desserts · food · Japanese · Recipe

Kabocha Muffin Recipe

I am lucky to live in Vancouver with its amalgamation of cultures–the diversity is truly reflected in the food available in the city. This past Wednesday, my friends Teng and Yash accompanied me to a foodie adventure around the city. We went to a Japanese cafe, a dessert place in Chinatown, had tacos in Gastown and finished the day off with soft serve ice cream from a Korean place. The Japanese place, Basho Cafe, was delightful. The cookies were delicious and the service was amazing. If you’re in Vancouver or visiting Vancouver, I recommend that you check it out. A pic of my order:


I had the tiny kabocha muffin there and immediately fell in love with its deliciousness. So I decided to try to recreate it at home with the help of this recipe. I reworked the recipe to reflect the measurements more common in North America. The muffins turned out great though my mom and I used Dixie squash instead of Kabocha. With the Dixie, you just need to cook it in the microwave until it’s all soft and then just blend it to create a soft covering. As the skin of the Dixie squash is soft, peeling it is not necessary. Here’s the recipe:




  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups Kabocha*
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 5 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup**
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 vanilla extract


  1. Microwave the Kabocha (or whatever substitute) you are using until it is soft. Strain to remove the seeds and put it aside.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in one bowl.
  3. Combine milk and corn syrup in another bowl.
  4. In yet another bowl, whisk butter that has been allowed to come to room temperature. As you whisk, add sugar. Continue whisking until the mixture is soft and creamy.
  5. Beat the eggs and add it to the butter/sugar mixture, stirring as you do.
  6. Add the Kabocha and the vanilla extract to the mixture. Continue stirring.
  7. Add the dry ingredients and the milk, alternating as you do. Continue stirring.
  8. Don’t stir too vigorously. Just enough to ensure that all ingredients are mixed together.
  9. Grease muffin pan and bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes or until the colour shown in the picture above.
  10. This recipe made 16 medium-sized muffins.

*The recipe calls for 200g Kabocha and so I decided to just go with 2 cups. It wasn’t the wrong decision but if you have measuring instruments, you may decide to be more accurate.

**The corn syrup was a substitute for rum.


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