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Butternut Squash cupcake

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Butternut Squash cupcakes

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When I told people these cupcakes were made using butternut squash as the main ingredient I received some pretty mixed responses. But seriously these are incredibly delicious and can even count towards one of your five a day (don’t quote me on that). I made them last week for a friends birthday and they went down a treat. The recipe does call them pumpkin cupcakes and pumpkin would’ve been my first choice, however as it’s May and my local supermarket had limited supplies I opted for butternut squash instead. Having tried courgette and beetroot cakes I’m not surprised that vegetables are being used more and more in cakes. They add sweetness and make the texture lovely and soft.

The prep time for these cakes suggests 15 minutes but I would change that to 40. I don’t know about you but a butternut squash for me takes 15 mins alone to cut up never mind grating too. Once you’ve got that out of the way however the rest is quite a doodle.

I doubled the recipe as I wanted to make 24 cakes. Thankfully this worked out with no problems, however in the past I have had cases where I’ve doubled the recipe and it just hasn’t gone to plan. I used more icing sugar for the toppings than the recipe said which made them slightly sweeter.

Here’s the recipe:


  • 175ml sunflower oil
  • 175g light muscovado sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200g coarsely grated pumpkin or butternut squash flesh
  • 100g sultanas
  • grated zest 1 orange
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

For the frosting

  • 200g tub full-fat cream cheese
  • 120g icing sugar

093 (1024x683) (2)Method

1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Line a 12-hole muffin tray with paper cases. Pour the oil into a large bowl and add the sugar, eggs and vanilla. Beat together, then add the grated butternut squash, sultanas and orange zest.

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    Butternut Squash

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103 (1024x683) (2)2. Stir in the cinnamon, flour and bicarbonate of soda, the mixture will be quite wet. Spoon into the cases.111 (1024x683) (2)3. Bake for 25 mins until firm and springy to the touch and a skewer inserted in the centre of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack. At this stage you can freeze the cakes for 4 months.118 (1024x683)116 (1024x683)4. To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth then spread on top of the cupcakes. Store in the fridge, but return to room temperature to serve for the best flavour and texture.

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Easy to make and a tasty way of incorporating vegetables into your diet, why not give them a try and see what you think.