It’s the beginning of fall and the first of the butternut squash is coming in. With sparkling enthusiasm, I say YAY!
I love baking with butternut squash, using it in sweet recipes as well as savory. This squash is a perfect substitution for pumpkin. It is easier to work with versus raw pumpkin and has much more flavor (in my opinion, granted). It is particularly nutty and has so much natural sweetness, that it oozes out like caramel when roasted (see pic above).
Brown Butter Butternut Cupcakes Recipe
(makes approx 2 dozen)
1 medium-size butternut squash
3/4 c (6oz) unsalted butter + 1 tbsp for pan greasing
1 2/3 c (270g) all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 c (230g) butternut squash puree
1 c (240g) brown sugar, packed
1/2 c (140g) granulated sugar
2 1/2 c (500g) buttercream
1 c (200g) butternut puree
For the Squash
Preheat oven to 350F (175C) Cut squash in half lengthwise, clean out seeds and place insides face down on a foil or parchment lined baking sheet. Roast for 90m until incredibly soft. Allow to cool.
To prepare puree, pull the skin off the squash, which should have separated from the flesh. To puree, use a food processor or, if you are without one like me, place in to a bowl and whisk like mad. Whisking gets the squash to a pretty smooth consistency.
For the Cupcakes
Preheat oven to 325F (163C). Melt butter on medium-high heat. Stir butter so it melts and browns evenly. The butter will boil and foam. Once the milk solids sink and turn into brown (not black) bits, the browned butter is done. Transfer to a bowl to stop cooking and cool. (For step-by-step photo instructions on how to make brown butter, check out Brown Butter 101.)
In a small bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, whisk the puree, sugars, eggs and butter. In three additions, whisk the dry into the wet mix. Whisk only until combined. Grease cupcake pans with butter. Fill each mold halfway or 50g of batter (for the metric users). Bake for 15m, turn, then bake another 5 to 7m or until cakes spring back to touch. Cool.
Add puree to remaining buttercream, and whip using a mixer until smooth and homogeneous. Ice cooled cupcakes as desired!