Thursday, November 20, 2014

Vegan roasted butternut squash bread with cheesecake swirl

vegan roasted butternut squash bread with cheesecake swirl

As a food blogger, I feel a very serious obligation to post relevant, seasonal recipes that inspire you to use local produce and give you a sugar rush while you’re at it. I’m very good at the latter, I like to think, but the former is somewhat of a struggle. I have a tendency to make things with OMG LOTS OF CHOCOLATE AND CARAMEL AND OMG OMG and not a single fruit or vegetable in sight. Which is kind of okay. Lots of normal, sane people like OMG LOTS OF CHOCOLATE AND CARAMEL AND OMG OMG, even if the rest of society is always like

silently judging you snape gif
Bitch do you even kale? source

But sometimes, I get my game together and start cranking out those seasonal recipes. This happened last summer when y’all got treated to a thousand and a half zucchini recipes in my valiant but ultimately futile effort to deal with our garden’s zucchini supply.

Now, ye shall see the power of a new squash. That squash’s name?

PUMPKIN. And butternut squash. But mostly pumpkin.

Witness, a collection of all the beautiful pumpkin recipe that have been posted on this humble blog as of yet in its existence.

vegan butternut squash pancakes with rosemary syrup
These babies have tahini in them. TAHINI.

Butternut squash and rosemary pancakes—because sometimes, you can’t resist the temptation to add dem herbs.

pumpkin coffee cake with rosemary, cornmeal, and cinnamon crumble
Hipster to the max.

Pumpkin coffee cake with cormeal, rosemary, and cinnamon crumble—because sometimes, you go overboard with dem herbs and flavors, and that’s okay.

pumpkin pie-stuffed french toast
It's healthy, I swear!

Pumpkin pie-stuffed French toast, plus a recipe for homemade pumpkin bread in the bread machine. Good stuff.

pumpkin pie cake with cream cheese frosting and candied pecans
Naked and fabulous.

Pumpkin pie cake with cream cheese frosting and candied pecans. I know, totally not enough frosting, but it’s still awesome.

creamy vegan pumpkin pie hot chocolate
When PSL's are too mainstream.

Pumpkin pie hot chocolate, which is basically another way to get in your daily dose of pumpkin pie.

pumpkin spice latte muffins with espresso glaze
And last but not least...

Pumpkin spice latte muffins—published at an extremely unseasonal time, but still really fucking delicious. Also probably one of the best posts on the blog. You should read it.

Anyway. Sorry for making you scroll through all of those pictures and probably fucking up your loading speed in the process. If you’re still here, I commend you. Here’s a kitty for your troubles.

cute kitty prancing through a field
Bitches love kitties. source

Now, let’s talk butternut bread.

Much like zucchini, the most popular baked good using that squashy vegetable called pumpkin is (aside from the traditional pie, of course) a quick “bread”—emphasis on those very large, very skeptical quotations. Because let’s be honest here. Pumpkin “bread” is not bread, it is cake. And not even healthy cake, at that.

But what this categorization misses is the cultural essence of ‘Murica, where the pancakes are fat and the burgers usually have bacon. Over on this side of the pond, pumpkin bread is bread, goddamit.

vegan roasted butternut squash bread with cheesecake swirl
Fuck yeah!

What I have for you today captures that very essence in a loaf. Yes, it’s actually butternut pumpkin, and yes, it has olive oil (oh, the horror health!), but it lacks nothing in its glorious, tender crumb, rich with spices and swirled with one of the most American of desserts, cheesecake. You can’t deny that adding a wee bit of cheesecake makes everything better.

vegan roasted butternut squash bread with cheesecake swirl
Okay...maybe more than a wee bit.

Ironically, I got the basis for this recipe from the Bouchon Bakery Cookbook, a massive fifty-buck volume I bought last year with far too much optimism about my bread baking skills (a batch of failed French bread later, I’m not so sure). Thomas Keller and his pastry chef, Sebastien Rouxel, glean much inspiration from French cuisine, but nevertheless include a few recipes for American-style cookies and scones and muffins, all big and buttery and likely huge moneymakers for the US-based bakery.

