spiced butternut squash bread with toasted pepitas.

buttahnut squarrrrsh. you are terrific. 

time to get roastin' y'all. i have a lot of good things to say about squash.

jeeeeeeez squash is such a versatile seasonal delight. its so great in so many capacities. savory or sweet - squash is an amazing little gourd to have around during these cozy fall times. 

i've put squash in thai curry, made the classic 'ol pumpkin purée, and shoved 'em full of various tasty toppings. and now a fabulous squash bread!

mmmmmm it was sooo goooooD. it's long gone, but just seeing the photos makes me feel warm & toasty and i can smell it nowwwww.

you can roast the squash in advance if you'd like the bread to come together more quickly. puréeing it right after roasting is probably the easiest method. then store it in the fridge til you're readyyyy.

they look pretty weeeird if you look at them a certain way...but also, little hearts. <3 <3 <3 

how ca-uuute.

can you even believe that amazing color of the purée?? so prit-dee honeyyyyy.

...and the green of the pepitas. love.

THIS bread. is perfeeeeeect. so warm and spicy and moist and ..... everything you want and need in a cozy fall bread. 

just look at that fluff. all spicy and well on its way to being a delectable bread. 

toasting those pepitas with a little butter or coconut oil, maple syrup and a dash of nutmeg kicks this whole loaf up a notch. i wouldn't skip that step :)

the SMELL! holy moses. so good. i want to bottle it up. 

i don't often buy pastries from starbucks since i worked there for so long, but their pumpkin bread is really good and calls to me. i was soo happy that this squash bread turned out just as scrumptious, if not MORE scrumptious than the sbux bread. i added some extra spices because i wanted this to be packed with warm spicy fall flavor. i call this a great success.

i should have avoided placing the pepitas in the center of the loaf because it got kind of heavy and caved in a little bit, but thats ok. just press them nearer to the edges of the loaf and all will be groovy.

i used butternut squash for this recipe because its a tad sweeter than other squash, but you could use pie pumpkins or try out other types of squash, too! and use any leftover roasted squash in your next meals. i recently had some butternut squash, black bean & cheese enchiladas...and yum. so versatile, i tells ya!

i stand by you, squash. 

Spiced Butternut Squash Bread with Toasted Pepitas

Makes 1 loaf

Total time: 2 hours (mostly inactive, for roasting & baking)


Spiced Butternut Squash Bread-

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (6 TB for the bread batter, 1 for greasing pan, 1 for toasted pepitas)
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup butternut squash purée*
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp. all spice
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 TB milk

Toasted Pepitas-

  • 1 TB unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 tsp. maple syrup
  • pinch of nutmeg

*To roast the butternut squash, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Halve the squash and remove seeds. Rub skin with coconut oil, butter, or veggie oil. Place in a baking dish with 1/2 cup water in the bottom. Prick all over with a fork. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until softened and browning. Let cool and scoop squash out of the skin. Discard skins. 

*Add the roasted squash to a food processor or blender. Pulse with 2 TB water, adding 1 TB at a time until its formed a smooth purée. Set aside.

*You can roast & purée the squash about 3 days in advance to save time when making the bread.

To make the squash bread, Use 1 tablespoon of butter to liberally grease the bread baking pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a stand mixer or with electric hand mixer in a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar, and oil. Add the butternut purée, eggs, and vanilla, mixing as you go. Slowly add spices and flour mixture, mixing in between additions. Add 1 TB milk, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula and mix once more. Pour batter into baking pan and shake until evenly distributed.

To toast the pepitas, heat 1 TB butter in a pan over medium/low heat. Add the pepitas, maple syrup, and nutmeg. Gently toss for a few minutes until fully coated and browned.

Gently press the toasted pepitas onto the top of the squash batter, avoiding the direct center slightly. Lightly tent the pan with tin foil (to avoid burning) and place in the oven on top of a baking sheet. Bake for about 70 minutes. Check the center of the bread with a toothpick at 60 minutes. The toothpick came clean for me around 70 minutes.



