Spiced Butternut Squash Cupcakes w/ Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

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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!

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Spiced Butternut Squash Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 13 minutes
  • Total Time: 28 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes 1x


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:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line baking pan with 12 cupcake liners.
  2. 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.
  3. 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:

  1. 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.)

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68 comments on “Spiced Butternut Squash Cupcakes w/ Maple Cream Cheese Frosting”

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  6. Can I make these in ini muffin pans?

    • Yes, most definitely! We would suggest setting your timer for 10 minutes to start (you may need to add more time), but start there. We hope you enjoy!

  7. 3 stars
    Baked these tonight. I just used shredded butternut squash versus pureeing it, It practically disappears upon baking anyway. I was concerned about the lack of egg but it was not an issue at all. I also cut the cream cheese icing in half based on one of the comments that it was too much. For me this was the right amount. I also sprinkled walnuts on top of the icing.

    All in all it was good and ver easy abd quick to make.

    • Thanks for sharing with us, Janice — we’re glad you enjoyed them, and we bet the walnuts on top were yummy!

  8. 5 stars
    One of my favorite cupcake recipes – you can use pumpkin in place of the butternut squash if need be. Always a crowd-pleaser, even with people who don’t like sweets!

  9. 5 stars
    Delicious! Made this in a triple batch & they disappeared like hot cakes. Tastes rather like carrot cake cup cakes. I did use my own home grown winter squash which I cooked down thoroughly first.

  10. 5 stars
    Absolutely fabulous!

  11. How butternutty is the taste? I’m making a butternut squash Lasagna and wasnt sure if these cupcakes for dessert would be too much butternut squash for one night.

  12. I used a 15 oz. can of Butternut Squash purée and yielded 15 cupcakes with one runt. They are very good, like pumpkin, but lighter. Easy recipe.