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Spiced Butternut Squash Cupcakes Recipe

For those seeking a unique dessert experience, our spiced butternut squash cupcakes recipe is perfect. These cupcakes are not just sweet, but also incorporate the earthy flavors of butternut squash, making for a warming, autumnal treat. The spices used in this recipe elevate the butternut squash's taste, bringing a hint of holiday cheer to every bite.

Spiced Butternut Squash Cupcakes Recipe
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Photos of Spiced Butternut Squash Cupcakes Recipe

Butternut squash is the star of the show in this recipe. It may not be a regular in your pantry, but it's worth seeking out for its sweet, nutty flavor. It can be found in the produce section of any supermarket. If available, opt for pre-cut and cubed variety for convenience. Spices like cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg are also key to this recipe, enhancing the flavor profile.

Ingredients for the Spiced Butternut Squash Cupcakes

Butternut squash puree: It provides a sweet, nutty flavor which is the base of these cupcakes. You can either buy it canned or make your own by roasting and blending a butternut squash.

Vegetable oil: It's used to keep the cupcakes moist and tender.

Granulated sugar: It adds a sweet flavor to the cupcakes.

Brown sugar: It contributes to a moist, dense structure with a caramel-like flavor.

Milk: It adds moisture and helps with the crumb structure of the cupcakes.

Vanilla extract: It enhances the flavors of the other ingredients.

All-purpose flour: It's the main dry ingredient that gives the cupcakes their structure.

Baking powder and baking soda: They are leavening agents that help the cupcakes rise.

Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg: These spices add a warm and spicy flavor that pairs well with the butternut squash.

Salt: It enhances the flavors of the other ingredients.

Cream cheese: It's the base of the frosting, giving it a tangy flavor and creamy consistency.

Butter: It adds richness to the frosting.

Maple syrup: It sweetens the frosting with a hint of maple flavor.

Powdered sugar: It sweetens and thickens the frosting, giving it a smooth, spreadable consistency.

One reader, Ashby Colley says:

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These spiced butternut squash cupcakes are a delightful treat! The combination of warm spices and creamy frosting is simply divine. The cupcakes are moist and flavorful, and the frosting adds the perfect touch of sweetness. I highly recommend trying this recipe for a unique and delicious dessert.

Ashby Colley

Techniques Required for Making Spiced Butternut Squash Cupcakes

How to prepare butternut squash puree: Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and place the halves cut-side down on a baking sheet. Roast in a preheated 400°F oven for about 45-50 minutes, or until the flesh is tender. Scoop out the flesh and puree in a food processor until smooth.

How to line a baking pan with cupcake liners: Place the cupcake liners in the cavities of the baking pan, ensuring they are centered and evenly spaced.

How to sift dry ingredients: Place a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl and add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Gently tap the sieve to sift the dry ingredients into the bowl.

How to check for cupcake doneness: Insert a toothpick into the center of a cupcake. If it comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, the cupcakes are done. If there is wet batter on the toothpick, continue baking for a few more minutes.

How to pipe frosting onto cupcakes: Fit a piping bag with a large star tip and fill it with the frosting. Hold the bag perpendicular to the surface of the cupcake and apply even pressure to pipe the frosting in a circular motion from the outer edge to the center.

How To Make Spiced Butternut Squash Cupcakes

Enjoy the best taste of butternut squash with this easy to follow butternut squash cupcakes recipe, topped with a creamy maple cream cheese frosting!

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 13 minutes
Total: 28 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

For Cupcake:

  • 1cupbutternut squash puree
  • cupvegetable oil,or canola oil
  • ½cupgranulated sugar
  • ½cupbrown sugar
  • ¼cupmilk,or soymilk
  • 1tspvanilla extract
  • cupsall-purpose flour
  • ½tspbaking powder
  • ½tspbaking soda
  • 1tspcinnamon,ground
  • ¼tspginger,ground
  • ¼tspnutmeg,ground
  • ¼tspsalt

For Frosting:

  • 8ozcream cheese,at room temperature
  • ½cupbutter,at room temperature
  • 2tbspreal maple syrup
  • 1lbpowdered sugar,or more or less to achieve desired consistency

Instructions

Cupcakes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the baking pan with 12 cupcake liners.

