Seriously Scrumptious Seriously Squash Spice Muffins: new recipe!

muffins with topping and butter on red and white checked tablecloth

These muffins are so tasty! A squash-loather would NEVER guess that they are packed full of yummy, super-nutritious squash!

We have a perplexing squash situation at our house, to wit:

I love to grow a nice long bed of squash and melons during the summertime. I never have to beg the inmates of our home to eat melon, but the squash. The Squash. I have cooked it this way and that; I’ve begged and cajoled; I’ve demonstrated just how happy a person can be whilest consuming squash (“See, your health can improve as you are eating it–like mine!”) but none of these pathetic, obvious strategies work when People living with you avow their hatred of all things Squash, every time it is placed underneath their ungrateful noses.

Mack, I’ll admit, will allow me to cajole him into taking a bite or two. Then his exquisite little mouth (which he inherited from me) will turn up in the slightest sneer, and he will say “Just as I thought. Still disgusting.”

I don’t understand this squash snobbery one bit. Certain squashes are sweet (like candy!), nourishing (like a good roast beef!), wholesome (like Andy Griffith!). Winter squashes are soooo good roasted with lots of butter just pooling and dripping (like heaven!) . . . but Mack and Bryan don’t see this. They willfully turn their heads away.

So what I do is this:

I make one meal that includes squash, and all but whatever I eat goes into a leftover container in the ‘fridge. And there it sits. Sad and forlorn, uneaten for days. My eyes flick over it time and again, but it’s no fun to pull it out and have it rejected all over again. It makes one sigh. Especially one who doesn’t want to waste something one has gone to the time and trouble to grow in the first place. *humph*

Eventually, of course, if I don’t eat the leftover squash myself, it goes into the chicken bucket.

I was musing on this one day when Mack was rooting through the ‘fridge with a friend for something “decent to eat.” “What’s that?” his friend asked. “Leftover squash,” Mack said, making a rude sound. “Inedible, in other words.”

For. Pete’s. Sake.

That was it. I drew a deep, silent breath, narrowed my eyes, and decided that I needed to do something. And that something was this: I’d make the squash into something so delicious that my boy would eat it. I would watch him with satisfaction, but the item would have to be so tempting that he would not even care (after he ate it) that it contained the dreadful, the disgusting, the inedible squash.

Moreover, it couldn’t look remotely like squash in appearance. Hmm . . . . I thought and thought as I watched the two boys make a mess out of my kitchen, whipping up huge omelets which contained everything but the kitchen sink. And squash. Obs.

Then it came to me all at once.

Like a strike of lightning, or a very hard squash to the side of the head, only not painful. How about . . . muffins? Yes, that could work. Muffins, after all, aren’t vegetables, they are bread. And being a sweeter bread, often consumed hot with butter melting and dripping through your fingers (like, dare I observe? roast squash). Muffins, at my house, are kind of a celebratory bread, as they take a little more time to make than our daily bread.

Bread. Bread as a vehicle for nutritious veg getting into my boy. That was it! Bread, in itself, is not especially nutrient-rich, but add some honey, nutrient-rich veg (like squash!), eggs, some whole grains . . . mmm. Not only was this a delicious idea, it was a brilliant one.

I would make muffins that very day with the leftover squash in the ‘fridge. Not squash muffins though, that the particular prince’s biases might be aroused. They would have to be disguised as . . . Pumpkin Spice Muffins. Yes. It just might work.

I strapped on my apron

the very moment after I came up with this sneaky idea, and got to work. It took me mere moments to dig the leftover squash out of the ‘fridge, and measure out all the rest of the ingredients. I chopped nuts; measured lots of spices; grated the nutmeg. Of course there would have to be lots of spices. I grabbed two large duck eggs (my ducks are laying and those eggs are great for baking!) and I was ready to stir them together.

