A couple weeks ago I had a serious craving for butternut squash risotto. No idea where it came from, but it demanded to be answered so I tried my hand at making it myself. It was…okay. Perhaps something I should really leave to the professionals (smile). But then I still had half a butternut squash left. What to do, what to do?? Well, I cooked half; why not try baking the other? Thanks to the how-did-I-ever-live-without-this awesomeness of Pinterest, I came across a recipe for these butternut squash cupcakes with maple cream cheese frosting. One bite of these babies and I totally remembered why I much prefer baking! (blissful smile)
I ended up making these as more of a muffin than a cupcake (semantics really, but it makes me feel better about having them for breakfast!). I also cut the frosting in half, which still made plenty (for breakfast anyway). If you like pumpkin or zucchini bread, you’re gonna really love these bites of goodness!
The original cupcake recipe can be found here on GimmeSomeOven. This site has some truly amazing recipes, so be sure to check it out!
1 cup butternut squash puree* (see below)
1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup milk (or soymilk)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (because this is what I happened to have on hand – see original for alt version)
1/4 tsp. salt
*To make butternut squash puree, roughly chop up approximately half a medium butternut squash. Cover with plastic wrap in a microwave safe bowl and cook for approximately 5-6 minutes until squash is soft. Transfer to a blender/food processor and puree until smooth. You can also mash it up with a fork.
Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line or butter muffin tins (makes 8-12 depending on how big you make them).
In a medium bowl, combine the butternut squash puree, oil, sugars, milk, and vanilla. In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices. Gently whisk dry ingredients into wet until just combined. Careful not to over mix!
Fill muffin cups approximately 2/3 – 3/4 full. Bake for 22-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If frosting, allow to cool completely before icing.**
Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter, room temperature
2 Tbsp. real maple syrup (use the good stuff)
1/2 lb. powdered sugar (or more/less to achieve desired consistency)
Cream together cream cheese, butter, and maple syrup until smooth and well-combined. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, mixing until it’s all incorporated. Spread on cooled cupcakes/muffins.
**I actually took these to work for breakfast the next morning (because I’m nice like that). I left the frosting to the side and also took some whipped cream and berries so people could choose their own topping. Definitely a huge hit! (Sorry there are no proper frosted photos – I’m afraid my desire to eat override my need to document properly!)