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My friend Rhiannon is an adventurous cook. She wanted to make pumpkin cupcakes, but her local store was sold out of canned pumpkin. Undeterred, she switched squashes (say that five times fast!) and came up with these delectable goodies. Enjoy!

butternut squash cupcake

Butternut Squash Cupcakes

2 butternut squashes
2 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
6 tbsp butter, melted
1 1/2 cup white sugar
3 eggs
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp garam masala
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
butternut squash cupcakes
1 (8 ounce) package neufchatel cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
orange zest from about 1/2 a large orange
1 tsp honey

chopped walnuts

Chop the squash in half lengthwise and spoon out the seeds. Bake face down on a cookie sheet at 400 degrees for about 45-50 minutes until they are very soft inside. Spoon out insides, mash with a potato masher. Remove excess water by letting the puree sit (or stirring it about a bit) in a strainer. This should make about 1 3/4 cup of squashpuree. Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees.

Beat eggs in a bowl. Mix in squash puree, melted butter, sugar, and vanilla and beat until mixed well. In small bowl, mix dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices). Sift into wet ingredients and mix together. Dollop into cupcake holders 3/4 full and bake at 350 degrees until done in the middle (a toothpick comes out clear), approx 22 minutes.

To make frosting: Beat cheese and butter together until creamy. Mix honey, vanilla and orange zest in a bowl until it's syrupy. Pour into cheese and butter mix and beat until mixed in. Sift in confectioner's sugar and continue to mix/beat until it is fluffy and creamy. Refrigerate until needed.

When cupcakes are cool, frost and top with chopped walnuts. Serve. Nom.
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♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

♥ cup·cake (kpkk) n. A small cake baked in a cup-shaped container.

♥ dec·a·dent (dk-dnt, d-kdnt) adj. Marked by or providing unrestrained gratification; self-indulgent.

♥ por·ta·ble (pôrt-bl, pr-) adj. Carried or moved with ease

Patty cake, patty cake...bakeries:

Magnolia Bakery, NYC

Babycakes NYC™ Vegan Bakery

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