i get a little obsessed with pumpkins this time of year. but don’t we all? my spiced pumpkin soup was my first venture into autumn cooking this season, and after stocking up on the american classic, libby’s pumpkin puree, a few weeks back i’ve been trying my hand at pumpkin-themed desserts.
i spotted this recipe recently, which seemed easy enough to follow, and teamed with some delectable cream cheese frosting, some orange food colouring and sweet little sugar bats, my halloween cupcakes were created. they are cute and festive without being too tacky (i hope), but most importantly, they are freakin’ delicious. if you’re not on to the whole pumpkin-as-dessert thing yet, do it. immediately.
for 18 cupcakes, you’ll need:
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp coarse salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 225g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 can pumpkin puree (you can buy it here in the UK)
for the cream cheese frosting, you’ll need
- 225g cream cheese at room temperature
- 100g butter at room temperature
- 2 cups icing sugar, sifted
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 small bottle neon orange food colouring (optional)
pre-heat the oven to 175 degrees and line a muffin tray with paper cupcake liners. in a bowl whisk together all of the dry ingredients except the sugars. in the bowl of a freestanding mixer with a whisk attachment, mix the eggs, sugars and butter together. slowly, with the setting on low, add the dry ingredients. finally, add the pumpkin puree and mix to combine. scoop the batter into the liners using an ice cream scoop and bake for 20-25 mins until a cake tester comes out clean. (i was too curious about how they would taste to wait, and munched on a naked cupcake while making the frosting – they are delish with tea!)
for the frosting, beat the cream cheese until smooth and then add the butter and beat until light and fluffy. with the setting on low, slowly add the sugar (use a cover or a tea towel, or you’ll end up in a cloud) and mix in the vanilla. finally add the food colouring, if you’re using it, and mix until the colour is evenly distributed. make sure the cupcakes are completely cooled before frosting.
these are de-lish (‘ahhhhhhmazing!!!!!!’ according to my friend and regular peanut buttered taste-tester millie), and perfect to hand out to trick or treaters or for your halloween party. keep the frosting cream coloured and add different decorations to suit other seasons – who says pumpkin is only for halloween?
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