Gentle reader. The muffins were such a hit, at least for Mack and me. I served them with dinner that night, and we split them in half and buttered them with a lavish hand.

muffins ready to go into the oven

See how the streusel topping is wet? It’s going to get all melty and yummy and crusty once it’s in the oven. Just wait and see!

I nearly choked with glee

when Mack gave me his highest compliment. “Mom, you should make these more often,” he said. But then he followed quickly with the question I was hoping he wouldn’t ask. “What’s in them?”

“Duck eggs,” I said. “Lots of spices. Nuts. Cinnamon. You know.”

“What else?” he asked. “There’s something else . . . what is it?”

Then, gentle reader, I did something I never do. Never. But I did it. I told a bald-faced lie.

“Pumpkin,” I said, staring my youngest son, the apple of my eye, right in his cute face.

“Pumpkin, huh?” he asked, helping himself to a third (!!!) muffin and expertly splitting it in half and applying soft butter to the insides. “They are really good. You ought to make them more often.”

Did you hear the backfire though? There was a backfire involved in my telling that lie. Bryan had come in late and had filled his plate, including a warm muffin. When he heard me say “Pumpkin,” he gingerly put the muffin back onto the serving platter.

I asked him about it later. “Yeah, I put it back,” he said, a little apologetically. “You know that I can’t stand pumpkin.”


Lies have consequences, folks.

The recipe I made is as follows, but first, a p.s. . . . I did confess to Mack later that I lied to him about the pumpkin.  “I actually used the leftover squash that was in the ‘fridge,” I said, “but I was afraid you wouldn’t eat them if I told you.”

“Mom! I would have eaten them,” he insisted. “They were really good!”

Okay, okay, so I learned my lesson. Just. Be. Honest. And if that doesn’t work, just conveniently “forget” what you put into the muffins. Right . . . ??

muffins with crusty topping

I mean, that topping. So good!

Seriously Scrumptious Seriously Sneaky Squash Streusel Muffins

Leftover cooked winter squash (Butternut or Kabocha is my preferred, but any will do) is so tasty baked into these spicy, streusel-topped muffins! If you have a squash-averse person in your orbit, these muffins are the tasty vehicle to get squash into them, I promise!
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 12


  • 5 Tb all-purpose flour
  • 5 Tb unsalted butter, melted
  • 5 Tb brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups all-purpose or unbleached flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg, freshly ground if possible
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1.5 cups brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups leftover baked squash (or pumpkin)


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  • Spray a standard muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Begin with the topping: Combine the flour, butter, brown sugar, chopped pecans (or walnuts) and cinnamon in a small bowl. The mixture will be quite wet. Set aside.
  • Now on to the muffins: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the softened butter and sugar at low speed until just blended.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; continue beating until very light and fluffy, a few minutes.
  • Add the cooked squash and beat until combined, scraping down the sides of bowl as necessary.
  • Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just combined.
  • Using a large spoon, transfer the batter to the prepared muffin pan, filling each cup completely full.
  • Using your fingers, divide the topping evenly over the batter.
  • Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean.
  • Let the muffins cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack to cool completely.
  • Note: This recipe makes 12 large muffins. For smaller muffins, divide the batter into 18 muffin cups and bake for 30 minutes

Seriously Scrumptious Seriously Squash Streusel Muffins


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There ya go.


2 thoughts on “Seriously Scrumptious Seriously Squash Spice Muffins: new recipe!

  1. Kay

    Dear Friend,
    Could one use smashed sweet potato in these, do you think? Blue-eyed Farmer doesn not like SP and I have found I cannot eat them much now. But he would eat muffins. (Much like your son.)
    Inquiring minds…

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Sweet friend Kay,
      I wouldn’t hesitate to substitute sweet potatoes for squash in this recipe! Since sweet potatoes have a higher sugar content than squash, you might want to cut the sugar down in the recipe? At least that is what I would do. If you make them, let me know how they taste! And if Blue-eyed farmer enjoys them. 😉

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