Autumn spiced squash and apple muffins
I’ve taken the much loved U.S ‘pumpkin spice’ and used it with some more commonly found ingredients in the U.K. I love the scent of mixed spice and use it a lot in both savoury and sweet cooking, it’s definitely one of my store cupboard staples. There are pumpkins in the supermarket right now but they won’t be there past Halloween so I’ve used the humble butternut in this recipe as it can always be found in the veggie section. I’m a sucker for using veggies in my baking, not only because I love that the kids don’t even question why they are there, it’s a cake after all, but also because they make my baking beautifully moist and give a good texture. These are a one bowl wonder so why not measure it all out and let the kids do the elbow work!
You’ll see that I iced half my muffins and kept half back without icing. This is because my boys have these for breakfast, lovely as the icing is it’s not really right for breakfast unless we’re having a holiday treat. With so little sugar in these (without the icing) they are a great, healthier alternative for breakfast or an after school snack.
I’ve realised that this is a great base for lots of different fruit and veg if you want to make muffins or a loaf and will be trialling it with loads of other ingredients. I’ll let you know when ‘Kate’s base’ has been thoroughly tested and what other ingredients I’ve managed to successfully hide in there!
Gluten free version tip
I use a mix of wholemeal flour, ground almonds and oat bran in my own muffins but if you are gluten intolerant then rice flour, almonds and millet flakes will work equally well, you will just need 2 more tablespoons of milk as these are much more absorbent and will require more liquid.
Autumn spiced butternut squash and apple muffins recipe
Makes 12 muffins or one large loaf
300g grated butternut squash
100g grated cooking apple
100g ground almonds
100g oatbran or millet flakes
100g wholemeal flour or plain
50g sugar (I honestly would knock this back further, but try a batch first and see what you think. I now make this without any at all)
1 tsp baking powder (gluten free is available)
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 serving spoons coconut oil or butter – melted
2 tsp mixed spice (I do use 3/4 myself but I like them super spicy!)
4 tablespoons milk
Zest of one satsuma/clementine or small orange
1 tub cream cheese
The insides of your zested satsuma/clementine or small orange
Icing sugar, add enough for your own taste – I used x 2 Tablespoons
Preheat your oven to 180/350/Gas mark 4
Here’s the good bit! Put everything into a large mixing bowl and stir, or even better get a small helper to do it for you!
Once combined you’ll have a stiff batter, if it is not of a dropping consistency then add a tablespoon of milk at a time until it is right (this will depend on the flours you use).
Use a serving spoon to drop the mix into your muffin cases. Fill each case until it’s level on top.
Bake for 20/25 mins until golden on top. Remove from the muffin tin and cool on a baking rack.
If you are icing them then you’ll need a medium sized bowl, add your cream cheese and icing sugar. Then squeeze the citrus fruit hard into the mixture, don’t worry about getting a few bits of flesh into the icing, this will look lovely and only add to it.
Stir until fully combined and set aside until the muffins/loaf have completely cooled.
Ice once cooled.