Spiced Butternut Squash Cupcakes w/ Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

What to do with leftover butternut squash?

Why, make cupcakes of course!

(Of course!)

And I’m pretty sure it doesn’t get any better than this recipe for Spiced Butternut Squash Cupcakes, topped with a heav-en-ly maple cream cheese frosting.  Really, I was blown away by how these little desserts turned out (as was evidenced by my Instagram photo below of a little snacking “recipe development” while photographing).  The butternut squash puree functions almost identically to your typical pumpkin puree, giving tons of delicious sweet flavor and also making these cupcakes perfectly light and moist.

And then there’s the frosting.  Oh, the frosting.  You all know how much I adore a good cream cheese frosting, and when accented with some maple syrup, this one was a melt-in-your-mouth total winner.  Rich, creamy, and wonderfully sweet.  Definitely a perfect “icing on the cake” with this recipe.

My friends all agreed that these need to be made again, and very soon.  Believe me, I am all for that.  Hope you enjoy them too!

Spiced Butternut Squash Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Butternut squash has never tasted so good as in these delicious cupcakes, topped with a sweet maple cream cheese frosting!


Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butternut squash puree (**see note below for instructions - so easy!**)
  • 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 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1 block (8 oz.) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp. real maple syrup
  • 1 lb. powdered sugar (or more/less to achieve desired consistency)


To Make The Cupcakes:

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

In a medium bowl, stir together 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.

Fill liners with 1/4 cup batter (cups should be approximately 2/3 full). Bake for 22-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 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.

To Make Frosting:

Using an electric mixer, cream together cream cheese, butter, and maple syrup until smooth and well-combined. Gradually add in the powdered sugar, mixing well until it’s all incorporated. Use a pastry bag to pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes, or spread it on with a knife. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate.

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 5-6 minutes until soft.  Transfer to a food processor and puree until smooth.  (Or you can mash it with a fork.)

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

Leave a Comment:


  1. Kare @ Kitchen Treaty — October 11, 2012 @ 8:27 am (#)

    I love butternut squash in baked goods! So, so good. Those little fluffy clouds of frosting are just perfect.

  2. Kelley {mountain mama cooks} — October 11, 2012 @ 8:44 am (#)

    Holy YES!!! I’d snack on these for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Those liners are adorable too. Wish we lived closer so I could come be a taste tester!!

  3. Annamaria — October 11, 2012 @ 8:48 am (#)

    I love butternut squash soup and I’m sure I’d love these cupcakes. Great tip for the butternut squash puree. I bet you can do that with any of the winter squash.

  4. Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel — October 11, 2012 @ 9:09 am (#)

    Look at those clouds of frosting! Mm.

  5. Sues — October 11, 2012 @ 9:15 am (#)

    I already love pumpkin cupcakes and I’m CERTAIN I would love butternut squash cupcakes, too! And these are so beautiful!!!

  6. Cassie — October 11, 2012 @ 9:28 am (#)

    Fabulous use for leftover butternut squash, I love it! And that icing – amazing!

  7. Bev @ Bev Cooks — October 11, 2012 @ 9:58 am (#)

    These are amazing. And are those actual muffin TINS? Like, TINS?

    I’m dying.

  8. Jennifer @ Mother Thyme — October 11, 2012 @ 11:59 am (#)

    These are so pretty and what a great way to use leftover butternut squash.

  9. natalie@thesweetslife — October 11, 2012 @ 12:54 pm (#)

    whoa super gorgeous! I need you to teach me how to pipe frosting so perfectly :)

  10. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — October 11, 2012 @ 1:49 pm (#)

    What gorgeous cupcakes! Those liners are absolutely stunning! And the use of butternut squash in a cupcake is pure genius.

  11. Laura (Tutti Dolci) — October 11, 2012 @ 5:39 pm (#)

    Beautiful cupcakes, the maple cream cheese frosting sounds divine!

  12. Kim (Feed Me, Seymour) — October 11, 2012 @ 6:12 pm (#)

    I’m a serious butternut squash addict but never though to use it in a sweet way. Or at least not in cupcakes. I’m definitely testing these out soon!

  13. Julie @ Table for Two — October 11, 2012 @ 7:33 pm (#)

    these are gorgeous! i just bought some butternut squash today :) i guess i know what i’ll be making when i have leftovers!

