Summer Squash Gingerbread Loaf

summer squash gingerbread loafThough 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 and 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. If you scroll to the bottom of this post, you will find links to their blogs – each different and unique.

We get together once a month for lunch, to 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 G-talk 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 slices

Summer Squash Gingerbread Loaf
Recipe type: Cakes / Quick Breads
Serves: Make 1 Loaf
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 2½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ⅔ cup dark molasses
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • ½ 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
  1. Generously butter and flour an 8 x 5 inch loaf pan. Preheat oven to 350º.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and soda, the spices and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a larger bowl, combine the molasses, oil and brown sugar.
  4. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
  5. Fold in the shredded squash, juice and zest from the lemon.
  6. Fold in the flour mixture, taking care not to overmix - it may not be completely smooth and that is fine.
  7. Scrape batter into the loaf pan and spread evenly, leveling the top.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.summer_squash_gingerbread_slicessquashbreadscript

12 thoughts on “Summer Squash Gingerbread Loaf

  1. This bread was unique and delicious! Thanks for a new and interesting take. Two questions – there is no measurement for vanilla, it’s not listed in the ingredient list, but I saw it in the written instructions so I eyeballed it. Also, in the instructions, there is no step that lists when to mix in the dry ingredients with the wet – I did that, then added my squash – is that how you did it? Really fabulous though, it’s not Christmassy-gingerbread, but great for summertime. And my kids are eating more vegetables, so score. 🙂


    • Darn, Shannon – I apologize for that – it is corrected now. And I am so glad that your kids are enjoying it – anything that sneaks a little extra veg into them is good, right?

  2. Donalyn, I’m just learning that having a blog is a lot of work and takes time to learn. I’m glad you have some good blogging friends. This is fantastic looking bread and I’m especially fond of it because I like molasses. When I was a child in Germany we used to put molasses on buttered bread.

  3. I was wondering about the measurement for the lemon juice, maybe a tablespoon? I find that a lemon’s juice output can really vary ( repressed memory LOL).
    I can’t use the zest. Is there something I should substitute or just leave it out? Thanks so much.

    • Hi Deb- I do try to actually measure the lemon juice these days, instead of just citing the use of “juice of 1 lemon”, though that is very common in recipe development. A couple tablespoons would probably be more average. Most of the time, as in this recipe, it’s not going to make a huge difference as far as the chemistry of the finished dish – if I had a particularly un-juicy lemon, I’d probably squeeze another as well. As for the zest, I can’t really think of a substitute for that, but leaving it out will flatten the flavor a little, so I would probably increase the other spices somewhat to make up for that.

  4. Pingback: Over 30 Delicious Squash Recipes

  5. What a lovely blog! Thanks to Pinterest I found you via your unique recipe (which I can’t wait to try by the way). Just wanted to say how much I like this post–the tone of your writing, your explanation of the process, right down to the details like the classy font you used on your graphic. I even like your blog header! 🙂 This is such a nice breath of fresh air, more like talking recipes around the kitchen table than reading the same-ol’-same-ol’ that tends to prevail. Thanks for providing something different to the cooking blog landscape! Very glad to have found you and looking forward to following along!

  6. Recipe says grease loaf pan (I’m assuming 1 pan). Later it says scrape it into THE loaf pan (again, assuming 1 pan). I also measured my pan before starting. Says SERVES: one loaf. I now have batter oozing over the side of pan and burning onto the bottom of pan. Really was looking forward to this recipe. It really looked like batter for 2 loaves.

  7. Your recipe looks wonderful. Your gingerbread, I was wondering if your molasses is unsulfured? I wasnt sure if I should use Karo or king’s syrup. Thanks for a great recipe and blog.

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