These Spiced Acorn Squash Apple Muffins are exactly the type of breakfast one craves in the winter months- slightly sweet and full of spice

I’ve been known to bake muffins when life gets tough. When Hurricane Sandy was approaching DC last year, I found myself in the kitchen frantically preparing muffins even though we knew the power could go out at any moment. It didn’t matter. For me, there is a certain zen calm that occurs when I’m baking muffins. It’s soothing. It gives me a purpose. It somehow makes me feel in control in an otherwise chaotic situation. 

These Spiced Acorn Squash Apple Muffins are exactly the type of breakfast one craves in the winter months- slightly sweet and full of spice

These spiced acorn squash apple muffins served exactly the same purpose. We’ve been dealing with a health crisis here and I’m feeling very powerless. We recently discovered that Jeff has herniated 2 discs in his neck and will likely need surgery within the next few weeks. I hate watching him in pain and knowing there is absolutely nothing I can do to fix it. It’s really the worst feeling.

Hopefully things will improve soon. For now all I can do is be strong and supportive, keep the house nice and clean and make him his favorite meals. And muffins, of course.

Spiced Acorn Squash Apple Muffins
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 12 muffins
  • 1½ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 4 ounces (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup pureed acorn squash (approximately 1 small squash, see notes)
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped
  1. Position the oven rack in the center and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a standard 12 muffin pan or line it with paper cups.
  2. Whisk/sift together the all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, sea salt and pumpkin pie spice.
  3. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or using a hand mixer), cream the butter and sugars together on high speed until light and fluffy. Turn the speed down to low and add the eggs, one at a time, allowing each to incorporate completely for about 30 seconds.
  4. By hand, stir in the the vanilla, acorn squash and buttermilk. Do not over-mix or the batter might break (the muffins will still be fine if it does, you'll just want to move more quickly).
  5. Once the wet ingredients are combined, stir in the flour mixture by hand, followed by the chopped apples.
  6. Use a muffin scoop to evenly distribute the batter into the prepared muffin pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool before serving.
There are several ways to prepare pureed acorn squash. I sliced the acorn squash in half, scooped out the seeds, rubbed a bit of olive oil on the inside and then roasted it in the oven at 400 degrees F for a little over an hour. The length of time will depend on the size of the squash, test it with a fork. Once the squash is cooked, allow it to cool and then scoop out the flesh and puree it with a food processor or hand blender.


Tools I Used

(Links go to my Amazon affiliate store)

KitchenAid 5-Speed Hand Blender
Farberware Nonstick Bakeware 12-Cup Muffin Pan
Kyocera Y Peeler
KitchenAid Classic Stand Mixer
Lágrima Vanilla Extract

More Muffin Recipes

Savory Simple – Peach Yogurt Muffins
Savory Simple – Whole Wheat English Muffins
Savory Simple – Berry Granola Streusel Muffins
Sprouted Kitchen – Brown Butter Espresso Chip Muffins
In Jennie’s Kitchen – Orange Poppy Olive Oil Muffins
Tutti Dolci – Maple Cinnamon Pecan Muffins

  • Carrie @ Bakeaholic Mama

    Yikes. I hope Jeff is ok. That sounds awful. I’ve had one herniated disk in my lower back… but can’t imagine the neck.

    Muffins are a good way to deal though. I would eat a bunch of these to relieve stress in a heart beat. They look delicious.

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci)

    These are the most gorgeous muffins, thank you for the link to my maple muffins. Hope Jeff is not in too much pain and that the recovery time will be quick – sending prayers your way!

  • Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate

    I like that these use SQUASH and not pumpkin. It’s a nice change!

  • Heather of Kitchen Concoctions

    I actually got a bunch of acorn squash earlier this week and was wondering what I was going to do with it all! This looks like a great recipe and I can’t wait to try it!

  • Jennie

    I’m so sorry to hear about the health issues. I can imagine how helpless you must feel. The kitchen is my source of therapy, too, so keep on baking, and I’ll keep on sending you well wishes.

  • Tieghan

    I am sending prayers your way! Hope jeff gets better quick!

    I am loving these muffins! Acorn squash is so good, but in a muffin? I cannot wait to give these a try!

  • Shanna@ pineapple and coconut

    I love the pictures! You do both light and dark photography very well. I hope things get better for Jeff quickly and that the surgery is minimally invasive and speedy recovery. Its so tough feeling helpless when a loved one is in so much pain and there is nothing you can do. Hang in there

  • Laura (Blogging Over Thyme)

    So sorry to hear about Jeff! My thoughts are with both of you and hope he is able to heal quickly.

