Sunday, October 21, 2012

Butternut Spice Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream & Glazed Walnuts

For the Lake to Lake Girls Cupcake challenge the winner was a suggestion for a butternut squash cupcakes and walnuts, "Can you make a hearty and sweet butternut or acorn squash cupcake?  I bet walnuts would be good inside or walnut flavored frosting?!"Keep reading for pictures and the recipe!

For the Butternut Spice cake I basically took the recipe that I've used for the pumpkin spice cake and substituted the pumpkin with the squash. You can certainly roast your own squash and mash it up, but to save time I used canned butternut squash. I found this variety in the organic section of Wegmans.

I also used festive Martha Stewart cupcake liners.

The recipes for the cakes & the frosting were inspired from the pumpkin spice cupcake & maple buttercream frosting found in The Sweet Little Book of Cupcakes by Nicholas Peruzzi with Courtney Forrester of Sweet Cupcakes, Inc.

Butternut Spice Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream Frosting & Glazed Walnuts
Yields enough for 12 cupcakes & frosting

Butternut Spice Cupcakes
1 1/3 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
14 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp baking soda
pinch (1/8 tsp) ground cloves
1/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 large egg
1/3 cup, plus 1 tbs whole milk
2/3 cup butternut squash
  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit & line muffin tin with 12 cupcake papers
  2. Beat the butter until light & fluffy in an electric mixer (approx 3-5 minutes)
  3. Once butter is light & fluffy, gradually add the brown sugar and mix well
  4. Beat in the egg until well mixed
  5. Add milk to the butter & egg mixture and blend well until smooth
  6. Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and cloves. Once incorporated, add the flour mixture slowly to the wet mixture, and mix until just incorporated
  7. Add the butternut squash & mix until smooth
  8. Fill the cupcake papers until 2/3 full
  9. Bake for 10 minutes, rotate the tin, and bake for 17 more minutes. Insert a toothpick or thin knife blade into the center of cupcake, they are done when it comes out clean. 
  10. Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting, approx 30 minutes.
Maple Buttercream Frosting
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable shortening (such as Crisco)
2 cups confectioners sugar
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp maple flavor
  1.  Beat the butter & vegetable shortening until creamy and well incorporated
  2. Slowly add the confectioners sugar to the butter & vegetable shortening on low speed until it is well mixed
  3. Add the vanilla & maple extract and beat on medium to high speed until fully incorporated
  4. Use a ribbon tip to generously frost the cooled cupcakes & top with a glazed walnut
I used store-bought glazed walnuts to help save time but a quick Google search comes up with plenty of recipes that take only 5 minutes to make your own. If you love walnuts, try chopping them up and adding them to the cupcake batter and or sprinkle on top of the frosting.

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