  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the butternut squash puree, oil, sugars, milk, and vanilla. Sift in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices. Gently whisk by hand until just combined, being careful not to overmix.

  3. Fill the liners with ¼ cup batter (cups should be approximately ⅔ full). Bake for 22 to 24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

  4. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Transfer the cupcakes to the wire rack and let cool completely before frosting.

Frosting:

  1. Using an electric mixer, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and maple syrup until smooth and well-combined. Gradually add in the powdered sugar, mixing well until it’s all incorporated.

  2. Use a pastry bag to pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes, or spread it on with a knife. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate.

Recipe Notes

To make butternut squash puree, roughly chop up some butternut squash. Then cook it in the microwave (covered with plastic wrap to keep in the moisture) for about 5 to 6 minutes until soft. Transfer to a food processor and puree until smooth, or you can mash it with a fork.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 456.03kcal
  • Fat: 20.69g
  • Saturated Fat: 9.04g
  • Trans Fat: 0.36g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 8.15g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.69g
  • Carbohydrates: 66.82g
  • Fiber: 0.71g
  • Sugar: 54.38g
  • Protein: 2.84g
  • Cholesterol: 41.63mg
  • Sodium: 191.95mg
  • Calcium: 59.41mg
  • Potassium: 107.89mg
  • Iron: 0.88mg
  • Vitamin A: 198.31µg
  • Vitamin C: 2.46mg

Crucial Technique for Perfect Spiced Butternut Squash Cupcakes

When preparing the butternut squash puree for your cupcakes, consider roasting the squash before pureeing it. Roasting helps to caramelize the sugars in the squash, giving it a deeper, sweeter flavor that pairs beautifully with the spices in this recipe. Simply cut the squash in half, remove the seeds, and roast it in the oven until it's soft and slightly browned. Allow it to cool before scooping out the flesh and pureeing it in a food processor or blender. This extra step can really elevate the flavor of your cupcakes.

Time-Saving Tips for This Cupcake Recipe

Prep ahead: Prepare the butternut squash puree and frosting a day in advance to save time on the day of baking.

Use canned puree: If you're short on time, you can use canned butternut squash puree instead of making it from scratch.

One-bowl method: Combine all the wet ingredients first, then add the dry ingredients to minimize clean-up and save time.

Room temperature ingredients: Ensure that the cream cheese, butter, and eggs are at room temperature to expedite the mixing process.

Bake in batches: If your oven space allows, bake multiple batches of cupcakes simultaneously to reduce overall baking time.

Chill the frosting: Place the frosting in the refrigerator while the cupcakes are baking to firm it up, making it easier to pipe onto the cooled cupcakes.

Substitute Ingredients For Spiced Butternut Squash Cupcakes Recipe

  • butternut squash puree - Substitute with pumpkin puree: Both have a similar texture and sweetness, making pumpkin puree a suitable substitute for butternut squash puree in this recipe.

  • vegetable oil - Substitute with coconut oil: Coconut oil can add a subtle tropical flavor to the cupcakes, complementing the spices and enhancing the overall taste.

  • granulated sugar - Substitute with honey: Honey can add a natural sweetness and moisture to the cupcakes, while also providing a unique flavor profile.

  • brown sugar - Substitute with maple syrup: Maple syrup can bring a rich, caramel-like sweetness to the cupcakes, enhancing the warm flavors of the spices.

  • milk - Substitute with almond milk: Almond milk can add a nutty undertone to the cupcakes, complementing the spices and providing a dairy-free alternative.

  • all-purpose flour - Substitute with whole wheat flour: Whole wheat flour can add a nutty flavor and a slightly denser texture to the cupcakes, while also providing additional fiber.

  • baking powder - Substitute with baking soda and cream of tartar: This combination can act as a leavening agent, similar to baking powder, helping the cupcakes rise.

  • cinnamon - Substitute with pumpkin pie spice: Pumpkin pie spice contains cinnamon along with other warm spices, adding complexity to the flavor profile of the cupcakes.

  • ginger - Substitute with allspice: Allspice can provide a warm, earthy flavor with hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, complementing the other spices in the recipe.

