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Spiced butternut squash muffins with margarita sour cream

March 31, 2015

butternut squash muffins -mycustardpie.comIt was butternut squash’s fault. It waved at me from its nest among the vibrant fresh greens, the crisp peppers, the baby potatoes (their cousins were already in my bag). Suddenly it was in my hand and within half an hour it was part of my weekly farmers’ market vegetable still life which had already spun out of control in the ‘how can we possibly eat all this in one week?’ stakes.

This innocent vegetable is on the list of ‘things we will not eat’ designated by both KP and veggie teen. No surprise that it was looking at me reproachfully at the end of the week. I’d have to be creative, and inspired by Kate of Veggie Desserts my thoughts turned to something sweet…. but not too sweet.

Healthy and wholesome was my aim, but not so extreme that it would fall upon me to ‘tidy’ them all up myself. I sampled one while it was still warm from the oven, then swanned off to the Dubai World Cup with the memory of their moreish spiciness lingering on my lips. On my return their numbers were depleted – these were a hit – and they seemed to have got better overnight. The butternut moistness is complemented by the slight earthiness of the wholemeal flour, and none of the spices dominate (I often find cinnamon too overpowering). I’m keen to try this using all raw honey next time but my precious golden jar was getting low.

The cream is a frivolity, but oh so good, a tangier (tangy-er?) version of one that Nigella makes.

If you wanted nuttiness, a handful of chopped walnuts would be great; or even chocolate chips, but we couldn’t claim to be quite as virtuous then.

Who knew a plain, brown muffin could be quite this good.

Spiced butternut squash muffins with margarita sour cream

  • Servings: 16
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 75g melted butter
  • 60g raw honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 180g light, soft brown sugar
  • 3 medium eggs, free range
  • 450g roasted butternut squash (cut in half and bake in a medium oven for 30 minutes or until the flesh is soft, then scoop out and discard the skin and mash the insides with a fork)
  • 300g wholemeal flour
  • 1 1/2 level teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 1/2 level teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 rounded teaspoons mixed spice
  • scant 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt


Put the melted butter, raw honey, vanilla extract and sugar into a mixing bowl and beat in the eggs.

Stir in the butternut squash with a spatula then fold in the remaining dry ingredients.Do not over mix.

Place paper cups in a muffin tray and fill to about halfway with the mixture (I use an ice-cream scoop).

Bake in an oven preheated to 180 C for 15 – 20 minutes. When you insert a skewer it should come out clean or with a crumb attached. Cool on a wire rack.

Margarita sour cream topping

Combine the juice of 1 lime, 1 dessertspoonful each of triple sec and tequila and 3 dessertspoonfuls of icing sugar. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Beat in 175g creme frâiche until thickened. Serve immediately (it may split when stored).

butternut squash muffins -mycustardpie.comLooking for more ways to use up veg in your sweet baking?

Beetroot and walnut muffins – My Custard Pie

Roasted beetroot and raw cacao nib cupcakes – Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary

Skinny zucchini muffins – Recipes from a Pantry

Spiced sweet potato muffins – Fuss Free Flavours

Sweet potato, celeriac and sultana muffins – Jen’s Food

Carrot cake cookies – A Mummy Too

Spiced pumpkin muffins – Cook Sister

Parsnip and lime marmalade cake – Kellie’s Food to Glow and many others on her site

And pretty much everything on Veggie Desserts including kale and lemon muffins

farmers market veg

My veg mountain, including the butternut squash, from the farmers’ market

Do you ever get carried away while food shopping? What do you do when you have a veg mountain?

  1. March 31, 2015 9:58 am

    Yummy treats and great photos🙂

  2. March 31, 2015 10:15 am

    Guilty. I am there with you on overloading at the farmer’s market and find myself creatively sneaking my veg into dishes all week. These muffins looks wonderful and I love the idea of eating butternut squash in muffin form over my typical boring roasting!

    • March 31, 2015 11:07 am

      Nothing you make is boring ….I’d stake money on that!

  3. March 31, 2015 10:19 am

    Love your tin! I haven’t baked savory muffins as yet, but this looks good and fairly simple!

    • March 31, 2015 11:06 am

      The tin is genuinely aged due to using it for Yorkshire puds …. a lot!

  4. The Real Geordie Armani permalink
    March 31, 2015 10:21 am

    what’s left at the end of the week, if there is anything left that is, all goes into the slow cooker with a stock cube and is turned into soup🙂

    • March 31, 2015 11:05 am

      I do that too… usually in big pan so thanks for another slow cooker idea.

