Chai-Spiced Butternut Squash Muffins | Ambitious Kitchen

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by Sil Pancho

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10.14.2021


Yoooooo the muffin queen is back with one of my absolute favorite muffins of ALL freaking time.

I don’t say that lightly considering how many delicious healthy muffin recipes I have on the blog. There are certainly plenty to choose from, but these butternut squash muffins are simply OUTSTANDING and one of those recipes I kept making over and over again for weeks.

*Pours a cup of coffee, inhales a butternut squash muffin*

This recipe began when I was sitting on my computer staring over my kitchen island at a lonely butternut squash on the counter. I thought to myself, why not throw it in a muffin and see what happens?

Maybe add some brown butter and chai spices? Oh and what about a ridiculously easy sweet and salty glaze too? Uh huh honey, this is gonna be good.

three stacked butternut squash muffins

How to roast butternut squash for muffins

First, be sure to check out our tutorial on how to peel & cut butternut squash, then I recommend following my instructions on how to roast a halved butternut squash here. You’ll end up with tender, sweet butternut squash flesh that can easily be mashed for these muffins. Just make sure you discard the skin before adding to muffin batter.

Key ingredients in butternut squash muffins

These easy butternut squash muffins are made with simple ingredients you likely already have in your cupboard. They’re fluffy, naturally sweetened and the perfect way to use up butternut squash (or acorn squash, sweet potato or pumpkin!). Here are a few key ingredients you’ll need to make these muffins extra special.

  • Roasted butternut squash: After teaching you how to successfully cut a butternut squash and then roast it, I figure you can put those skills to use in these muffins!
  • Brown butter: I love the nutty, caramel flavor brown butter brings to these muffins. If you haven’t browned butter before, you can check out my tutorial here.
  • Eggs: you’ll need 2 eggs in this muffin recipe to get the right texture.
  • Honey: These butternut squash muffins are naturally sweetened with honey, and have the most delicious salted honey glaze!
  • Chai spices: I absolutely love making homemade chai spices. All you need is cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and allspice. Each muffin bite tastes like a chai latte with a hint of honey.
  • Flour: I love using whole wheat pastry flour in my muffin recipes because it has the nutritional value of whole wheat flour, but is much airier and light.

butternut squash muffins with glaze

Simple ingredient swaps

I recommend sticking with the recipe the best that you can to ensure super delicious, fluffy muffins, but here are some easy ingredient swaps that will also work well:

  • For the butternut squash: yes, you can also use roasted acorn squash, sweet potato or even pumpkin! Learn how to make homemade pumpkin puree here.
  • For the honey: feel free to use maple syrup instead of honey in the recipe and in the glaze if you’d like.
  • For the whole wheat pastry flour: white whole wheat flour will work, or you can use all purpose flour. Another great option is to use 1 cup whole wheat flour and 3/4 cup all purpose flour.

butternut squash muffin with glaze on top

Can I make them vegan or gluten free?

  • To make vegan: use melted and cooled coconut oil or melted vegan butter instead of regular butter, and use two flax eggs instead of regular eggs. Please note that you cannot brown vegan butter. The glaze is best when made with vegan butter instead of coconut oil!
  • To make gluten free: please note that I have not tested these muffins with a gluten free substitute, but I suspect that chickpea flour, oat flour (try out homemade tutorial) or a 1:1 gluten free baking flour might work. Let me know in the comments if you try it!

browning butter in a pan for butternut squash muffins

How to brown butter for muffins

  1. Heat it up. Add butter to a small saucepan and place over medium heat. The butter will begin to melt, crackle, and then eventually foam.
  2. Keep whisking. While the butter is essentially “cooking” in your saucepan, make sure you whisk constantly.
  3. Watch the color. After a couple of minutes, the butter will begin to brown and turn a nice golden amber color on the bottom of the saucepan, this usually happens once it foams. Continue to whisk and remove from heat as soon as the butter begins to brown and give off a nutty aroma.
  4. Let it cool. Immediately transfer the butter to a bowl to prevent burning, making sure you scrape all the butter from the pan. Set it aside to let it cool before using it in your recipe.

What do butternut squash muffins taste like?

These butternut squash muffins taste very similar to pumpkin or sweet potato muffins, especially if you roast the butternut squash first, as it adds a nice sweetness.

