December 5, 2017

Whole wheat squash & cranberry muffins

Hearty muffins full of winter squash puree, whole wheat flour, fresh cranberries, and warming spices are a delicious breakfast treat or snack with a steamy cup of coffee or tea. These are also a tasty muffin for toddlers. I've been working on some healthier muffins for my kids who are now 16 months old. They love things like pancakes and muffins, so I try to make them with overall less sugar and less oil/butter and to incorporate fruits and vegetables into them. I've posted many muffin recipes in the past including these banana spinach oat blender muffins and these applesauce barley infant cereal muffins for toddlers. Since our twins have been really loving cranberries lately, I bought up a few bags of fresh ones while they are available. I know I wanted to make them a muffin with some of the cranberries. And, since we have a bunch of winter squash, I thought that would make a nice seasonal combination. I based these muffins off of my pumpkin streusel muffins recipe. These muffins make a terrific breakfast with some scrambled eggs or they make a delicious portable snack. Let's just say they were a hit with all of us! Slightly sweet with a touch of spice and tangy pops of cranberry.

This recipe will make one dozen muffins. They are a festive addition to a holiday breakfast - fall or winter!

Whole wheat squash & cranberry muffins
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup cooked winter squash puree (I used hubbard squash)*
1 large egg
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk**
1 cup roughly chopped fresh cranberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a muffin tin or put in liners.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour through allspice. In a large bowl, whisk together the squash through buttermilk. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet until just combined (the batter will be a little dry, but the cranberries will release moisture as they cook). Fold in the cranberries. [About 1/2 cup of toasted pecans or walnuts would also be a delicious addition, but I don't add these for toddlers].

Divide the batter equally into the muffin tin cups. Bake for about 19-21 minutes, until they begin to turn golden and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for about 5 minutes and then remove from the muffin tin.

Serve still warm from the oven, or room temperature. Store in an airtight container.

* I used puree of baked hubbard squash. You can use any sweet, dense orange winter squash such as butternut, hubbard, kabocha, pumpkin, etc.

** If you don't have buttermilk on hand, put one tablespoon of fresh or bottled lemon juice in a measuring cup and then add milk to equal 1/2 cup. Let sit for about 5 minutes.

What was I cooking one year ago?: ham & cheese spaghetti squash boats
Two years ago?: chicken, gnocchi, & spinach soup
Three years ago?: chocolate chip butternut squash oatmeal cookies
Four years ago?: sauerkraut two ways
Five?: celery root & parsnip latkes
Six?: Guinness gingerbread
7?: Swedish meatballs


  1. I love healthy treats like this..these are perfect for any time of the day, Amy.

  2. Looks yummy! I can not wait to try one! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Hi Amy, I am always looking for ways to cut out sugar and add more veggies, these muffins are perfect.

  4. This is a great healthy muffin recipe. Cranberries have to be the perfect addition and I can see why your babes would love this! Thanks!

  5. Love recipes that use squash puree' in a non-traditional way. These muffins are fantastic!

  6. I don't often see recipes for muffins that include squash -- great idea, though. Bet these taste awesome! Thanks so much.

  7. Great idea to include squash!! I might de-healthify them a bit with chocolate chips...haha!

  8. Muffins are very popular for breakfast with my fellas and I'd love more recipes on the healthier side. These sound fantastic and glad they were a big hit.


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