  5. March 31, 2015 10:26 am

    These look wonderful! I have some squashes that I need to use up soon. A perfect use! Thanks🙂

  6. March 31, 2015 10:43 am

    What a great recipe! Especially the exciting cream accompaniment🙂 I just LOVE butternut squash. How can anyone not? I use it a lot in soup, roasted, risotto … all kinds of ways. I hope your muffins change your family’s mind about it.

    • March 31, 2015 11:03 am

      I can’t understand what’s not to like about it either. Love roasting it with spices and then stuffing it into pasta a la Jamie O.

  7. March 31, 2015 11:35 am

    These sound delicious and quite virtuous!😉

  8. March 31, 2015 11:38 am

    A delicious combo! Those are wonderful muffins and flavours.



  9. March 31, 2015 11:43 am

    I might not have got the margarita ingredients into the icing! The look delicious. I often buy too many vegetables. I don’t often turn them into dessert though🙂

  10. March 31, 2015 11:46 am

    My teen will eat butternut every day, in every which way. Great recipe, thanks!

  11. March 31, 2015 12:04 pm

    I love your farmers market pictures Sally! you should make a mini-coffee table book with it and a recipe for each market haul. Love this recipe.. I am all about savoury muffins!

  12. March 31, 2015 1:04 pm

    I’ve recently discovered Veggie Desserts and I love it. I like Drina’s suggestion too – it would make a great coffee book.

  13. March 31, 2015 2:09 pm

    These look so wholesome, yum! And love the margarita icing concept🙂

  14. March 31, 2015 2:29 pm

    I’ve done pumpkin muffins in much the same way, but never butternut. Must try this soon! And I look forward to tasting that margarita sour cream topping on all sorts of things. Pound cake, for instance. I usually do a lemon glaze but this sounds way nicer!

  15. March 31, 2015 2:35 pm

    Such a lovely recipe, very unusual and a great way to use of some of that veg mountain!

  16. March 31, 2015 2:41 pm

    Love the flavours on offer here; fantastic muffins and far more interesting than most out there.

  17. March 31, 2015 5:22 pm

    These look amazing! You’d never guess they contained squash.

  18. March 31, 2015 5:29 pm

    Hah I remember looking at your weekly farmer’s market pictures (look forward to them every week) and wondering how on earth you manage to use them up in a week!

    Also, thanks for the other links, so many interesting options.

  19. fabfood4all permalink
    March 31, 2015 5:35 pm

    I love the look and sound of these muffins and can virtually taste them just reading the list of ingredients – fab!

  20. March 31, 2015 5:50 pm

    I always buy a veg mountain, and luckily eat it all! Usually all by myself!🙂

  21. March 31, 2015 5:52 pm

    that is the most amazing fresh vegetable mountain Sally! Lovely muffins too. Great use of the squash!

  22. April 1, 2015 12:19 am

    They look scrumptious and what a healthy looking haul from the Farmer’s market! 🙂

  23. April 1, 2015 1:04 am

    The photo of your bounty is just beautiful Sally, it makes me want to pop to the farm shop right now and stock up. I adore butternut squash. When I buy it at a good price, I peel and chop it, then freeze it ready to pop into stews etc. The joy of finding a ready prepped butternut squash in the freezer and realising that there’s no annoying peeling happening that night is fantastic.😉

  24. April 1, 2015 2:20 am

    Those muffins look delicious – I have to try them!

  25. April 1, 2015 4:12 am

    I’m a big fan of roasted butternut squash with butter, sea salt, and cayenne. I’d probably add a couple shakes of the latter to these muffins. I like the combo of sweet squash with a little heat.

  26. daver001 permalink
    April 1, 2015 1:04 pm

    How can anyone not love butternut? I was an instant convert when I had a stunning dish at Sally Clarke’s Notting Hill restaurant for my long ago 40th birthday – halved with garlic and rosemary slivers poked deep into the flesh and the bowl of the squash filled with double cream. Just gorgeous!

  27. April 1, 2015 1:32 pm

    Love your farmers market mountain of veg – I always do the same thing and end up making grand batches of everything from rhubarb ice cream to kale pesto!

  28. April 3, 2015 1:44 pm

    You have a beautiful way of writing. Your posts always are a call of action of some sort – buying a cookbook I didn’t know I needed (Genarro), baking something when I am not hungry (these muffins). Lovely, lovely. And how I envy that market food mountain – yum

  29. April 6, 2015 1:52 am

    Yum! What delicious squash muffins and the fact that they have a margarita sour cream makes them even more appetizing.

  30. April 16, 2015 3:29 pm

    Great idea. Ed & G son’t really like squash as they find it to sweet, but putting it in a cake looks like a great use and must make them super moist…the thought of the topping is making my mouth water!

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