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Butternut Squash Cupcakes

Butternut Squash Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream and Toasted Marshmallows

These butternut squash cupcakes are made with canned butternut squash puree and spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg.
Yield: makes 24 cupcakes
Prep Time: 35 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Chill Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 35 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: butternut squash cupcakes, butternut squash muffins, maple buttercream, maple frosting, thanksgiving cupcakes
Servings: 2 dozen
Author: Maryanne Cabrera


Butternut Squash Cupcakes:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 3 large eggs
  • 15 oz can butternut squash puree*
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt

Maple Buttercream:

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons dark maple syrup
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon milk


  • 24 large marshmallows


Butternut Squash Cupcakes:

  • In a heavy bottomed sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, continue to cook. Swirl pan occasionally to ensure even heating. Mixture will bubble and foam as it cooks. The bubbling will be vigorous at the beginning but it will subside. Continue to cook until butter smells nutty. The mild solids in the butter will turn rich brown in color. Remove from heat and pour into a heat-safe bowl. Be sure to scrape out as much of the browned milk solids bits
  • Allow butter to chill in the fridge for 20-30 minutes until no longer warm to the touch. Butter will no solidify at this point. As long as butter is no longer hot, you may proceed to the next step.
  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Line 2- 12 cup muffin tins with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat together brown butter, sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. 
  • Add eggs one at a time, mixing on low speed until thoroughly combined. Scrape down bowl as needed. Add butternut square puree and mix until incorporated.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Add to mixing bowl in two additions. Mix on low-medium speed until there are no longer any dry streaks of flour. Scrape down bowl as needed.
  • Distribute batter among prepared muffin tin. Bake for 25-30 minutes until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool in tin for 5 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to wire rack to cool to room temperature.

Maple Buttercream:

  • In bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth. Add confectioners' sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, salt, and milk. Mix on medium speed until buttercream is smooth and fluffy.


  • Once cupcakes are cool, use a small round cookie cutter (or apple corer, melon baller, or knife) to punch out a shallow cavity on top of each cupcake. (OPTIONAL step, see notes)
  • Fit a piping bag with a medium star tip. Place buttercream in prepared bag. Fill the cupcake cavity with buttercream. Pipe a large rosette to cover hole.
  • Use a kitchen torch to toast marshmallows. Alternatively, toast the marshmallows in the oven using the broiler setting. Place hot toasted marshmallow on top of frosted cupcake. Serve immediately. 


  • I used canned butternut squash puree. Alternatively, you can make your own butternut squash. Simply cook butternut squash chunks in the microwave until soft. Use a blender or food processor to puree until smooth.
  • If you don't want to core the cupcakes, simply frost cupcakes as instructed with large rosette.
  • I had just enough buttercream to frost all the cupcakes. If you tend to frost on the heavy side, I suggest making a double batch.