If you’re not into chai spices, don’t worry, you can leave them out and just add 1 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon instead, or use 1 1/2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice. But trust me when I tell you that the chai spices really do take these muffins to the next level.

chai-spiced butternut squash muffin with a bite taken out

How to store & freeze muffins

  • To store: feel free to keep these healthy butternut squash muffins at room temp for one day, then I recommend storing them in the refrigerator. Feel free to warm them up in the microwave.
  • To freeze: allow the muffins to cool completely then put in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Once ready to reheat, you can thaw at room temperature, or heat up in the microwave in 30 second intervals.

More muffin recipes you’ll love

Get all of our delicious muffin recipes here!

I know you’re going to love these butternut squash muffins, please let me know if you make them by leaving a comment and rating the recipe below. I’d love to hear from you and it helps encourage others to make the recipe too! Enjoy, xo.

Chai-Spiced Butternut Squash Muffins with Salted Honey Glaze

Fluffy butternut squash muffins infused with homemade chai spices, then topped with a simple salted honey glaze that truly takes these to the next level. These fall inspired, freezer-friendly butternut squash muffins are easy to make and have hints of caramel flavor thanks to a touch of brown butter. Perfect with a cup of coffee!

  • 1/3
    cup
    butter
  • 1
    heaping cup finely mashed or pureed roasted butternut squash (can also sub sweet potato or pumpkin)
  • 2
    large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2
    cup
    honey (or sub pure maple syrup)
  • 3
    tablespoons
    unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • 2
    teaspoons
    vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4
    cups
    whole wheat pastry flour*
  • 1
    teaspoon
    baking soda
  • 1 1/2
    teaspoons
    cinnamon
  • 1/2
    teaspoon
    ground ginger
  • 1/2
    teaspoon
    cardamom
  • 1/2
    teaspoon
    allspice
  • 1/4
    teaspoon
    salt
  • For the salted honey glaze:
  • 1/2
    cup
    powdered sugar
  • 1
    tablespoon
    honey (or sub pure maple syrup)
  • 1
    tablespoon
    butter, melted
  • Pinch
    of sea salt

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with muffin liners and spray the inside of the liners with nonstick cooking spray to prevent sticking.

  2. Add butter to a saucepan and place over medium heat. The butter will begin to crackle and then foam. Make sure you whisk constantly during this process. After a couple of minutes, the butter will begin to brown and turn a nice golden amber color on the bottom of the saucepan. Continue to whisk and remove from heat as soon as the butter begins to brown and give off a nutty aroma. Immediately transfer the butter to a medium bowl to prevent burning. Set aside to cool for 5-10 minutes or until cool enough to touch.

  3. In a large bowl, add the finely mashed butternut squash, eggs, honey, almond milk and vanilla extract. Whisk together until smooth. Mix in the cooled brown butter.

  4. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, allspice and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Divide batter evenly between the muffin liners.

  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until tester comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. Allow muffins to cool in pan for a few minutes, then remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

  6. To make the salted honey glaze: in a small bowl, mix together the powdered sugar, honey and melted butter until smooth. Add a pinch of sea salt. Glaze should be thick. If it’s too thick add 1 teaspoon of milk. Spoon about ½ tablespoon glaze onto each muffin. Enjoy! Makes 12.

If you don’t have butternut squash puree, feel free to substitute sweet potato, acorn squash or pumpkin puree. They will all work out very similarly!

If you don’t have whole wheat pastry flour, then feel free to use all purpose flour, or 1 cup whole wheat flour + 3/4 cup all purpose flour.

To make the muffins vegan: use melted and cooled coconut oil or melted vegan butter instead of regular butter. You’ll also need to use two flax eggs (2 tablespoon flaxseed meal + 6 tablespoons water). The glaze is best when made with vegan butter.

To make the muffins gluten free: I suggest using either chickpea flour, oat flour or a 1:1 gluten free baking flour. I haven’t not tested these muffins to be gluten free so I can’t be certain what substitutions will or will not work properly.

Nutrition

Servings: 12 muffins

Serving size: 1 muffin (with glaze)

Calories: 202kcal

Fat: 7.2g

Saturated fat: 4g

Carbohydrates: 32.8g

Fiber: 2.5g

Sugar: 17g

Protein: 3.2g

This post was originally published on November 19, 2019, and republished on October 12, 2021.



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