{Bread recipe slightly adapted from Epicurious via Bobby Flay - Toasted Pepitas adapted from Half Baked Harvest}

yay for october :)



30-minute almond & pumpkin seed chocolate bars with sea salt.

october has been so fabulous!

it continues with these fantastic and simple chocolate bars, studded with pumpkin seeds and almonds.  these are so easy to make, and taste amaaaaaazing.

i used a mixture of dark chocolate and a little bit of milk chocolate with almonds.

i bought a big ol' bag of pumpkin seeds in the bulk section with no intentions of what i'd use them for. 

turns out, these little pepitas are super versatile and you can throw them into oodles of different things.

i've been putting them on top of yogurt & fruit, salads, aaaaand into delicious chocolate bars.

by the way, that persimmon has nothing to do with this recipe.  it was just sitting on the table looking all orange and cute, so i threw it into the photos for some extra fall vibes.

chop the almonds into medium/coarse bits, not too fine.  chop up the chocolate, too!

all ya hafta do here is melt the chocolate over a double boiler, and add your pumpkin seeds and chopped almonds.

i stirred just a touch of coconut oil into the chocolate to keep it moist.  i didn't know if it would dry out at all once all the seeds and nuts were stirred in.

mix it all up!

  freeze it all up!

after about ten minutes in the freezer, sprinkle some sea salt over the top of the chocolate while it is still a little bit tacky.

i sprinkled a touch of pumpkin pie spice to one half of the chocolate, just to see how it would taste.  it's not necessary.  i think i like the plain side better, but the pumpkin pie spice just adds a little somethin' extra.

stick the pan back in the freezer until the chocolate is completely hardened.  i gave mine about 15 more minutes before cutting it up.

chop the chocolate into various sized chunks, mostly bite-sized.


the sea salt really takes the cake!  it adds a lot of oomph and really rounds out the flavor balance of this delectable treat.

this sea salt came from pete's parents that they just got for us in hawaii :)

they also gave us a black sea salt and a pink sea salt that i'm excited to find uses for.

this could be a good easy dessert to bring to a party or as some sort of gift.  i think if you wrapped it up in parchment in a tin it would be easy to transport without getting too melty.  i'm keeping mine in the fridge just in case.

hey hey heyyyyy...talk about a thanksgiving gift for the dinner host!

these are pretty rich and satisfying.  pete and i each ate one piece and were ready to put them away.

they are sooooooooooo yummy, but rich!

p.s.  peter said, "they are perfect!"

...but then he said, "the salt is too coarse."  ugh. whatever man.  i suppose i could have used a tiiiiiny bit less of the coarse sea salt.

good thing, because i could eat one piece of this every day for the rest o my life, i do declare!

30-Minute Almond & Pumpkin Seed Chocolate Bars

Store in airtight container in freezer or refrigerator


  • 7 oz. dark chocolate (I used Lindt 70% cocoa - 2 chocolate bars)
  • 4 oz. milk chocolate with almonds (I used Hershey's with almonds - 1/2 a "giant" bar)
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 3/4 cup almonds, chopped
  • 1 tsp. coconut oil
  • sea salt
  • pumpkin pie spice (optional)


Boil 2-3 inches of water in a large pot.  Reduce heat to simmer, and place a heat-proof or glass bowl into the pot.  You don't want the water to touch the bowl.  

Coarsely chop all the chocolate with a large knife.  Place into the heat-proof bowl and let the chocolate melt.  Add about 1 teaspoon of coconut oil for extra moisture.  Continue to stir the chocolate with a spatula (about 1-2 minutes), just until melted.  Remove from heat and let cool a few minutes.

Coarsely chop the almonds.  Add chopped almonds and pumpkin seeds to the bowl of chocolate. Mix well.

Line a 9x6 or 8x8 baking pan with parchment or wax paper.  Pour the chocolate & nut mixture into the pan and spread/shake evenly into all the corners until the chocolate is flat and even.

Freeze for about 10 minutes, just until tacky.  Remove from freezer and sprinkle sea salt over the top. Sprinkle a touch of pumpkin pie spice, if desired.  Return to freezer and let harden completely, about 10-20 more minutes.

Lift entire parchment out of baking pan onto a cutting board.  Chop the chocolate up into various sized chunks.

Store in airtight container in refrigerator or freezer.