One of my friends ribs me over the fact so many of my cakes have some vegetables hidden in them. But I can’t help it! I love the texture and the natural sweetness adding vegetables to a cake brings. And it’s less that I’m hiding the vegetables in there, more that no one would suspect there is anything so healthy lurking in a delicious treat like these Secret Butternut Squash and Dried Cherry Muffins.
The best thing about these muffins is the prep time. There is no need to roast or even peel the butternut squash before it is added to the recipe. Just wash it and roughly chop it before whizzing up in a food processor. This also means the flavour is not too intense and therefore doesn’t take over the muffin flavour.
If you don’t like, or can’t find any, cherries then raisins, chopped prunes or chopped dried figs would also be yummy in these muffins. If you like nuts then a handful of pecans or walnuts are a good match or you could just leave the fruit out all together. I know one of my kids prefers their cakes free from ‘bits’. Make them your own!
Secret Butternut Squash and Dried Cherry Muffins
- 400 g butternut squash, skin on, deseeded and roughly chopped
- 250 g soft brown sugar
- 4 large free-range eggs
- 300 g plain flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 175 ml olive/sunflower/vegetable oil
- 125g dried cherries
- optional poppy seeds to sprinkle
- Step 1 Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4 and prepare your muffin tins with 12 cases.
- Step 2 Take the butternut squash and leaving the skin on but removing the seeds, roughly chopped it and blend in a food processor. It will be finely chopped.
- Step 3 Add the brown sugar and blend then the eggs and blend again. It will look quite foamy, this is fine!
- Step 4 Now add the oil and dry ingredients and whiz up until it is well mixed.
- Step 5 Stir through the dried cherries and divide into the cases. You can also sprinkle some poppy seeds on top if you like.
- Step 6 Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes then cool on a rack.
- Step 7 I sometimes top these with a dip of white chocolate and some sprinkles as a lunch box treat!