Acorn Squash Cupcakes with Currants, Salted Buttercream and Toasted Pecans

Monday, September 24, 2007

I must confess, I detest acorn squash. It is the vilest of the squashes, if not the nefarious mastermind behind the fearful youth populous at large who, night after night, are assaulted by plates of the stuff. Of course, my opinions may be prejudice, but I have my reasons for hating many of the squashes out there.

But acorn squash, for some reason you have plagued me, haunted me, most of all.

I have tried you baked, pureed, fried, candied and every which way but up. Yet year after year, when I try to overcome my misconceptions and low opinions, My Judgment, you seem to come up awful all the same. I hate acorn squash.

This year though... this year we made a treaty of sorts. A white flag was raised, and a hush came over the kitchen. The guns went silent, only to be replaced by the roar of a mixer.

Apparently acorn squash and I can have a settling of arms when it comes to cake. When complimented by seasonal spices, fruity-tart black currants, and toasted, yet cloyingly bitter-sweet pecans, acorn squash can actually be quite charming. The buttercream actually uses salted butter, as that extra bit of salt gave a nice contrast to all the sweet. A perfect treat for fall!

Maybe it's time to overcome your fears, or if you already have a blissful relationship with the nubile winter gourd, dress it up a bit different this year before your cupcake night on the town with friends.

Acorn Squash Cupcakes
20 cupcakes / 350 F oven
Recipe adapted from Cupcake Bakeshop

What You'll Need...
3 cups of flour

1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of baking powder
pinch teaspoon of kosher salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of allspice
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
pinch of ginger
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup of vegetable oil
3 eggs
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups shredded fresh acorn squash
2/3 cup of black (or red) currants

What You'll Do...
1) Cut open a large acorn squash, take out the seeds and strings, then chop into pieces and grate the flesh. If you have a food processor, this will be much easier.

2) Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices. In another bowl whisk together the sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla extract.

3) Add the wet ingredients to the dry, about a fourth at a time, and stir to combine. The mixture will be very thick, slightly crumbly, and will possibly break your radius like a twig. Add the squash and the currants and mix to combine.

4) Scoop into cupcake papers, about 2/3 full. Bake f0r 20-25 minutes at 350 F. Let cool for a minute then place on a wire rack to cool further. Frost when cooled.

Thick & Salted Vanilla Buttercream & Toasted Pecans
What You'll Need...
1/2 cup salted butter, room temperature

2 cups of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 cup of chopped pecans

What You'll Do...
1) Cream the butter until soft.

2) Add the sugar and then the vanilla extract. Cream till soft. Spread on cooled cupcakes.

3) Toast the pecans in a dry pan over medium-low heat until fragrant. Let cool then crumble and press onto frosted cupcakes.


  1. Love the salty buttercream here, and the nutmeg/ allspice is just that little bit less usual, which makes it all the more tempting. Acorn's never been one of my favorites actually. What is it - the texture? It can all get a bit tasteless and slippery.

  2. Thanks for the recipe. I love acorn squash and will try these little dandys real soon. You are truly my cupcake hero!

  3. I too am a squash fan, and think that they lend very well to baked goods. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Oh my god - who knew that cupcakes made with squash would induce such cravings?!

  5. i think when u add sugar, butter , vanilla and in this case spice...i think ALMOST any vegetable would taste nice. I like how u've used the salted butter to balance out the sweetness of the cake.This cupcake looks delicious.

  6. Hey G, i love all things food(except lima beans) and really enjoyed the acorn sqaush cupcakes. I enjoy trying new foods as well as eating them.

  7. These cupcakes are simply to-die-for.! Even the photo here looks heavenly, and nice blog, Garrett. Thanks for these home-made treats at work. Anytime you need a taster . .I'm there for ya.

  8. Hahaha... wow... what a man!! This recipe makes me SOO excited about Fall! Thanks for posting!

  9. OMFG!!! I just got down making these tonight... RIDICULOUSly delicious!
    thanks Garret for the recipe... I didn't have pecans, so a substituted a TJ's nut mix, pistachios, sesame seeds, dried figs and pumpkin seeds.... I will try next time with pecans!

    wow... on my second, and it's LATE! =D


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