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Butternut & Mac Cupcakes

Plant-based ingredients pack a punch with this playful twist on an iconic American dish!
Prep Time15 mins
Active Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
CLASSIC INGREDIENT CUISINE: American, Comfort Food, Kid-Friendly
DIET: Diabetic, Gluten Free, Halal, Hindu, Low Fat, Low Lactose, Vegan, Vegetarian
PRICE LEVEL: Budget Friendly
SKILL LEVEL: Some Experience
SEASON: Fall, Spring, Summer, Winter
ALLERGY: Dairy-free, Fish-free, Gluten-free, Nut-free, Peanut-free, Shell Fish-free, Soy-free
OCCASION: Barbecue, Brunch, Dinner Party, Family Meal, Freeze Ahead, Grab & Go, Holidays, Kid Friendly, Party, Pot Luck, Sack Lunch, Weddings
PLANT-BASED COURSE: Appetizers, Batch Recipes, Main Courses, Make Ahead, Side Dishes
Yield: 8
Calories: 271.52kcal


  • half-dozen cup cake tin for medium-sized cupcakes
  • mixer
  • rubber spatula
  • bowl
  • oven mits
  • measuring spoons
  • measuring cup(s)


  • 1 cup butternut squash canned or fresh, puréed
  • 2 tablespoon vegan butter or regular, unsalted if you wish
  • ¾ cup oat milk almond, hemp or any unsweetend plant milk
  • ½ cup chickpea flour
  • 1 cup aquafaba (see step 3 below for aqua faba whip instructions)
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast or more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice fresh and more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt to taste
  • pepper freshley cracked or white to taste
  • 3 teaspoons miso yellow
  • 16 ounces chickpea pasta elbow pasta- preferabley gluten-free, but standard too if you wish


  • If you prefer to roast your own butternut, preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly spray or brush the oil onto the orange flesh of each squash half. Garnish with salt and pepper.
  • Place the squash halves cut-side down on the baking sheet. Roast for about 35 to 50 minutes, uncovered, until a fork or knife easily slides through the squash. The skin will be lightly browned and the squash may be brown in some spots (which only adds to the flavour).
  • While the squash roasts, add cupcake papers to a standard cupcake tray that yields one dozen
  • When there are about 20 minutes left of the squash’s roasting time, cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain with cold water.
  • Drain and reserve the juice (aqua faba) of one organic can of chickpeas. Place in a mixer and whip on high with one tsp of cream of tartar until it becomes soft peaks. Set to the side.
  • After the squash is finished cooking, flip it flesh-side up and let it cool for 10 minutes or so before mixing into a puree.
  • Stir the aquafaba into the ‘cheese’ sauce ingredients (butter, milk, chickpea flour, nutritional yeast, Dijon, garlic and onion powder, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and miso) until smooth.
  • Add the butternut puree and stir until fully incorporated.
  • Use an ice cream scoop and evenly scoop the mac-n-cheese mixture into cupcake pan and bake for 17 minutes
  • While the cupcakes bake, combine one cup of panko with one cup vegan butter in a pan and saute until light brown
  • Sprinkle the bread crumbs on top of the cupcakes (along with optional shredded vegan cheese) and bake at 425 for 3 minutes
  • Remove from the oven and garnish the top with a sprinkle of smoked paprika
  • Let the cupcakes rest for ten minutes and serve, refrigerate, or freeze for easy reheating


Calories: 271.52kcal | Carbohydrates: 42.31g | Protein: 17.25g | Fat: 6.72g | Saturated Fat: 0.67g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 342.32mg | Potassium: 239.49mg | Fiber: 9.84g | Sugar: 8.14g | Vitamin A: 2046.08IU | Vitamin C: 4.45mg | Calcium: 86.86mg | Iron: 6.24mg