Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Butternut Squash Baked Donuts with Walnut Streusel Topping

Butternut Squash Baked Donuts
My two-year-old devoured nearly an entire butternut squash this weekend.

What to do with butternut squash

Her grandma baked it for her with balsamic vinegar and honey, similar to this recipe.

Who knew it was so easy to get your kids to eat squash?

My favorite way to eat butternut squash is to cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, fill the hole with cinnamon, brown sugar and walnuts and then roast it.

Ohhh, it's so rich and Fall-y!

Now that I have been reminded of how great butternut squash is, I decided to bake it into a donut. It's just like eating a roasted squash in circular (torus shaped, really) form with a nutty, brown sugar crumble topping.

Baked. Easy. Spicy. Fragrant...and Vegetables :)

Streusel Topping Recipe

Chop, cook and mash your butternut squash, or you can cheat and buy it in the can. It was right next to the canned pumpkin at Whole Foods. But if you can't find it, you can substitute canned pumpkin in this recipe. That will be just as delicious!

How to make baked donuts

After piping the first pan of donuts, I learned a trick to pass on to you - skip the piping and just spoon the batter into the cavities, then sweep aside any batter from center with a rubber spatula. So much faster!

Baked doughnut recipes

Then sprinkle on the streusel topping and bake. These baked donuts are extremely tender, so I recommend letting them cool directly in the pan before unmolding.

soft baked cake donuts

Here's a real-time animation of what happened right before stuffing this moister than moist baked cake donut in my face. There's no question how I will be serving butternut squash on my Thanksgiving table!

(makes one dozen large baked donuts)

Baked Butternut Squash Cake Donuts
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup mashed or canned butternut squash
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

Walnut Streusel Topping
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of kosher salt
1/4 cup cold unsalted butter
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Vanilla Icing (optional)
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of kosher salt
2 tbsp boiling water


  1. Preheat oven to 375° F and coat your 6-cavity Donut Pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine sugar, flour, baking soda and nutmeg. Whisk to blend and aerate.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and stir in squash and vanilla. Gently fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just combined. Pipe or spoon batter into prepared donut pan.
  4. Prepare the streusel topping by pulsing flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and butter in a food processor until the butter is pea-sized. Stir in walnuts and sprinkle topping over the batter in the donut pan.
  5. Bake for 7-8 minutes or until an inserted chopstick comes out clean. Let cool directly in the pan. Unmold with a spoon or chopstick.
  6. When donuts have cooled completely, whisk together icing ingredients and apply in stripes to the top. I used a Lekue Decomax Pen, but you can also use a piping bag with a fine tip or a spoon.


  1. Who would have thunk to use butternut squash to make a donut. Sounds healthy. I may have to try this one since my husband brought in three of these squashes from his garden.

    1. Yes, yes! Please do and let me know how they turn out! :)

    2. I don't have a donut pan, but may try and make these as muffins instead...

    3. Susan, I think that's a wonderful idea! I may have to try that too. The batter is very moist and cake-like, so I'm thinking that they'll come out more like cupcakes than muffins. Let me know how they turn out! :)