I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

Exchanging Halloween For Chocolate: Chocolate Squash Cake

Ahh fall. Season of pumpkin-spice everything, autumn décor, and costumes parading the aisles of every shopping center from coast to coast. 

Alas, much to my children’s chagrin, my husband and I have decided not to subscribe to Halloween celebrations. It seems a little counter productive (as a family full of small impressionable humans) to make an overly great deal out of a holiday designed to celebrate all things fright, spook, and haunt. Life is scary enough without a designated day to emphasize the fact. Also, Halloween is expensive, what with the bags of candy and snacks, costumes to match whatever current Hollywood blockbuster is in vogue, party paraphernalia, and beverages. I’d rather drop my cash on food, treats, and décor for upcoming Thanksgiving celebrations. Lastly, we live out in the middle of nowhere, so the likelihood that we will get (age appropriate) trick-o-treaters at our door is unlikely. I’d rather not invite older-than-children-strangers to my house, in the dark, dressed in costume, and let them give me the option of dishing out treats or getting tricked.

So. Instead of doing the purchased-costume, candy, door-to-door bell-ringing thing, we gather family close, carve pumpkins (often while wearing costumes of our own design!) and eat a big pan of something chocolate.

The last of my garden squash, zucchini, and pumpkins have finally rolled in, which is perfect because now we have something to carve, and squash to bake into that pan of Halloween chocolaty-goodness. Fudgy Chocolate Cake, to be exact. You can’t go wrong here. And bonus: The kids end up eating several helpings of squash (or zucchini) without ever being aware of the fact! I wouldn’t call it healthy, exactly, but whatever. Eat your veggies. Get your chocolate fix. Carve some pumpkins. Winning!

Curious: Does your family celebrate Halloween or do you have alternative fall festival celebrations?

Exchanging Halloween for Chocolate: Chocolate Squash Cake


*2 cups squash, cooked
½ cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 ¼ cup white sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup baking cocoa
2 ½ cups flour

*Note: cooked pumpkin, raw grated zucchini, or raw grated yellow summer squash can be used, or any combination thereof. This is my favorite way to use up leftover spaghetti squash from the previous night’s dinner.

In a large mixing bowl combine oil, sugar, eggs, salt vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, and baking cocoa. Use a whisk and combine all ingredients until smooth and creamy. Stir in cooked  squash (or cooked pumpkin, or raw zucchini, etc). Combine well. Add flour and stir until batter is thick and flour is mixed in completely. Pour batter into a well-greased 9x13” pan, and in a 350-degree preheated oven, bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Test consistency by inserting a knife into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done. Otherwise give it a few more minutes to bake. Allow to cool completely.

You can eat this cake without frosting (and with a fork because who needs plates!?) It’s that rich. Or you can frost it. I recommend frosting. But, I’m one of those people who believes in frosting. If you feel the same, here’s my standby chocolate frosting recipe:

1 1/2 cups melted chocolate chips
½ cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup cream
2-3 cups powdered sugar (depending on your desired thickness preference).

In a saucepan over medium-low heat, melt chocolate chips, butter, and 1/3 cup of the cream together until smooth. Remove from heat and add vanilla, the rest of the cream and one cup of powdered sugar, combining with a hand mixer. Continue adding sugar until frosting arrives at your desired consistency. Frost the cake and serve!

Looking for more dessert or treat ideas to serve at your Halloween party/Fall Festival, or (looking ahead to Thanksgiving dinner?)

Here’s a few of my favorites.

Shop at Kitchen Table Passport


  1. I can't wait to try this!! Thanks!

    We started out doing Halloween, then scaled back to church harvest festivals, then decided to opt out all together. We now celebrate Reformation Day and meet with friends at a local pizza place, which is always deserted on Halloween! It's probably just as pricey in the end (pizza dinner plus game tokens), but we just weren't comfortable with a holiday that has come to represent the celebration of all that is evil, gross, and sexually immoral.

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Our family morphed much the same way yours did, Diana...Now we do fried chicken and a movie night and hand out candy if kids come to the door. Can't wait to try the cake recipe, Beth!!

  2. Sounds so yummy. I need to try this, we have squash in the backyard. Thanks!