Sweet Caramelized Acorn Squash

December 23, 2023

by Sammi Lowe
Sweet Caramelized Acorn Squash

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 60 minutes

Author: Esthela P., Second Harvest staff family member

Skill Level: Easy

Keyword: squash

Cuisine: Mexican

Servings: 4


Sweet Caramelized Acorn Squash

  • 1 medium acorn squash, peeled and seeded (or hard squash of choice)
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 piloncillo cones (Mexican brown sugar)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 Tbsp ground cloves

This sweet, caramelized squash recipe is a treat you will traditionally find during celebrations across Mexico. The winter squash or pumpkin is covered in a thick sweet syrup made with spices and piloncillo – an unrefined Mexican brown sugar that has a rich earthy flavor. “This Camote recipe brings back memories of me as a child in Mexico, and my mom making it for us during the cold and rainy winter months.” We hope you give this cultural dish a try!

How to Make Sweet Caramelized Acorn Squash


  1. 1. Cut squash into medium-sized cubes and set aside. Bring water to a boil in a medium pot, then add piloncillo cones, brown sugar, cinnamon sticks and ground cloves. Stir occasionally until the piloncillo cones are fully dissolved, then add the squash.
  2. 2. Cover pot and simmer at medium heat. Cook for 20-30 minutes, or until the squash is fork tender and has soaked up some of the syrup.
  3. 3. When the squash is cooked, transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Continue cooking the syrup in the pot.
  4. 4. Turn the heat up to medium-high and bring the syrup to a boil. Keep the pot uncovered and cook the syrup until it thickens, stirring occasionally. Place squash back into the pot and mix until pieces are coated in syrup.
  5. 5. Serve warm or enjoy the next day!