  • nutmeg - Substitute with clove: Clove can add a warm, pungent flavor to the cupcakes, similar to nutmeg, and enhance the overall spiciness.

  • cream cheese - Substitute with Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt can provide a tangy and creamy texture, similar to cream cheese, while also adding a subtle tartness to the frosting.

  • butter - Substitute with coconut oil: Coconut oil can lend a hint of tropical flavor to the frosting, complementing the sweetness and spices in the cupcakes.

  • real maple syrup - Substitute with honey: Honey can add a natural sweetness and depth of flavor to the frosting, similar to maple syrup.

How to Beautifully Present This Cupcake Recipe

  1. Elevate the cupcake: Place the spiced butternut squash cupcake on a decorative plate to showcase its visual appeal and create an inviting presentation.

  2. Garnish with edible flowers: Add a touch of elegance by garnishing the cupcakes with delicate edible flowers such as pansies or nasturtiums for a pop of color and a hint of floral aroma.

  3. Incorporate seasonal elements: Integrate seasonal fall foliage or small decorative pumpkins to evoke a sense of warmth and comfort, enhancing the overall visual impact of the dish.

  4. Utilize fine dining plating techniques: Employ meticulous plating techniques such as quenelles or precise piping of the frosting to demonstrate attention to detail and culinary finesse.

  5. Create a harmonious color palette: Arrange the cupcakes on the plate to create a visually appealing color scheme, perhaps by incorporating complementary elements such as a drizzle of caramel sauce or a dusting of cinnamon for an artistic touch.

  6. Consider the use of height and depth: Experiment with varying heights by stacking the cupcakes or incorporating elements such as candied nuts or chocolate shavings to add dimension to the presentation.

  7. Highlight the frosting: Showcase the luxurious cream cheese frosting by using a piping bag to create intricate designs or swirls, adding a touch of sophistication to the overall presentation.

Essential Tools for Making Spiced Butternut Squash Cupcakes

  • Food processor: A food processor is a versatile kitchen tool that can be used to puree the butternut squash for the cupcakes, making the process quick and efficient.
  • Mixing bowl: A mixing bowl is essential for combining the ingredients for the cupcake batter and frosting, allowing for easy stirring and blending of the components.
  • Measuring cups and spoons: These are necessary for accurately measuring the ingredients, ensuring the right balance of flavors and textures in the cupcakes and frosting.
  • Cupcake liners: Cupcake liners are used to line the baking pan, preventing the cupcakes from sticking and making for easy removal and serving.
  • Baking pan: The baking pan is used to bake the cupcakes, providing a stable and even surface for the batter to rise and cook to perfection.
  • Wire rack: A wire rack is used for cooling the cupcakes after baking, allowing air to circulate around the cupcakes and prevent sogginess.
  • Electric mixer: An electric mixer is used to cream together the ingredients for the frosting, creating a smooth and creamy texture.
  • Pastry bag: A pastry bag is used for piping the frosting onto the cupcakes, allowing for precise and decorative application of the frosting.
  • Knife: A knife can be used to spread the frosting onto the cupcakes if a pastry bag is not available, ensuring each cupcake is evenly coated.

Storing and Freezing Tips for Spiced Butternut Squash Cupcakes

  • Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
  • If you plan to store them for longer, place the cooled cupcakes in a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag and freeze for up to 2 months.
  • When ready to serve, let the frozen cupcakes thaw at room temperature for about an hour before frosting.
  • If you have leftover frosted cupcakes, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • To freeze frosted cupcakes, place them on a baking sheet and freeze until the frosting is firm, about 2 hours. Then, wrap each cupcake individually in plastic wrap and store them in a freezer-safe container for up to 2 months.
  • When you're ready to serve the frozen frosted cupcakes, let them thaw in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for a few hours before serving.
  • If you want to store unfrosted cupcakes and frosting separately, keep the cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature and the frosting in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • When you're ready to frost the cupcakes, let the frosting soften at room temperature for about 30 minutes, then stir until smooth before applying to the cupcakes.

How To Reheat Leftover Cupcakes

  • To reheat leftover spiced butternut squash cupcakes, start by preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C). This temperature will ensure that the cupcakes warm up evenly without drying out or becoming too crispy on the edges.

