Cinnamon Baked Cushaw

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
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I lied to you. It wasn’t a big lie…like I kissed your boyfriend or anything. It was more of an off handed lie. Like, ya I folded the laundry type lie. I didn’t actually make these cupcakes for my birthday. I mean, I kind of did. I made them to celebrate my birthday with y’all. I know y’all love cupcakes and I love cupcakes, so I made cupcakes to celebrate. But for my actual birthday, we had Cinnamon Baked Cushaw.

That’s right cats and kittens. I had SQUASH as my birthday dessert. I’m sure dieticians everywhere just jumped for joy…don’t worry, once they scroll down they will be weeping. How could I turn a healthy squash into the most delicious, fat laden, creamy dessert? It’s easy. I added butter, brown sugar, half and half, and heavy cream. Yes ma’am, this is a hold on tight, rub butter directly onto your thighs, while you jog in place, kind of dessert.


You know what, before we proceed, why don’t you just go ahead and push back your chair and do some squats while reading the rest of this post. It’s ok, I’ll wait for you to assume the omfg my thighs are burning seriously stop laughing I think they are literally on fire squat position.

So we start with some of that lovely Cushaw that you carved up. Lay it flat in an oven safe glass dish that was sprayed with your misto or coated in butter. I sprayed mine with my misto because it’s easier…and I’m lazy. :-)


Next, give a heavy sprinkle of cinnamon all over the cushaw. Then follow up with some freshly grated nutmeg.


Hold that squat position. Feel the burn. We are headed into bad territory now. 

Sprinkle the entire pan with brown sugar. Seriously, the entire thing. Don’t be shy.


No your eyes are not deceiving you. Butter! And a lot of it. Coat each of those pretty cushaw slices with a nice slice of butter.


And now for the grand finale! My last and final try at hardening your arteries!

Pour heavy cream around the edges of the pan…and then come back a second time and do another round with some half & half. The liquid will come up to about half way up the sides of the cushaw.

Pop it in the oven and wait. And wait. And wait. You might need to leave the house because the smell will almost be unbearable.

And then when you finally can’t take it anymore, this will come out of your oven.

I know it’s ugly. You don’t have to tell me. But trust me when I tell you, this is the most amazing dessert I have ever had in my life. I love it so much, I had it for my freaking birthday dinner. Ya’ll know girlfriend loves her some cupcakes…so for me to make this for my birthday…well you know it’s damn good.

The cushaw has a wonderful fall flavor and a texture almost like a custard. The cream bakes into an amazing sauce that is seriously drinkable on it’s own. The tops of the cushaw pieces are beautifully browned and full of spice. And the combination is just…perfect. Seriously, perfect. But hey, something with this much cream, sugar, and butter better be!

*surgeon general warning: make this once, or twice, a year. save yourself, save your skinny jeans* 

Baked Cushaw in a yellow casserole dish
4.4 from 16 votes
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Yield: 8 servings

Cinnamon Baked Cushaw

Cinnamon Baked Cushaw is a buttery, creamy dessert recipe made with... cushaw squash. That's right; squash for dessert. Baked cushaw has a texture that is very similar to custard, and it's filled with homey fall flavors that you're sure to love!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time1 hour 20 minutes


  • 2.5 lb Cushaw, cored, peeled, and sliced
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, sliced
  • ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup half & half


  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a 9x13 casserole dish with butter or a non-stick spray.
  • Arrange cushaw slices into an even, flat layer along the bottom of the dish. You do not want the cushaw slices packed in too tightly. Leave a little wiggle room for cream along the sides of each slice.
  • Give each cushaw slice a heavy sprinkle of cinnamon. Then follow up with some fresh grated nutmeg. Lastly, sprinkle the brown sugar all around the pan. Don’t worry about being precise, just make sure each piece is brown sugared!
  • Lay the butter slices on top of each slice of cushaw. Larger pieces get two slices of butter….smaller pieces get 1. And your personal piece you already picked out gets 3 slices of butter.
  • Pour the heavy cream around the edges of the pan…and then come back a second time and do another round with the half & half. The liquid will come up to about half way up the sides of the cushaw.
  • Cover the dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until incredibly tender when pierced with a fork. Then remove the foil and bake for 10 minutes more. Serve immediately.


