Great fun to make, these Pumpkin Muffins look spook-tacular on the table at a Halloween party.

30-60 minutes to prepare
30-60 minutes to cook
Makes around 12 muffins


250ml butternut squash / pumpkin puree (around ½ butternut squash) – use a sweet variety
150g butter (or coconut oil)
4 eggs
6 tbsp / 90ml maple syrup
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp mixed spice
300g self raising flour (choose a gluten free option if you prefer)

For decorating:
Greek yogurt / cream cheese
Butternut squash puree
Blackberries blended or mashed into a puree
Maple syrup –  to sweeten
Fresh fruit: blackberries, blueberries, kiwi
Dried fruit: raisins, prunes, goji berries
Seeds: poppy seeds, pumpkin seeds

How to make

Step 1
Start by making a butternut squash/pumpkin puree (unless you have some pre-made). Peel the squash, cut into chunks and steam for around 20 mins until soft. Use a steamer or place in a covered colander over a pan of simmering water.

Step 2
In a bowl, blend the squash to a smooth puree, adding a little water if required to get a smooth consistency. A hand blender will give the smoothest texture, but a food processor or blender will be fine.

Step 3
Stir the butter, or coconut oil, into the warm puree to melt it, or if the puree is cold, gently warm together in a pan over a low heat until just melted, then allow to cool. If you are using a frozen puree, allow to defrost over night, then gently warm through with the butter or oil

Step 4
Pre-heat your oven to 180°C / 160°C fan / gas mark 4. Whisk the eggs, maple syrup, vanilla, mixed spice and cooled puree together in a large bowl with a hand whisk

Step 5
Sieve in the flour and lightly stir using a metal spoon to avoid knocking out too much air

Step 6
Spoon the mixture into muffin cases in a muffin tin, fill the cases to ¾ full to allow them room to rise

Step 7
Bake in the pre-heated oven for around 25 minutes until golden. To check they’re cooked through, stick a knife in the centre and it should come out clean. Allow the muffins to cool completely before decorating

Let’s decorate

Get your children involved with and let their imaginations go wild. Try to keep the extra ingredients as natural and healthy as possible – here’s a few ideas to start you off…

Idea 1
Pumpkin face – mix Greek yogurt or cream cheese, a drizzle of maple syrup, a pinch of mixed spice and a dollop of squash puree together to create an orange frosting. Spread on a muffin and decorate with a little kiwi for the pumpkin stem, and raisins for eyes and teeth.

Idea 2
Spider – mix Greek yogurt or cream cheese with a drizzle of maple syrup. Spread this white frosting on a muffin and use a blackberry to create a spider’s body, with sliced blueberries for legs. Or you can use some raisins and blueberries to create the body, and draw on the legs with a cocktail stick dipped in blackberry juice

Idea 3
Dracula – mix Greek yogurt or cream cheese, a drizzle of maple syrup and a dollop of blackberry puree to create a reddish / purple frosting. Spread onto a muffin, then sprinkle poppy seeds at the top to create a Dracula widows peak hairline, (use a cocktail stick to help guide the seeds). Use raisins and cut up goji berries as eyes, a goji berry mouth and white frosting for Dracula fangs!

Idea 4
Witches hat – use the white frosting from the spider muffins and use cut up dried prune to make a black hat.

You’ll find lots more spooky Halloween recipes at