  • Remove the cream cheese frosting from the cupcakes and set it aside. The frosting can melt and become runny when reheated, so it's best to take it off before warming up the cupcakes.

  • Place the cupcakes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. The parchment paper will prevent the cupcakes from sticking to the baking sheet and make cleanup easier.

  • Cover the cupcakes loosely with aluminum foil. This will help to trap the moisture inside the cupcakes, preventing them from drying out during the reheating process. Be sure not to wrap the foil too tightly, as this can cause the cupcakes to become soggy.

  • Put the baking sheet with the covered cupcakes in the preheated oven and warm them for about 5-7 minutes. The exact time will depend on the size of your cupcakes and how cold they were to begin with. Check the cupcakes after 5 minutes to see if they're heated through.

  • Once the cupcakes are warm, remove them from the oven and let them cool for a minute or two. This will allow the butternut squash filling to set slightly and make the cupcakes easier to handle.

  • Reapply the cream cheese frosting to the warm cupcakes. If the frosting has become too soft, you can refrigerate it for a few minutes to help it firm up before spreading it on the cupcakes.

  • If you don't want to use the oven, you can also reheat the cupcakes in the microwave. Remove the frosting, place the cupcake on a microwave-safe plate, and heat it in 10-second intervals until it's warm. Be careful not to overheat the cupcake, as this can cause it to become rubbery or tough.

Interesting Fact About Butternut Squash

The butternut squash used in this recipe is a great source of vitamin A, providing over 200% of the recommended daily intake in just one cup. This nutrient is essential for maintaining healthy vision, a strong immune system, and overall cell growth and function. Additionally, butternut squash is rich in fiber, potassium, and antioxidants, making it a nutritious addition to these delicious cupcakes.

Is Making Spiced Butternut Squash Cupcakes at Home Cost-Effective?

This spiced butternut squash cupcakes recipe is quite cost-effective for a household. Butternut squash is an affordable and nutritious ingredient, and the other components are pantry staples. The recipe yields 12 cupcakes, making it suitable for a family. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $10, making it a budget-friendly dessert option. Overall Verdict: 9.

Are Spiced Butternut Squash Cupcakes Healthy or Unhealthy?

The spiced butternut squash cupcake recipe, while delicious, is not particularly healthy due to several factors:

  • High sugar content: The recipe includes both granulated and brown sugar, as well as powdered sugar in the frosting, which can contribute to excessive calorie intake and potential health issues like obesity and diabetes.
  • Refined flour: All-purpose flour is used, which is a refined carbohydrate that lacks fiber and essential nutrients compared to whole grain alternatives.
  • High-fat ingredients: The recipe uses vegetable oil, cream cheese, and butter, which are high in saturated fats and can contribute to heart disease and other health problems if consumed in excess.
  • Limited nutritional value: Although the recipe includes butternut squash puree, which provides some vitamins and minerals, the overall nutritional value of the cupcakes is relatively low due to the high proportion of sugar and fat.

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following modifications:

  • Reduce the amount of sugar in both the cupcake batter and the frosting, or replace some of the sugar with natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup.
  • Substitute a portion of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour or other nutrient-dense alternatives like almond flour or oat flour to increase fiber and protein content.
  • Replace some of the vegetable oil with healthier fat sources like Greek yogurt or mashed avocado to reduce saturated fat and add moisture to the cupcakes.
  • Incorporate additional nutrient-rich ingredients into the batter, such as grated carrots, zucchini, or chopped nuts, to boost the overall nutritional value of the cupcakes.
  • Experiment with alternative frosting options that are lower in sugar and fat, such as a Greek yogurt-based frosting or a light cream cheese glaze.

Editor's Opinion on These Delightful Autumn Cupcakes

The spiced butternut squash cupcakes recipe is a delightful twist on traditional cupcakes. The combination of butternut squash puree and warm spices creates a rich and flavorful treat. The cream cheese frosting with a hint of maple syrup adds a perfect balance of sweetness. The recipe is well-balanced and offers a unique and delicious dessert option for fall or winter gatherings. The use of seasonal ingredients and the thoughtful pairing of flavors make this recipe a standout choice for those looking to impress with a creative and sophisticated dessert.

