When Jamie Oliver tweeted his recipe of the day this morning, I got baking. The recipe was Butternut Squash Muffins with a Frosty Top, but I uncharacteristically left off the frosting. I wanted to see if butternut squash can carry muffins all by itself. It can.

These muffins turned out light and fluffy with a good flavor, much like a carrot muffin might have. I changed a few things. I replaced half the all-purpose flour with white whole-wheat flour, omitted nuts, and used canola oil instead of the extra virgin olive oil that Oliver used.


  • 2 1/2 cup butternut squash, skin on, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 2 1/4 cup light soft brown sugar
  • 4 large free-range or organic eggs
  • sea salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cup white whole-wheat flour
  • 2 heaped teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup canola oil


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line your muffin tins with cupcake liners.
  • Take the rough chopped squash and whiz it (Jamie’s words) in the food processor until finely chopped. If you don’t have a food processor, you could use a hand grater and grate the squash (but don’t roughly chop it first).
  • Mix squash, sugar, eggs, a good pinch of sea salt, the fine salt, flour, baking powder, cinnamon and oil in a large bowl until thoroughly combined.
  • Fill the cupcake liners with batter. Bake in oven for 20 to 25 minutes.

My notes

  • The original recipe says it makes 12 muffins, but it actually made 16. I made the first 12 plain. When they came out of the oven, I added some raisins to the rest of the batter, and cooked four more with raisins. It was a nice addition, but not necessary.
  • Jamie’s frosting for these includes both lemon zest and clementine zest. I’d definitely try the frosting if you want to make these more cup-cakey.
  • The skin of the squash might seem tough when you’re cutting it, but it’s not noticeable at all when it's cooked in the muffins. The skin contains additional vitamins and minerals – keep it on.

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Seasonal recipe: Butternut Squash Muffins
A generous helping of grated butternut squash goes into these light, airy muffins.