Easy Bakes for Kids: Jacques’s Butternut Muffins

Prep Time:15 Mins, Cook Time: 20 - 25 Mins, Total Time: 35 - 40 Mins

November 14, 2014

Easy Bakes for Kids | Jacques's Butternut Muffins

The sad reality of Jacques now being a full time school boy is our cosy little afternoon baking sessions are sadly too few and far between these days. He’s not just in school but between the two of them virtually every night’s suddenly taken up by some after school club or other. Jacques’s loving the school dance club, relishing being it’s youngest member and only boy. I even spied him making some awesome attempts at pirouttes this week. Interestingly big sis Frannie dramatically ‘quit’ dance club at about the same time he took it up, favouring instead the brother-less and girl-less Beavers and Footie Clubs. Hilarious. I’ve no idea where she gets it from, ahem. And the weekends aren’t much more time friendly either. For a start they spend alternate weekends in London with their Dad, and with me there’s quite often a horse riding lesson (Frannie’s only nod to girldom thus far), sleepover or birthday party, more often than not uncles and cousins to see and virtually always Sunday dinner with Grandma and Pa.

So that glorious expanse of baking and making time suddenly seems to have vanished, and I have to purposefully make the time these days. Not that Frannie’s bothered, she still hotfoots it out of the kitchen at the mere mention of any cooking action, invariably declaring “I’m not a cooker Mummy”. She does however happily partake in the eating element. Jacques, luckily, is still my superkeen sous chef. Whether it’s chopping veggies for a soup, picking herbs, stirring a risotto, making scrambled eggs or baking cakes. He just has to be there getting involved.

A couple of weeks ago an opportunity arose for a spot of mum and son baking. Jacques was off school a little bit poorly, though in reality barely poorly at all as the day turned out. And certainly well enough to accompany his beloved Grandpa to hospital for his cataracts op which was all a big adventure in his four year old eyes. And topped off by an impromptu afternoon’s baking sess it was a pretty good ‘sick’ day all in all. Funnily enough he was back at school the next day!

We made these Butternut and Orange Muffins which are a great little make for budding mini-cooks, with plenty of elements they can do entirely themselves (items marked as ‘K’ in the recipe). Older kids could easily follow the whole recipe on their own, there’s no great skill involved, simply weighing, grating, stirring and assembly really. They’re a pretty healthy munch too, packed full of nearly half a kilo of fiber-brilliant antioxidant-loaded butternut squash, good oil (especially if you use rapeseed oil), unrefined sugar, part wholemeal flour and sultanas. Significantly better than your average cake anyway. And great to pop in a lunchbox or hand out as an after school treat. Or even for an easy breakie served with a smoothie.

Eat Your Veg | Butternut Squash Muffins

The Good Stuff:

Butternut Squash, Rapeseed Oil, Wholemeal Flour, Orange, Sultanas

Great For:

Toddlers, Pre-Schoolers, Big Kids, Grown Ups, On-the-Go-Breakfasts, Elevensies, Lunchboxes, Picnics, After-School Treats, Healthier Snacking, Puds, Baking with Kids


Makes 15 large muffins or 24 smaller ones
A great little make for kids, items with a ‘K’ are particularly suitable for little kids to do

Special Equipment:

2 x muffin or fairy cake tins lined with muffin or cake cases
A food processor or grater
Cooling rack

Easy Bakes for Kids: Jacques’s Butternut Muffins

Ingredients Prep Time:15 Mins, Cook Time: 20 - 25 Mins, Total Time: 35 - 40 Mins

450g butternut squash, peeled and deseeded weight, cut into large chunks
300g light brown soft sugar
4 large free range eggs
150ml rapeseed or sunflower oil
150g plain white flour
150g plain wholemeal flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 orange, zested and juiced
100g sultanas

1) Preheat your oven to 180°c/160°c fan/Gas Mark 4
2) Line your muffin or cake tins with muffin or fairy cake cases K
3) Whiz the butternut chunks in a food processor until very finely chopped OR finely grate by hand with a grater
4) Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl and lightly beat together with the sugar, then stir in the oil K
5) Stir in the flours and baking powder K
6) Stir through the whizzed or grated butternut squash, orange juice and zest and the sultanas K
7) Fill the cases with the mixture, until almost to the brim
8) Bake in your preheated oven for 20 minutes for smaller muffins and 25 minutes for ordinary sized ones. The muffins are ready when they’re golden brown, well risen and an inserted skewer or knife comes out clean
9) Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack

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10 thoughts on “Easy Bakes for Kids: Jacques’s Butternut Muffins

  1. Jacqueline Meldrum

    It sounds like they are keeping you busy Lou. I gave up Cooper’s after school club as he just wasn’t enjoying it. Now waiting for swimming lessons. Jacque is obviously going to take after you on the cooking front. He loves it as much as my Cooper.

    1. Louisa Foti Post author

      I really hope he does continue to love his food and cooking, such a delight at the minute! I’m thinking of swimming lessons for Jacques next year too…though he’s told me tonight he wants horse riding lessons??



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