Dear baking world,
I've had an acorn squash sitting in the kitchen for almost two months now. (Who knew those things lasted so long, but apparently they do.) Last night, as I lay me down to sleep, I realized that why couldn't I make cupcakes with acorn squash puree?! How delicious would that be?
Science stop here: acorn squash is a winter squash, just as pumpkin is. All I would have to do is take my favorite pumpkin cupcakes recipe (which I haven't been able to make and post on this blog) and substitute the pumpkin for freshly pureed acorn squash.
So I sliced that baby open (It sounds way quicker than it was. I hacked at it for a solid fifteen minutes before it finally split open.) I scraped out the seeds and gunk, like in a pumpkin. Then I placed the two halves, pointy end up, on a pan and baked them for 60 minutes. After I baked them, I let them cool for about ten minutes. Then I scraped out the soft innards and whipped them with my hand mixer. Lo and behold, before my eyes, I had about a cup of fresh acorn squash puree.
Despite the fact that it sounds odd, the results were almost pumpkin-like in texture and taste and they smelled delicious while baking. They are delicious. They're a light orange and very, very moist.
My only complaint: I incidentally do not like browned butter (I've never made it before) and these cupcakes could use a little extra flour. I intend on trying them again and updating, but for now, here is what I did. Because there were a lot of liquids in this recipe, I think that a reduction in milk and a little more flour might help with the gumminess. (Although, a baker tends to criticize their work way more than someone else might. So, I have yet to see what my roommates say.)
Acorn Squash Cupcakes + Browned Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
6 Tbsp. butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg, 1 egg yolk
1 cup acorn squash puree
1 cup flour + 2.5 Tbsp. flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
dash of cloves
dash of ginger
dash of salt
1/2 cup buttermilk (I used almond milk and then added some lemon juice)
Preheat oven to 350. Cream the butter and the sugars until light and fluffy. Add the egg and egg yolk, beating well. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and salt. Mix into the wet ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk. Start and end with the flour. Evenly divide the batter into cupcake pan (they should come out to about twelve) and bake for 20-25. Mine took exactly 23 minutes.
Browned Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
1/4 cup butter for browning
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
For browning the butter: Place in pan on medium heat. Melt until bubbling. Small brown flakes should appear, but don't let it burn. It took about 6 minutes for the flakes to appear.
Let cool for 30 minutes.
Then, cream together the cream cheese, browned butter, and the butter. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time.