    Totally agree with you about baking muffins–they are my go-to “stress” baked good ;)

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious

    I used to be obsessed with muffin baking – they’re so easy and freezer-friendly!

    Btw, loving the light lighting here! :)

  • Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen

    I’m so sorry to hear that, I can only imagine how painful that must be for him. I hope he can find some relief without having to endure surgery.

  • Kathryn

    Oh poor Jeff, that sounds so painful and worrying for you both. I hope you’re finding the time in the kitchen a good way to de-stress.

  • Julia@Vikalinka

    I hope Jeff recovers quickly, it’s awful watching your loved ones suffer! I do deal with stress the same way. My mother-in-law cleans, I cook! I cook and bake so much we can’t possibly eat it all so I freeze it, it makes me feel more organized and sorted out.

    • Jennifer Farley

      You know it’s funny, our house is spotless right now which is so not normal. I absolutely hate cleaning but it’s the other thing I’ve been doing non-stop. Cleaning and baking. I feel like I’m making the house more comfortable. Any little thing to make it better.

  • Marie @ Little Kitchie

    So sorry to hear about Jeff! Sending lots of love your way!

  • Erin | The Law Student’s Wife

    I am so sorry to hear about Jeff! Hang in there. I hope things look up for you soon.
    Also I am the same way–whenever I feel powerless, I turn to baking. It’s nice to know that butter and sugar will still cream together in a fluffy cloud, even if nothing else in life makes sense.

  • Norma | Allspice and Nutmeg

    I pray Jeff will have a quick recovery. And the muffins look wonderful!

  • Kelli @ The Corner Kitchen

    So sorry to hear about Jeff! Sending good thoughts your way! And, on a happier note…I love the apple & acorn squash combo in these muffins!!

  • Valerie

    Sending lots of positive energy your way. In a few weeks from now I’m sure things will be back to the usual level of chaos. :)

    These muffins look scrumptious!! xo

  • Anna@CrunchyCreamySweet

    I am so sorry to heart that, Jen … Hope Jeff feels better soon!
    These muffins look amazing!

  • Julie @ Table for Two

    beautiful and delicious looking muffins! I’m sorry about your husband – I hope everything goes smoothly with the surgery and that he heals quickly! He’s lucky to have you :) you can cook lots for him while he recovers!

  • Carrie @ poet in the pantry

    Herniated discs are the pits. I had to have surgery on one in my lower back 2.5 years ago because it was cutting off the nerve to my left leg. Best wishes to him! May he have a speedy recovery!

  • Laura Dembowski

    I’m sorry to hear of Jeff’s issues. Hopefully he will be feeling better soon!

  • Yvette

    Oh no. I’m so sorry. My hubby had hernia surgery a couple of years ago. Hope your hubby feels better soon.

  • Amy @Very Culinary

    Oh boo, that sucks Jen. I’m so sorry. Paul has to have rotator cuff surgery (from years and years of playing baseball) and I’m pretty concerned myself. We can console each other.

  • Nami | Just One Cookbook

    Oh no, I’m very sorry to hear Jeff is in pain. :( Praying for the fast recovery after his surgery. Sending positive thoughts your way.

    I love your minimal food styling! So simple and easily focus on the food and these muffins look delicious!

  • Gerry @ foodness gracious

    Hoping Jeff gets back to normal soon, keep on muffining! :)

  • Rachel

    Muffins can cure a lot of things, hoping they help with the neck! These sound delicious and look amazing.

  • Kirsten@FarmFreshFeasts

    I hope your spouse’s pain is fixed with the upcoming surgery and that his recovery goes well.
    I get into the kitchen to help me cope (wish cleaning would do it for me but alas) and I am hopeful with the optimistic lighting of these photos. Like putting on a brightly tie-dyed tshirt on a gloomy rainy day.

    Well it makes sense to me, but I probably cannot explain it to well.

    • Jennifer Farley

      I get it :)

  • Abby

    Squash and apple together sounds divine! I bet sweet potato would be a great sub here too :)

  • Kim C.

    I’m so sorry you’re going through a rough time, I hope your husband gets better soon. :) I haven’t made muffins in a long time and I have some squash on hand as well as apples so I think these muffins need to happen!!!

  • Mark McDonald

    these are awesome…. I added a little coconut and some maple flavoring as well the vanilla. Happy birthday!!!