- Cooking Time: 1 hour
- Servings: 12
- Preparation Time: 30 minutes
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, halved, and seeded (or 1 cup pumpkin puree)
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, divided
- 1 2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- Caramel Filling: 1 cup sugar
- 1 quart whole milk
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda, dissolved in 1/2 Tbls. water.
- 1 Vanilla Bean
- Ginger Salt and cooked, crumbled bacon for garnish
- 1 Batch of Maple Brown Butter Icing
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- Slice squash into four equal pieces and place in a baking dish.
- Top each with a pat of butter and roast in the oven for 35-40 minutes or until very tender.
- Mash with a potato masher or a fork until squash becomes like a thick puree. Set aside to cool.
- Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
- Line muffin tins with paper liners.
- Melt remaining butter and set aside to cool.
- In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.
- In another bowl, whisk sugars, egg, and 1 cup of the cooled squash puree. Slowly whisk in cooled melted butter.
- Pour squash mixture into flour mixture and fold to combine.
- Using a cupcake scoop, fill lined muffin cups 3/4 full.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center cake comes out clean.
- Allow to cool completely before inverting tins.
- Prepare the caramel filling by first splitting open your vanilla bean lengthwise, scrape out about a 1/4 tsp. and set aside for the icing.
- Toss the bean along with the sugar and milk into a large heavy bottomed pot.
- Simmer, stirring constantly, over medium heat until sugar dissolves.
- Remove from heat and stir in baking soda mixture.
- Once bubbling subsides, return to heat.
- Bring to a brisk simmer, but not a boil.
- Cook, stirring regularly, until milk begins to turn golden. This takes about an hour.
- Continue stirring and cooking until milk begins to brown, making sure it does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Once a soft ball begins to form, the caramel is ready.
- Remove from heat and remove vanilla bean.
- Fill cupcakes by cutting a small inverted cone shape from the top of each. Spoon warm caramel into the hole and sprinkle with ginger salt.
- Top with Maple Brown Butter Icing and garnish with more ginger salt and bacon.
NotesCaramel Filling adapted from Rick Bayless's Cajeta
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