Usually pumpkins, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash take the main stage but I’m here to tell you to try out small, green, unripe looking squash right next to them. That little green guy is called a kabocha squash and it originates from Japan. With its bright orange flesh similar to that of a pumpkin, it has a creamier consistency closer to a sweet potato yet sweeter than a butternut squash. In my honest opinion, I find it far superior to any other pumpkin or squash I have eaten because I enjoy eating roasted kabocha plain.
I thought to myself what better way to showcase the extensibility and deliciousness of this Japanese pumpkin than to turn it into a vegan loaf cake that everyone can enjoy. The kabocha gets roasted in the oven to amplify its sweet and creamy flavor. Spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves go in to highlight the nuttiness of the squash and enhance it’s fall flavor. A touch of milk/mylk and oil go in to keep the crumb tender and cake soft for days but don't worry it won't last the weekend. Dare I say that this one bowl, one pan vegan spiced kabocha loaf cake can replace everyone’s beloved banana bread recipe… at least for the fall time?
Spiced Kabocha Loaf Cake (V)
1 kabocha squash*
150 grams or ¾ cup of sugar
1 stick or 113 grams or ½ cup melted unsalted butter or oil
120 grams or ½ cup of milk/mylk
180 grams or 1-½ cups of all purpose flour
5 grams or 1 teaspoon baking soda
5 grams or 1 teaspoon baking powder
5 grams or 1 teaspoon salt
5 grams or 1 heaping teaspoon of cinnamon
A pinch or ⅛ teaspoon of ground ginger
A pinch or ⅛ teaspoon of ground cloves
A pinch or ⅛ teaspoon of ground nutmeg
Start by washing the skin of your kombucha squash to get rid of any dirt. Next, cut it in half and remove the seeds with a spoon.
Place both halves flesh side down and pierce with a fork to allow steam to escape. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until a knife goes through the cooked flesh smoothly. Set aside to cool down to room temperature.
Once the squash has cooled, gently slice 3 thin slivers of the cooked squash. Set aside, we will top the batter with these three pieces. Next, weigh out 200 grams or 1 cup of your cooked squash in a large bowl. Save the rest for another recipe or eat it as is like I do!
To the large bowl, add in the sugar, butter/oil of your choice, and milk. Whisk until you have a smooth light orange mixture.
Next, shift in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and all the spices. Whisk until all the dry ingredients are absorbed. Do not overmix.
Line a 8 inch loaf pan with parchment paper and pour all the batter in. Top the batter with the 3 slivers of cooked squash we reserved from earlier.
Bake at 375 degrees fahrenheit for 35 minutes. Then lower the oven temperature to 350 and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Let cool to room temperature before slicing and serving with some tea!
** Although I use kabocha squash, this recipe works well with pumpkin and sweet potato! If you have any sweet potato leftovers from thanksgiving, feel free to try this recipe
By Alex Chung
@threehungrybellies on Instagram