Kabocha Squash Cupcakes

Kabocha squash is probably my favorite squash of all. It's petite. It's easy to cook. It has a brilliant orange color. When I had the kabocha squash cake at Morimoto in Napa, I knew I had to make one. Basically, any recipe with pumpkin, you can replace with kabocha squash. I made a cupcake out of it for a little baking contest, and it was moist and delicious. While I didn't win any contests, I wouldn't hesitate to enter it again. (Although next time, I would give myself more time to make them more presentable!)

I used a cupcake recipe from Sprinkle Bakes. The cinnamon frosting that goes with this recipe is quite tasty too, but use this marscapone one I came up with if the thought of three sticks of butter kills you, cuz it will.

Kabocha Squash Brown Butter Mini Cupcakes with Maple Marscapone Frosting
Adapted from Sprinkle Bakes

3/4 cup unsalted butter 
2 cups all-purpose flour 
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda 
3 tsp. ground cinnamon 
1 tsp. ground ginger 
1 tsp. salt 
1/4 tsp. allspice 
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar 
1 1/2 cups kabocha squash puree (see below) 
3 large eggs 
1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line mini cupcake tins with papers.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Cook, swirling the pan occasionally until the butter turns golden brown. Pour the browned butter into a small bowl and let stand until cool but not solidified.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt and allspice.  Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk squash puree with the granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs and yogurt until well combined.  Stir in the flour mixture until just combined.  Whisk in the browned butter until well blended. 
  5. Divide batter between cupcake liners.  Fill them about half full.
  6. Bake cupcakes for 10-15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Marscapone Frosting:
8 oz marscapone cheese
3 oz cream cheese
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 cup powdered sugar

The key I realized to making this frosting is to let all ingredients come to room temperature. Once the cheese and butter are nice and soft, mix with syrup using a hand mixer. Once smooth, slowly add the sugar while continuing to mix. Add to pastry bag, using your favorite piping tip.

Making Kabocha Squash Puree:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Rub one kabocha squash with olive oil and place in oven
  3. Cook for 10 minutes, remove from oven and let cool
  4. Once cool, cut in half. Scoop out seeds. Slice each squash half into quarters.
  5. Return to oven for another 15 minutes. 
  6. Remove from oven and slice out meat with spoon. The skin is edible, so you don't have to peel it all off if you want to take a lazy route. And the fact that you're making your own squash puree proves you ain't lazy!
  7. Puree squash in food processor. It is quite thick, so periodically adding a tablespoon of maple syrup will help to loosen it up.
Kabocha Squash Cupcakes

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