Sweet and spicy butternut squash cupcakes

Do you have a favourite veggie? I love butternut squash with all my heart and tummy. But my family has a contra opinion. They meet every dish with pumpkin with sad faces. “Oh, butternut squash soup, noooo” or “Pumpkin pancakes? Mummy can I skip breakfast today?” They even refuse to eat the amazing orange & butternut squash confiture, the recipe of which my friend brought from some French village. So I had to find a way I can use several jars of that delicious pumpkin jam I made after Halloween…

So I decided on cupcakes. And that was a victory, as none of my eaters could recognise the secret ingredient they hated. It was a victory twice, ’cause that is the exact recipe that won on a Bake Off Competition organized in Ealing by Katie Bryson the author of http://www.feedingboys.co.uk .




It will take some time, as there are two steps in this recipe, and the first is to cook pumpkin confiture. I belive you can’t just replace it with pumpkin puree.

You’ll need:

1-1,2 kg of butternut squash (peeled and seeded)

finely grated zest of two oranges

fresh juice of four oranges

300 g demerara sugar

1 cinnamon stick

2-3 anise stars

How to:

Cut pumpkin into 2-3 cm cubes, put into a heavy pan , add all other ingredients and cook until the sugar dissolves. Cover with lid and cook over low heat for about 40-50 minutes or until pumpkin is tender. Remove the lid and let the liquid evaporate, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat, take away cinnamon and anise and mash with a fork. Allow to cool completely. Makes about 1 ltr of jam.


Okey, than, now you are ready to make cupcakes.

For the cupcakes (1):

225 g plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

450 g pumpkin jam

90 g butter, melted

70 ml whole milk

170 g light muscovado sugar

2 eggs

For the topping (2):

170 g full fat Philadelphia cheese

120 g butter (warmed and soft)

120 g light muscovado sugar

2 tbsp maple syrup

To decorate (3):

100 g white sugar

70 ml water

20 thin slices of butternut squash

a bit ground cinnamon

How to:

1) Mix flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and spices in a bowl. Mix all the other ingredients in a separate bowl until blended. Pour the mixture into dry ingredients, stir well.

Spoon into muffin tin lined with paper cases. Bake at 190° C for 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

2) Whisk together all topping ingredients until very smooth and fluffy. Fill piping bag and pipe onto the top of cakes. Once the piping is finished, transfer cakes to the fridge to set up the topping.

Light Muscovado sugar can not be replaced in this topping as it has unique coffee and cream notes.

3) Heat sugar and water in a large frying pan. When sugar dissolves, add pumpkin slices, cover the pan and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and cook further until thick syrup forms. Place pumpkin slices onto a chilled plate, leave to cool. Stick the slices into the topping, sprinkle with tiny bit of cinnamon.


This is my original recipe, so I ask you to give me a credit when publishing it on your pages. Thanks!

To be honest I am fascinated by the caramelized pumpkin glowing in the sunlight. It’s pure amber!





One comment

  1. Liubov says:

    Ира, какие у Вас красивые капкейки получились! Очень аппетитно выглядят. Надо бы попробовать тоже. Не удивляюсь, что одержали с ними победу!

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