Spiced Butternut Squash Cupcakes w/ Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

October 11, 2012 by Ali

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

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 13 minutes

Total Time: 28 minutes

Yield: 12 cupcakes


    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.)

(c) 2013 Gimme Some Oven. All rights reserved.

About Ali

Ali Ebright is a freelance recipe developer and food writer/photographer, and blogs at Gimme Some Oven and Gimme Some Life. She also loves all things music, traveling near and far, actually making things from Pinterest, cozying up with a good book and her sweet pup, Henry, and spending time with a wonderful group of friends. Come say hello and follow Ali on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ & Instagram.

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40 thoughts on “Spiced Butternut Squash Cupcakes w/ Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Thank you so much for sharing! I made these for my boss’s birthday :) I followed the recipe, just adding a Maker’s Mark glaze (think rum cake) as my boss is a big fan of the stuff and they went over aMAZingly! All the ladies wanted the recipe ;) super moist, delicious flavor – definitely one to keep :)

    - Jenna

  2. 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

    - me

  3. 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!

    - Gail Zimmerman

  4. 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.

    - Vera Zecevic – Cupcakes Garden

  5. Those look yummy!

    - Brandi

  6. Where can you get those cute cupcake holders

    - jackie

  7. 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. :)

    - Erin @ Texanerin Baking

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

    - Mae

  9. 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.

    - sally @ sallys baking addiction

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

    - Kathryn

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

    - Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

  12. 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! : )

    - Anne@FromMySweetHeart

  13. 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!

    - Christy@SweetandSavoring

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

    - Julie @ Table for Two

  15. 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!

    - Kim (Feed Me, Seymour)

  16. Beautiful cupcakes, the maple cream cheese frosting sounds divine!

    - Laura (Tutti Dolci)

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

    - Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious

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

    - natalie@thesweetslife

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

    - Jennifer @ Mother Thyme

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

    I’m dying.

    - Bev @ Bev Cooks

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

    - Cassie

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

    - Sues

  23. Look at those clouds of frosting! Mm.

    - Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel

  24. 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.

    - Annamaria

  25. 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!!

    - Kelley {mountain mama cooks}

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

    - Kare @ Kitchen Treaty