  14. Christy@SweetandSavoring — October 11, 2012 @ 9:36 pm (#)

    Gaahh so adorable and picturesque! I don’t often say that about baked goods, but it’s definitely warranted here. Can’t believe I never discovered the beauty of baking with squash before this year!

  15. Anne@FromMySweetHeart — October 11, 2012 @ 9:41 pm (#)

    Oh Ali….these are simply beautiful! I’ve never used butternut squash in baking….but why not?!?! LOVE LOVE LOVE the frosting….such perfect and pretty puffs! : )

  16. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts — October 11, 2012 @ 10:30 pm (#)

    What a great idea with leftover squash, never would have thought of it. And the frosting…oh wow!

  17. Kathryn — October 14, 2012 @ 4:55 am (#)

    Oh these sound just wonderful! Love the cupcakes and the idea of that maple cream cheese frosting is just heavenly.

  18. sally @ sallys baking addiction — October 14, 2012 @ 12:43 pm (#)

    Ali, this frosting looks HEAVENLY! Perfectly piped and SO dreamy. I can almost see how luscious the consistency is. LOVE the photos here, I can never get enough of your fall treats. I love using butternut squash in sweets. My best friend has a butternut squash cinnamon roll recipe (like pumpkin cinnamon rolls!) So good.

  19. Mae — October 17, 2012 @ 7:56 pm (#)

    So this recipe does not call for any eggs then??

  20. Erin @ Texanerin Baking — October 18, 2012 @ 2:02 pm (#)

    These are so cute and so are the liners! I love how your frosting doesn’t look like a pile of poo. I think it usually does when people use that tip. So, yes. Excellent work and the flavors sound amazing. :)

  21. jackie — October 21, 2012 @ 1:08 pm (#)

    Where can you get those cute cupcake holders

  22. Brandi — October 31, 2012 @ 12:02 am (#)

    Those look yummy!

  23. Vera Zecevic – Cupcakes Garden — November 17, 2012 @ 8:33 am (#)

    These cupcakes sounds like a great idea.I’m delighted with these flavor combo! I’ve featured this recipes on my blog! I hope you don’t mind! If you don’t agree with that please contact me and I will remove it. All the best.

  24. Gail Zimmerman — November 23, 2013 @ 1:04 pm (#)

    this recipe sounds delightful Ali! had a plentiful crop of butternut squash this season and was looking for new recipe ideas especially a dessert one. thanks foe sharing! And…of course what isn’t wonderful with a little cream cheese frosting ontop!

  25. me — September 1, 2014 @ 11:33 pm (#)

    These were great made them with leftover baby food squash jars it was so good took them to work and had Co workers eat them and then told them it was baby food they wanted to know if I had more baby food to make more

  26. Jessica — November 7, 2014 @ 9:41 am (#)

    Thanks for posting this recipe! It’s really easy, almost effortless really but it tastes so good! I used local squash instead of butternut pumpkin. I did not make the fosting because my family preferred to eat it plain.

  27. McKell — September 13, 2015 @ 11:44 pm (#)

    So I must say. These are spectacular!!! Thank you so much for this recipe! I had no idea what to do with this huge squash I was given and this recipe definitely hit the spot. Will make it again for sure!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — September 14th, 2015 @ 8:30 am

      Wow, thank you McKell, we’re happy you liked them! :)

  28. Jodi — September 22, 2015 @ 7:43 pm (#)

    Made these yesterday for a family get-together, and they were ABSOLUTELY delicious! Huge hit is an understatement! Super easy recipe, as well…will definitely be making again!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — September 23rd, 2015 @ 7:17 am

      Thanks Jodi, we’re so glad to hear that! :)

  29. jen carter — November 7, 2015 @ 11:00 am (#)

    Fantastic recipe! I just made them while my one year old (as of tomorrow–these will be his first cake) looked on. I have a TON of icing left over. I put the excess in a tupperware and into the fridge for later. Any chance I could transfer into the freezer? Or would that kill it?

    Side note: these should not be made the week following Halloween. Serious sugar buzz. ;) Thank you!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — November 8th, 2015 @ 2:19 pm

      Thanks Jen, we’re so happy you liked these! And yes, you can definitely freeze the leftover icing – it should freeze just fine! :)


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