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The best of summer veggies combined with fall baking!
This Summer Squash Gingerbread Loaf was conceived from a conversation.
Though I live in a rural area, I am very fortunate to have a group of blogging friends to hang out with. These are other people who actually understand what it’s like to work from home. How to be your own boss, but also to slave for hours over a post. To work forever to get your photos to tell the story, or to wrestle a sentence into submission, no matter how long it takes.
We get together once a month for lunch. We compare notes, talk about social media, share ideas, and a whole lot of general chit-chat. But it is my friend Kathy with whom I most often end up chatting – we seem to be working at the same time, and are able to carry on a conversation via text while we slave away. And so it was the other day, when we got to talking about what we still had coming out of our gardens. I was mulling over some ideas for upcoming posts, and she told me about a recipe she’d had for awhile, for a gingerbread made from yellow squash I immediately perked up at the idea – I am a huge fan of molasses-y, warmly spiced desserts, and our yellow squash plants were still churning out a steady supply.
She emailed me the recipe, which turned out to be from Cooking Light. Looking online, I can’t find it, probably because it was in their magazine when we were still chipping the internet out of stone tablets, way back in 1993. In any case, I changed it quite a bit, both in ingredients and method and after fiddling around with it 3 more times, it’s just right – I think you’ll find it to be quite sublime. Rich, filled with yummy fall-inspired spices, and with a nice tangy lemon note. And, you get to use up some summer squash, adding some fiber, and a bit of extra nutrition.
Summer Squash Gingerbread Loaf
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup dark molasses
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups [about 10 ounces] shredded summer squash
- Zest and juice of 1 medium lemon
- Generously butter and flour a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. Preheat oven to 350º.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and soda, the spices and salt. Set aside.
- In a larger bowl, combine the molasses, oil and brown sugar.
- Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
- Fold in the shredded squash, juice and zest from the lemon.
- Fold in the flour mixture, taking care not to overmix - it may not be completely smooth and that is fine.
- Scrape batter into the loaf pan and spread evenly, leveling the top.
- Bake on the center rack, for about 50 to 55 minutes, turning the pan a couple times. It’s done when a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean – maybe just a moist crumb or two sticking to it.
- Remove from oven and cool in the pan for 5 minutes, and then turn out onto a cooling rack, loosening edges with a spatula or butter knife if needed.
- Store tightly wrapped - at room temperature for up to 2 days, in the refrigerator if longer. Freezes nicely.
It’s everything you could want from baking that is transitioning summer into fall – moist, rich, and filled with the flavors of warm, comforting spices.