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Butternut Squash Cupcakes with Chai Infused Whipped Cream


What do you do when you've got leftover butternut squash from making baby food? Most people would suggest making soup. Me? I'm more of a dessert gal. 
We haven't had a new cupcake recipe around here in a while and I feel like butternut squash never gets a chance to be sweet, only savory. So, we're switching things up and letting it shine in the best way I know how. 
Full of warm winter spices and topped with a lightly sweetened whipped cream, these cupcakes are absolutely to die for. 
I'm actually surprised as to why butternut squash isn't used more often in desserts, when it's super close to it's cousin squash- pumpkin. It's got almost the same texture/taste, so I imagine it would be equally amazing in pie, cheesecake, muffins, you name it!
Then again, it did take me approximately 30 minutes just to peel and cut the squash for steaming, so I can see why it's not everyone's first choice. Ha! 


Butternut Squash Cupcakes with Chai Infused Whipped Cream

Yield:12 cupcakes
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Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and browned
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs 
1 cup butternut squash puree

For the chai infused whipped cream:
1 cup heavy cream
2 chai tea bags
1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients. Set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together browned butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and eggs until well-combined. Add in butternut squash puree and whisk until incorporated.

Pour wet ingredients into dry and stir, just until no streaks of flour remain. 

Using a medium-sized cookie scoop, evenly distribute batter between cupcake liners, filling each one 2/3 of the way full. 

Bake in preheated oven for 20-22 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for 1 minute in pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the whipped cream, heat heavy cream in a small saucepan until just barely simmering. Remove from the heat, add the tea bags and cover the saucepan to let the tea steep for 10 minutes. Remove the tea bags, squeezing their liquid back into the heavy cream. Refrigerate heavy cream for 45 minutes-1 hour, or overnight if you are frosting the next day. 

Add sugar to chilled heavy cream and using an electric hand mixer, beat until stiff peaks form. Use a piping bag fitted with a star decorating tip to pipe swirls of whipped cream on top of each cupcake. Garnish with cinnamon, if desired.

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