its own or with a slather of vegan butter and jam.
Vegan Butternut Bread
- 1 ½ tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 3 tablespoons filtered water
- 1 ½ cups canned butternut squash purée (nearly an entire 15-ounce can)
- ¾ cup peeled and finely grated butternut squash, gently packed into the cups while measuring
- ½ cup expeller-pressed grapeseed oil (or melted virgin coconut oil if you don't mind a coconutty taste)
- ⅓ cup plus 3 tablespoons coconut sugar
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 ¼ cups whole spelt flour
- Pepitas, shelled hemp seeds, and/or chopped walnuts
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 5" x 10" loaf pan with parchment paper or lightly grease it with oil.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the ground flaxseed and water. Let stand for 5 minutes to thicken. Then, whisk in the remaining wet ingredients (i.e., butternut squash purée, carrot, grapeseed oil, coconut sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla).
- Stir in the sea salt, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, and spelt flour into the wet mixture, one by one, in the order listed. Stop stirring when there are no flour patches at the bottom of the bowl. Be careful not to overmix—spelt has a delicate gluten structure, so overmixing will result in dry, crumbly bread. The batter should be quite thick and fluffy.
- Spoon the batter into the lined loaf pan and use a spatula to gently smooth the surface.
- If desired, garnish the top with a light sprinkling of pepitas, hemp seeds, and/or walnuts. Press down lightly to ensure they stick to the batter.
- Bake for 50 to 65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool for 15 minutes in the pan, and then very carefully transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 1 month.
June Creson says
What is the asterisk next to the spelt flour? Is there a substitute?
Hi, June! No substitute. The asterisk was originally there (removed now) to link to a note that I haven't had a chance to try other flours yet and therefore don't recommend substituting (or if you do, do so at your own risk), but I plan on trying out other flours in the next few weeks so left it out for now.
Please post the flour experiment results—including any failures!! I am sure many of your fans are celiac like me or gluten sensitive — or just curious— so I always appreciate flexible recipes
Of course! Thanks for your input, Michele!
This looks so good! I love The Great British Bake Off and it's great that everyone round the world can see it too. Can I ask why is there a * next to spelt flour?
Hi, Laura! My error with the asterisk next to spelt flour. Just removed it—thanks for catching that!
I sure would like to see this recipe turn into a savory bread by omitting the spices and vanilla as well as a significant decrease in the sugar. For flavour my mind goes to sage, carmelized onion and black pepper...but I’d love to know your exommendations for a savory flavour profile. Thanks....TK
...sorry for the typo
Hi, Tamara! A savory butternut bread is a wonderful idea, and I love the flavor ideas you outlined. I'll keep this in mind for upcoming recipe ideas!
I encourage bakers to try winter squash or sweet potato as a substitute for bananas in any bread, muffin or cake recipe— great with fall and winter spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom and my own baking secret: Chinese 5 spice. Especially if you roast the squash or sweet potato to collapse, it will approximate the sweetness and consistency of overripe bananas— but be sure to taste for sweetness as varieties differ.
Celeste Jackson says
Oooh, I love making quick breads to have in the morning with coffee. This one looks delicious. I can't wait to try it!
Hope you enjoy it!
Made this yesterday and it's SO good! YUM!
My bread is in the oven , I hope it turns out ok has long has it cooks through . . The consistency was off way off . The only ingredient I didn’t use was the maple syrup . I only used 2 cups whole wheat flour and I had to add 1/2 cup of milk . The batter was still heavy and thick almost the consistency of the chia mix . That’s the problem with vegan baking is the gummy middle of the bread . Cross my fingers and see what it’s going to be . I usually pick a recipe from comments but in this case the comments aren’t about this bread which is pretty annoying ...I will comment again when this is out of the oven
Hi, Brigitte! Thank you for your feedback. Omitting the maple syrup will significantly affect the consistency of the batter so it makes sense that it seemed off. Whole wheat flour (versus whole spelt flour) is also a bit more drying and dense, so that substitution might have added to the issue. Happy to hear it turned out well for you despite these changes though!
I am done baking this bread , I am sure with the exact recipe it’s super perfect ! But I only used 1/4 cup of organic brown sugar double the spices , ginger , clove , allspice and extra nutmeg I like flavor more than sugar ..I already made a comment but now I tasted it . I had to bake it an extra 20 minutes or the center would have been wet which I don’t like . It came out with a great texture after baking for 1 hour 30 minutes 😳😳😳 it’s very spongy crispy in the outside I don’t mind to bake it longer if it requires it . Over all it’s a great recipe with more spices and 1 and 3/4 cup to 2 cups definitely not 2 1/4 cup of flour . Thank you it’s a healthy recipe for me with lots of vegetable ! Thanks