Spiced Butternut Squash Cupcakes

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Christiana George
Christiana Georgehttps://www.thetarttart.com/
Welcome to The Tart Tart, my not-so-tart take on food, writing, and photography. I decided to start up this sucker after repeated nagging from Chris, my fiance, who cannot understand why the sight of a farmer’s market would send me into ecstatic convulsions (okay, total overstatement. I can be quite the histrionic at times).With that said, my interests, though chiefly in food, also span fashion, design, literature, and photography. So don’t mind the seemingly non sequitur odds and ends I toss in posts at times.

O.M.G. I’ve been dying to share these cupcakes.  I think these are the best tasting cupcakes ever.  The flavor combinations are superb.  I was playing around with some butter rum flavoring that my neighbor gave me and some fresh butternut squash puree I made, resulting in these fabulous, spiced Butternut Squash Cupcakes with butter rum flavor.  I think I just found my new flavor to use in just about everything.  I was always a vanilla girl, but now I think I am switching over to butter rum.  It’s has a slightly sinful taste to it.  I love it!

I used butternut squash a lot last year in my Maple Butternut Squash BreadBiscoff Butternut Squash Oatmeal CookiesMaple Butternut Squash Donuts, and No Bake Butternut Squash Cheesecakes.  But I never got around to making cupcakes.  This year I remedied that.

My neighbor gave me this bottle of butter rum flavoring and I thought it would be a good pairing with butternut squash.  If you need help on how to make butternut squash puree just click here.  It’s really easy.

Let me tell you, the smell of the butter rum baking is to die for.  It just scented up the whole kitchen.  I couldn’t wait to take these out of the oven.  But then, tragedy happened.  My nice domed cupcakes became flat tops.  I was so dissappointed. I though all was ruined and the cupcakes would be dense, brick-like failures.  Boy was I wrong.  These were the lightest, fluffiest, moistest, and most flavorful cupcakes I had ever tasted.  I wanted to devour every single one, but I held back.  They weren’t even frosted yet.

Picking a frosting is always a tricky matter.  You want it to be good, but not overpower the cupcake.  It needs to accentuate the flavors in the cupcake.  And these cupcakes were amazing on their own, so I didn’t want to mess that up.  I choose to top them with my favorite Cinnamon Mascarpone Frosting.  It’s the same one I used on my Churro CupcakesChurro Puff PastryCinnamon Chocolate Cake,  No Bake Butternut Squash Cheesecakes,  Maple Carrot Cupcakes and even in my Pumpkin Spice Crepes. It adds just a dollop of flavor that throws your taste-buds over the edge.  I can eat it by the bucket full.

 I just added a little bit of frosting to each cupcake.  I used an Ateco 827 frosting tip and some festive fall sprinkles for some color.

Just look at that beautiful inside, the perfect texture for a cupcake.  I was intending to only use pecans in my mix, but I found out last minute that I didn’t have enough, so I subbed walnuts in for about half the amount needed.  Now I don’t know which I prefer, walnuts or pecans.  Both went well with the flavors.  So you can choose either when making your cupcakes or you can go halfsies like me.

I still can’t believe how incredible these cupcakes came out.  There a little bit of spice, a little bit of sweet, a little bit of rum, and a whole lotta deliciousness in each one.  Trust me, you are going to want to make these.

Spiced Butternut Squash Cupcakes

by The Sweet Chick

Prep Time: 15- 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20-25 minutes

Keywords: bake dessert snack butternut squash pecans walnuts butter rum Thanksgiving cupcake cake American fall

Ingredients (30 cupcakes)

For the cupcakes

  • 3/4 cups butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon LorAnn oils, butter rum flavor
  • 2 cups butternut squash puree
  • 2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or buttermilk replacement, see below)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (or 1/2 of each)

For the frosting

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 oz. mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon


For the cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350° F.

In a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.

Then add the eggs, squash, and butter rum. Mix until well blended.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, spices, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Add a third of the flour mixture at a time to the squash mixture, alternately with the buttermilk, mixing well in between and scraping down the sides of the bowl.

Lastly, add the nuts and mix until fully incorporated.

Pour mixture into greased or lined muffin tins, about 3/4 full for each well.

Place muffin tins in oven and bake on 350ºF for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Then take out of oven and place on cooling rack.

For the frosting

With stand mixer on medium speed (with whisk attachment), whisk heavy cream until stiff peaks form (be careful not to over beat, or cream will be grainy).

In a small bowl, stir together mascarpone, cinnamon, and confectioners’ sugar until smooth.

Gently fold whipped cream into mascarpone mixture until completely incorporated.

Using a spatula, or a cake decorating bag with your favorite tip (I used Ateco #827), frost each cupcake.

Serve immediately or keep refrigerated until ready to eat. Enjoy!


As a substitute for buttermilk, I used 1 tablespoon vinegar (white or rice) plus enough milk to equal 1 cup.

Cupcake recipe adapted from Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes from Taste of Home 

Frosting recipe adapted from Martha Stewart.

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