And quite simply, I’m lucky they do. Keller’s and Rouxel’s precision and clear passion for perfection in their eclairs and macarons is also present in equal part in these simpler recipes; even the muffins require the extra step of letting the batter sit overnight, so the wet ingredients have a chance to truly soak into the dry. The product is a muffin well actually I made a bread but same thing so incredibly moist I feared it was underbaked a bit, until I took a bite and discovered that it was, truly, the baking gods’ will.

I may have seized that recipe by the lapels and veganized it, filled it with olive oil and butternut squash, and drenched it in cheesecake, but its roots still shine through.

TL;DR—all hail Thomas Keller. Here’s the recipe.


Vegan roasted butternut squash bread with cheesecake swirl


Cheesecake (adapted from this recipe)

115 grams • nondairy cream cheese • 4 ounces

75 grams • granulated sugar • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons

8 grams • cornstarch • 1 tablespoon

1 grams • kosher salt • ¼ teaspoon

30 grams • nondairy milk • 2 ½ tablespoons

Butternut squash bread (adapted from Bouchon Bakery cookbook)

200 grams • all-purpose flour • 1 ¼ cups plus 3 tablespoons

2 grams • baking soda • ½ teaspoon

2 grams • cinnamon • 1 teaspoon

0.5 grams • cloves • ¼ teaspoon

1 gram • nutmeg • ¼ teaspoon

Pinch allspice

1 gram • kosher salt • ¼ teaspoon

222 grams • granulated sugar • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons

100 grams • olive oil • ¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons

210 grams • fresh butternut squash, roasted and mashed • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons

100 grams • silken tofu • ¼ cup plus 2 ½ tablespoons


Start by greasing a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan; set aside.

To make cheesecake filling, start by placing cream cheese in the bowl of an electric stand mixer and mixing on low speed for 2 minutes. Next add the sugar and mix for another couple minutes until completely incorporated.

In a separate bowl, whisk together cornstarch and salt. Add milk in a slow, steady stream and whisk until homogenous. Slowly drizzle into cream cheese mixture and mix for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until the cheesecake is smooth and loose. Set aside while you make the batter.

Place flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. Place sugar and oil in the bowl of an electric stand mixer and combine on low speed for about a minute. Add butternut squash; increase speed to medium-low and mix for another minute, until smooth. Reduce speed to low and add tofu. Mix until just combined.

Add dry ingredients in two separate additions, mixing on low speed for about 15 seconds after each, or until just combined. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Pour cheesecake filling on top and gently swirl it into the batter with a spatula. Cover loaf with plastic wrap and place in a refrigerator overnight.

The next day, preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Remove loaf from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature while the oven preheats. Immediately after placing loaf in the oven, lower temperature to 325 degrees F. Bake for about 70 to 75 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for half an hour before removing from pan to cool completely.


vegan roasted butternut squash bread with cheesecake swirl
Oh yes, totally breakfast-worthy.

So I hope you’ve been inspired to branch out beyond those PSL’s and really embrace fall. If you haven’t already. Because I can’t imagine anyone wouldn’t want to do that as soon as, like, August rolls around.

Unless you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, in which case fuck you and also can I stop over sometime because it’s getting really cold...?

JK, JK! Aussies and NZ’ers I actually love you...if there are any of you left here...don’t run away like that...please


  1. Awesome article! Love the cheesecake swirl! What restaurant have you had the best vegan butternut? Remember to add it to your Besty List!

    1. Oh haha I forgot about that! :P Thanks for stopping by!

  2. *Sniggers* You used kale as a verb, aaand yes I know it was intentionally, Snape told me so!

    Mmm so many delicious butternut recipes! I reckon butternuts are way easier to handle than the classic pumpkin, so touchĂȘ for using it instead here :D The bread-cake-happymakingthing looks awesome :D I hope you've had a lovely day :D Hugs from across the seven seas x

    1. Thanks so much! *returns hugs* I do think that anything can be a verb if you believe in it. Seriously though, do you even verb? ;) Expect to see more butternut / pumpkin creations before the season ends! :D

  3. Oh my goodness, this looks amazing!! I would SO want this for breakfast!

    1. Thanks! Truly is the ultimate breakfast food :)

  4. Yes! I have a ton of butternut squash to use and two pancake lovers in the house. What a perfect recipe! Thanks for bringing it to the Sunday's Recipe Wrap-up Link Party!