Butternut Bakewell bars

Try these Bakewell slices made with a healthier twist. We’ve replaced white flour with light spelt, and butternut squash is used for natural sweetness

PREP 45 mins
COOK 1 hrs 50 mins
DIFFICULTY More effort


  • calories 299
  • carbs 27
  • saturated fat 7
  • sugar 13
  • protein 5
  • fat 19
  • fibre 2
  • salt 0.3


Seville orange marmalade, for spreading
1 small butternut squash
200g pecans
100g softened butter
150g light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp cinnamon
150g light spelt flour
½ tsp baking powder
1 orange, zested
250g light spelt flour
150g cold butter, cut into cubes
1 egg yolk
50g icing sugar
good pinch cinnamon
a few pecans, toasted and roughly chopped


  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Halve the butternut lengthways, scrape out and discard the pith and seeds, then put in a roasting tin, cut-side down. Roast in the oven for 1 hr 10 mins until completely soft. When it has 20 mins left, cook the pecans on a baking tray in the oven, then leave to cool. Scrape the flesh out of the butternut and purée in a food processor. Set both aside to cool. The purée and pecans can be prepared up to three days ahead.
  2. For the pastry, blitz together the flour, butter and a pinch of salt in a food processor until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the egg and pulse until the pastry comes together. Wrap in cling film and chill for 2 hrs.
  3. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Butter and line a 20 x 30cm loose-bottomed baking tin. Roll out the pastry, then lift into the tin. Don’t worry if it falls apart a little, patch it up with your fingers and press down into the corners. Chill for 20 mins, then prick the base all over with a fork and bake for 10-12 mins until lightly coloured. Reduce oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
  4. Grind the pecans in a food processor, then tip into a large bowl with all the sponge filling ingredients and a pinch of salt. Beat with an electric whisk until well combined. Warm the marmalade, then spread over the pastry. Smooth the cake batter on top and bake for 20-25 mins. Leave to cool.
  5. Mix the icing sugar with the cinnamon and enough water to make a thick drizzling consistency. Drizzle over the cake and scatter over the pecans. Once the icing is set, cut into 20 bars.