Thursday, March 5, 2015

Golden Squash Chocolate-Chip Muffins

It was a snow day! And I had a glowering squash, face penciled in by a gourd-averse boyfriend, whose time was come.

Why was the gourd so pensive? Did he/she know he/she would one day be muffins?

I discovered a recipe a year or so ago for muffins so tender and moist, they taste more like shaped oatmeal than something that could go stale (to make them breakfast-worthy, I use half oats and throw in a hefty amount of flax). To do the squash justice and sweeten its ovenbound fate, I decided to forego butter and buttermilk for coconut oil and coconut milk, throw in some island spices, add a splash of bourbon, and shower the batter with chocolate chips. The results were golden treats that stick to the ribs and warm you on the chilliest of mornings.

makes 6 large muffins and two medium ones or 12-14 medium muffins


1 butternut squash
1/3 cup coconut oil
2/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
splash bourbon or rum

1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp cayenne
dash salt

1 cup white flour
1 cup oats
1/3 cup flax (optional)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

5 oz dark chocolate chips (half a bag) 
1 cup coconut milk (I used lite)
1 tsp vinegar


Preheat the oven to 400. Halve your squash with a large knife, scrape out the seeds, and scrape out most of the stringy bits with a spoon.

Rub the cut sides of the squash down with coconut oil. Place the squash on a baking sheet cut-side down and bake for 40 minutes, or until a knife easily pierces a squash half. Take the squash out of the oven.

Lower the heat to 350.

Allow the squash halves to cool. Scrape the squash into a bowl, leaving the rind forlorn and in tatters in your sink. Puree the squash so as to meld the stringy bits into one golden mush (I did this using an electric beater and ended up with squash streaks all over my walls. Kitchen decoration is a bonus!)

Add the coconut oil, sugars, eggs, and bourbon or rum. Puree or otherwise mix until wet ingredients are uniform. Inhale.

Add spices and salt, then sift in flour. Add oats, flax, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix gingerly (ha ha!) until mostly combined.

Set out your coconut milk. Add the vinegar, stir, and let sit so that the mixture turns into coconut buttermilk.

Shake chocolate chips into the batter and combine until the batter is as full of chocolate promise as you want.

Pour the coconut milk into the batter and stir gently until you get a moist, uniform mixture.

Grease 2 medium muffin tins or 1 large muffin tin. You will probably have some extra batter, so you may want to have another tin handy.

For medium muffins, bake for 20 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out mostly clean.

For large muffins, bake for 35 minutes.

Let cool on a rack.


  • Should you decide to go with more conventional ingredients, use 1 stick of butter, softened, in place of the coconut oil, and 1 cup of milk or buttermilk in place of the coconut milk (no need for vinegar if you're using buttermilk).
  • I used bourbon because I didn't have any rum, but I REALLY wanted to use rum. 
  • Do not eat more than one of these if you're not in a position to take a long nap.


4 stars. These make for a pleasing and nutritious breakfast that will give you the caloric boost you need to get through an unseasonably cold March day.