Cheetahs In My Shoes

living with the imaginary menagerie and all that it entails

Butternut Squash, Maple & Ginger Cupcakes


We have had a butternut squash lurking for a while.  Some of it’s gone in risotto, some of it in soup and the rest, well, it went in cake today.

I’ve made a butternut squash loaf before which was ‘worthy’ and a great way of smuggling veg into children but pretty boring.  I’m fairly sure that most people don’t wake up at midnight thinking “what would happen if I made a butternut squash mash with maple syrup and put it in a sponge cake” – but then again I’m not ‘most people’.  So, after some late night night plotting, here’s a recipe for very moist little cakes, that don’t have quite as much sugar in as my usual concoctions…

You’ll need:

200g (that’s the weight when peeled) butternut squash cut into small dice
100g softened butter
50g light muscavado sugar
2 balls of stem ginger (keep the syrup in the jar, it’ll come in useful)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
125g self raising flour
2 eggs


This is how I made them:

Preheat your oven to 180C (160C Fan) – I think that’s about Gas Mark 4 and either line a muffin tin with cake cases or use silicone ones.

Put your diced butternut squash into a microwaveable bowl.  I used a 2pt pyrex one that was then big enough to use for everything.  Add 1 tablespoon of water and then cover in clingfilm.  Microwave on full for 5 minutes (I have an 800W microwave – you need to cook it until it’s steamed soft).

While it’s cooking chop your stem ginger – I tend to just stick it in a bowl and snip downwards with the kitchen scissors.  OK, I may have been watching too much “I Can Cook” on CBeebies but stem ginger is sticky stuff and this way you don’t take your fingers off whilst trying to hold and cut it at the same time.

Cut a small hole in the clingfilm (the bowl will be hot – really hot) and drain off the water.

Add 2 tablespoons of maple syrup to the squash and then mash together with a fork.  Or you could use a blender if you want to do more washing up. Mix in the stem ginger too.  It doesn’t need to be really smooth but all mashed up.

Add to this warm mix, your softened butter (cut it into dice, it’ll make things easier), flour, sugar and eggs.  If you want a more domed cake add half a teaspoon of baking powder.

Then add a teaspoon of ground ginger.  If you want a zingier cake, add a little more ginger.



Using your beautiful assistant (and your trusty hand mixer) give all the ingredients a good mix together.  The mix you’ll get is quite gloopy – this is what’s going to keep your cakes nice and soft.

Using (if you’ve got one) an ice-cream scoop fill your cases to about two thirds full.

Bake for 15 minutes – they should be a pale golden colour and spring back when you press down on them.

In that I have absolutely no self-control, I tried one of these whilst still warm.  They would be excellent with a bit of ice-cream or custard as a pudding.

They were going to get a swirl of maple syrup buttercream (100g very soft butter mixed with 200g icing sugar , 2 tablespoons of maple syrup and a dash of hot water if necessary but the gannets in my household got there first…

Some of my other yummy recipes:


Author: Jenny

Life, photos and recipes mixed with family life, additional medical needs and a whole load of imaginary friends

6 thoughts on “Butternut Squash, Maple & Ginger Cupcakes

  1. Happy 100th post! You always post such delicious sounding recipes that I don’t know which one to try first!

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