Enhance Your Spiced Butternut Squash Cupcakes Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Create a creamy and flavorful mashed potato dish with a hint of roasted garlic for a perfect pairing with the spiced butternut squash cupcakes.
Honey Glazed Carrots: Prepare tender and sweet honey glazed carrots to complement the warm and spiced flavors of the butternut squash cupcakes.
Cranberry Orange Quinoa Salad: Whip up a refreshing and tangy cranberry orange quinoa salad as a light and nutritious side dish to balance out the sweetness of the cupcakes.
Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts: Roast Brussels sprouts with a balsamic glaze for a savory and caramelized side dish that contrasts the rich and spiced butternut squash cupcakes.

Similar Recipes to Try If You Love These Cupcakes

Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad: This hearty salad is packed with roasted vegetables and protein-rich quinoa, making it a satisfying and nutritious meal.
Braised Beef Short Ribs: Tender, fall-off-the-bone beef short ribs braised in a rich and flavorful sauce, perfect for a comforting and indulgent dinner.
Mango Coconut Chia Pudding: A refreshing and tropical dessert made with creamy coconut milk, sweet mango, and nutritious chia seeds, perfect for a light and healthy treat.
Creamy Tomato Basil Soup: A comforting and velvety soup made with ripe tomatoes and fragrant basil, perfect for a cozy and warming meal on a chilly day.

Appetizers and Main Dishes to Serve with This Cupcake Recipe

Appetizers:
Stuffed Mushrooms: Create a savory and indulgent appetizer by stuffing mushrooms with a flavorful mixture of cheese, herbs, and breadcrumbs. The earthy flavor of the mushrooms pairs perfectly with the rich and creamy filling, making it a crowd-pleasing option for any gathering.
Spinach and Artichoke Dip: Whip up a creamy and cheesy spinach and artichoke dip for a crowd-pleasing appetizer. The combination of tender spinach, tangy artichokes, and gooey cheese creates a delicious dip that can be served with bread, crackers, or vegetable sticks for a satisfying start to any meal.
Main Courses:
Grilled Salmon: For a light and flavorful main course, consider grilling salmon with a zesty lemon and herb marinade. The combination of the smoky grill flavor and the bright citrus and herb notes will elevate the natural richness of the salmon.
Beef Stir-Fry: A beef stir-fry is a quick and versatile main course that can be customized with your choice of vegetables and seasonings. The tender beef, crisp vegetables, and savory sauce come together for a satisfying and delicious meal.

Why trust this Spiced Butternut Squash Cupcakes Recipe:

This recipe guarantees a delightful fusion of flavors and textures, ensuring a delectable treat for all. The butternut squash puree adds a rich, velvety texture, while the blend of cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg infuses warm, aromatic notes. The frosting, a harmonious mix of cream cheese, butter, and real maple syrup, promises a luscious, indulgent finish. With meticulous attention to detail and a balance of sweet and savory elements, this recipe is a testament to culinary expertise and promises to elevate any occasion.

Want to share your own twist on this Spiced Butternut Squash Cupcakes Recipe? Head over to the Baking and Desserts forum and let us know how you'd make this autumnal treat your own!
FAQ:
Can I use canned butternut squash puree instead of fresh butternut squash puree?
Yes, you can use canned butternut squash puree as a time-saving alternative. Just make sure it is unsweetened and has a smooth consistency.
Can I substitute the vegetable oil with another type of oil?
Absolutely! You can substitute the vegetable oil with melted coconut oil, canola oil, or even melted butter for a richer flavor.
Can I make the cupcakes ahead of time and frost them later?
Of course! You can bake the cupcakes ahead of time and store them in an airtight container at room temperature. Wait to frost them until you are ready to serve to maintain the freshness of the frosting.
Can I freeze the frosted cupcakes?
Yes, you can freeze the frosted cupcakes. Place them in a single layer in an airtight container to prevent the frosting from getting damaged. Thaw them in the refrigerator before serving.
How can I store any leftover cupcakes?
If you have any leftover cupcakes, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Make sure to bring them to room temperature before serving for the best taste and texture.

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