Recipe Note: The below recipe is for a 2.5 lb cushaw. It is sometimes hard to find a cushaw that small. If you are unable to find a small cushaw, use half of a larger one for this recipe and the other half for Cushaw Puree.
TNCB original


Serving: 1, Calories: 305kcal, Carbohydrates: 24g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 23g, Saturated Fat: 15g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 68mg, Sodium: 22mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 23g


This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

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43 Responses
    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.

      Hi Ruby! There was a computer glitch happening, but it has been corrected and the directions are back in the recipe card! I’m so sorry, thank you for catching it and letting me know.

  1. Lynn S

    Yep! Delish! I used less brown sugar than called for and it was still plenty sweet. I had never heard of them, but grew them this year because I read they were impervious to the squash bugs. I grew three plants and ended up with over 15 huge squash!! I even picked a few early and sautéed them like zucchini, with garlic and EVOO, and I still had a ton. And yes, my other squash succumbed to the beetle, but these plants were warriors! I grew them on a trellis, and the vine was so strong that these 15+ pound squash just hung there beautifully until the end of the season.

  2. Paula

    I grew up on a farm with my grandparents in a corner of Illinois next to Iowa and Missouri , and we always had these beautiful green striped crooknecked squash in the fall. Honestly, I never had a pumpkin pie until I went to college, it was always squash pie. My grandma made a simpler version of this with layers of sliced squash in butter and brown sugar. I never had the recipe, it was such a common thing apparently but definitely my favorite! I live in California now and tried to find that squash, but I didn’t know what to call it. Looked it up and now I know the name, but I’ve never seen one out here at any store or pumpkin patch. Until yesterday, walking in to my local grocery store, there was a big squash with beautiful yellow stripes. All alone with the other unusual gourds and pumpkins. Wasn’t sure if it was a cushaw , but again, checked the net and it seems they can also be striped in yellow. I’m gonna give it a shot… every year I’ve prepared my own pumpkin purée (I use the milky pale blue pumpkins) for fall baking but oh, how I’ve missed this tasty part of my childhood. Thanks for posting!

    1. Donna

      I grew up in Beaumont Texas and had cajun grandma who would grow these and cut them up, top them with butter and sugar and bake them in the oven. As children we would just gobble it up! It was one of our favorites when staying with her. We called her “big mamu”. She was a firey redhead but a wonderful cook. I finally was able to get some seeds and plant them this year and even though we had drought like conditions here in north central Arkansas was able to grow 2-3. I can’t wait for my family to experience the wonderful taste and creamyness of this treat. I will be saving the seeds and planting more next year!! Never tried it with the cream but look forward to it. Thank you Jessica for posting this.

  3. Chef Jerry

    I wish people would get over their aversion to salt. The relationship between sweet and salty is key to getting the best flavor. Why else would chocolate cake recipes include salt? It’s for balance. That’s what professional chefs know, and it’s why under salted home cooked food is often considered bland, at least by anyone who occasionally enjoys potato chips.

    Please do some research about sodium; most Americans are deficient in this vital nutrient and if you get too much, guess what, your body eliminates it easily. Don’t listen to the same dullards who for decades said that eating fat makes you fat, all the while preaching how great carbs are.

    Anyway, I hope everyone is adding some salt to this otherwise fine recipe. I recommend Himalayan sea salt or some other ancient salt rich in minerals.

  4. SharonK

    Oh, my goodness! I am from Texas and, thanks to my Nana and my Mama, have been eating cushaw my entire life. They fixed it like your cinnamon baked cushaw, except they cut it into chunks and used white sugar. Oh, that heavenly flavor! I just bought a large one and am looking forward to experimenting with your recipes, although my FIRST dish will definitely be cinnamon baked cushaw! Yum!

  5. Jeannie Llorence

    We grew a few cushaws last year and they grew pretty big, I just candied them for a side dish with beans. Anyway this year we planted a little plot of them. None of them got to big but we still picked them. I just finished peeling them and seeding them and I decided to check out the internet to see if I could find different ways to cook them! Anyway I will be trying some of your recipes Thanks for the ones that you posted.

