Autumn in a cupcake: Butternut squash, bourbon & vanilla cupcakes with cinnamon frosting

After creating and devouring the butternut squash and sage ravioli (recipe here) there was more than half a roasted butternut left and not wanting to waste it, or to be dull and just have it mashed up with dinner I started thinking of ways to use it up.

Gorgeous roasted butternut squash

Gorgeous roasted butternut squash

As its now that time of year when pumpkins & pumpkin recipes are everywhere I’ve been reading these with eager anticipation of buying a pumpkin. It occurred to me that a butternut squash is pretty similar to a pumpkin so would possibly be delicious in cakes.

Ingredients assembled ready to rock

With this in mind I started looking through my cookbooks, the internet and my trusty Good Food magazines (I seem to own the October issue for the past 4 years and hardly any other issues!).

One key component I wanted to use was bourbon (sticky, sweet and a little naughty) and I soon came across a wonderful blog entry (here) where the author had made a wonderful butternut squash, vanilla & bourbon jam to top off cupcakes.

However, I didn’t want to make a jam or chutney (as I’m a bit lazy); I wanted to make a cupcake with the butternut inside, almost like a carrot cake. I therefore looked up some carrot cake recipes and made a few adjustments. I replaced the carrot with butternut, replaced the vegetable oil (I’m not a fan of it in cakes!) with a reduced amount of butter (as the butternut was quite ‘wet’), and replaced the bicarb of soda with baking powder to ensure the cakes rose. I also used a smaller amount of salt than most of the recipes I found online, as I had sprinkled a little salt on the squash prior to roasting and therefore adjusted,

Just begging to be eaten!

Warm cupcakes fresh from the oven!

The cakes came out delightfully moist, and tasted just like autumn cakes should.

For the frosting recipe & ingredients please scroll down to the bottom.

Roasted Butternut Squash, Bourbon & Vanilla Cupcakes


200g Self raising flour
150g sugar
50g unsalted butter
1 teaspoon baking powder
200g roasted butternut squash (mashed up)
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon vanilla paste
1/4 teaspoon salt
80ml Bourbon of your choice (I used Jim Beam as had a bit stashed in the cupboard)
  • Preheat the oven to 160°C, and prepare two cupcake baking trays by putting cake cases inside
  • Start by creaming the sugar and the butter in a bowl either using a spoon or using a handheld mixer. Add the roasted butternut squash and mix thoroughly
  • Add the egg one at a time, beating in.
  • Add the vanilla and bourbon and mix again
  • In a separate bowl mix sift the self raising flour, salt and the baking powder, then start to introduce slowly to the wet ingredients, mixing thoroughly until all the flour is incorporated and you have a cake batter.
  • Spoon the cake batter into the cupcake cases
  • Pop in the oven for 15-18 minutes. Check they are done by inserting a skewer; if it comes out clean they are done.
  • Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool.


You can eat the cupcakes as they are now, or you can prepare the cream cheese cinnamon frosting. My boyfriend and I disagreed on whether they should be frosted or not, and a few sample cakes didn’t make it to the frosting stage whilst we tested this theory!

Cinnamon cream Cheese Frosting

85g butter, cubed into small pieces
85g cream cheese (I used Philadelphia)
1 1/4 cup icing sugar
Liberal sprinkling of cinnamon
  • In a handheld mixer combine all four ingredients untl forms a thick consistency. Coat over the cooled cupcakes. I used a butter knife to get a smooth-ish coating.
  • Allow to set
If you make these little delights, do let me know what you think!

About kittenkirst

I'm a girl obsessed with all things food. Sweet, savoury, salty and everything inbetween captures my imagination! My favourite thing to do is spend hours leisurely reading from my cookbook collection and reading food blogs.....bliss! Feel free to have a nose at my blog and offer any suggestions or ideas!
Aside | This entry was posted in Baking, Dessert, Eggs, Food, Muffins, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Autumn in a cupcake: Butternut squash, bourbon & vanilla cupcakes with cinnamon frosting

  1. rhian @melbs says:

    They sound deelish! I think I will attempt to make them, may not have quite the same success as your pics though! BTW thanks for popping by my blog!

  2. Pingback: Roasted Butternut Squash and Sage Ravioli | Returnto0z

  3. Pingback: Cinnamon & butternut squash rolls | Returnto0z

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