  6. Laruebridge

    Oh my…. my uncle made the best darn Cushaw Custard, yummo. Brings back such wonderful culinary childhood memories, (well not that coon or cows tongue (eek) that I just would not try lol.) I am a born and breed city girl from Houston, but my family was from Bayou Rapids LA., so I was breed on southern “cuisine”.

  7. Jenny Faulkner Wells

    I was born and grew up in Kentucky. I’ve known about cushaw all my life. My mom and aunts made pies out of them; like pumpkin pie but using cushaw. So that’s what I’ve always done. I’m glad to see these recipes for making other dishes. 
    Last year I waited too long to look for cushaw and did not find any. This year I was in Indiana and found one at an Amish farm and grabbed it. I later saw some at farmers’ markets in my hometown. 

  8. Kathie B

    This was a great treat after it mashed. This was a recipe my husband’s Grandmother made, great Cajun cook. We added coconut on top and broiled for about 3 minutes – great!


    Be sure to add a teaspoon of vanilla.  Other add-ins might be a cup of chopped pecans.

    At other times, I have used lemon flavor and a spritz of lemon zest instead of vanilla and cinnamon.  

    Cushaw was in everybody’s garden where I grew up in east Texas during the Great Depression.  It has always been Deep South treat, and not available here in California.
    In desperation, I have used the smaller winter squash instead.   Not quite as good, but it is a fair substitute.

  10. Shawn

    Tried it and loved it so much I told my mama about the recipe and she loved it. I’m making a second batch tonight.  Next year I think I’m going to try it in a pie so I have to make sure and get 2  cushaw just like this year.

  11. Carmen

    I got my first Cushaw and had no idea what to do with it. After reading your blog, I decided to try the recipe for the cinnamon baked cushaw. I have to say….it came out delicious! I will make it several times more. Thank you so much.

  12. Jennifer Sprinkle

    I think this is the first place I have ever found recipes for cushaw. CUSHAW! Nobody ever knows what I’m talking about when I say I love cushaw. IIt easy to find back home in Kentucky…now that we’ve moved to South Carolina I don’t know how easy it will be to come by. I usually just cut it up and fry it in a pan with butter and brown sugar but I’m definitely going to have to try your recipes!

  13. mark

    I was at whole foods market (plano tx) and they had these 25 pound golden cushaw squash out front for $1.99 each so I bought one just because it was there. I swear that at least 7 people in the store stopped me and asked how to cook one. I just smiled and made up answers ( grill it, boil it, smoke it, soup, etc). No clue what to do with this thing but knew it was edible. So I googled and found you. I am in process of cutting the cushaw and I was suprised that the liquid oosing from it is like glue on my hands. anyway, I am about to cut it in to chunks and follow your blog above (with additional cinnamon and nutmeg). thanks for blogging about this. Mark

  14. The Mom Chef ~ Taking on Magazines One Recipe at a Time

    I seriously need to get my hands on a cushaw. I can’t believe you talked about holding a squat while dabbing all that butter and pouring all that cream in the dish! I love it.

  15. Joanne

    I’m in love. I want this for my birthday…which means I have five months to figure out where to get cushaw in NYC. I’m on it.

    1. Cheesehead

      You want to get demand up? I have a suggestion that will allow for using more cushaw. You know how there’s a butternut squash recipe that sounds very similar? I have had that and after I started trying to not eat cane sugar, I replaced the butter in the recipe with coconut oil, and the sugar with honey. For this recipe I think I’ll use some canned coconut milk (I think it’s thicker than heavy cream so adjustments might need to be made). The coconut milk will need to be warmed and mixed in a pot on the stove before using it in this recipe. Or stirred really well but it’s easier on the stove.

  16. Chef Dennis

    i Have never heard of cushaw or have seen squash prepared that way, and I love it! You know some days its be damned the dietitians!
    Great job!

  17. Kelly

    This sounds wonderful! I may have to go down to Trader Joes and get a cushaw! by the way, one of your funniest posts I’ve read!


I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.