My first easy pumpkin recipe makes enticingly moist cupcakes, full of rich juicy pumpkin and spice flavours. Topped with a decadent helping of cream cheese frosting. These pumpkin cupcakes make perfect treats and will keep for several days although we doubt they will last that long! Although there are lots of ingredients listed, this recipe is simple and easy to do after hours spent pumpkin carving.
They aren’t huge risers (the pumpkin weighs them down) but as you can see from my photos, they have a great crumb inside and plenty of moisture. Lets dig in.
You Will Need…
To make 12 pumpkin cupcakes you will need:
- 125g plain flour
- ½ tbsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of allspice
- Pinch of cloves
- Pinch of ginger
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Pinch of cinnamon
- 30g brown sugar
- 50g caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 250g pumpkin puree
- 60ml vegetable oil
- Milk (to obtain consistency)
To make the cinnamon cream cheese frosting:
- 150g icing sugar
- 30g butter
- 4oz cream cheese
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
To cook with:
- Large mixing bowl
- Measuring jug
- Wooden spoon
- Paper cases
- Cupcake tray
Making the Pumpkin Puree
You need to cook and puree the pumpkin before you use it in this recipe. This is very simple to do and is essential to having a creamy sweet pumpkin flavour in your cupcakes. If you’re only making pumpkin puree for this recipe, you don’t need to add any more ingredients to your pumpkin, however if you’re making pumpkin puree to store and use in my other recipes, you may want to add sugar and spices to flavour. If that’s the case, go easy on the spices in the cupcake recipe.
To puree your pumpkin, first make sure you have no guts (sinews), seeds or skin in your pumpkin flesh. If you have large chunks from pumpkin carving, cut them down to 2cm pieces. If you only have small slithers of pumpkin remaining from when you carved the inside, you’ll want to reduce the cooking time to about five minutes.
Place your pumpkin pieces in a saucepan and cover them with water. Bring this to the boil and cook until your pumpkin is tender and soft; usually about 20 minutes.
Drain the pumpkin well and let it cool completely before turning it into puree with a food processor or blender. If you freeze this, it can last you the whole winter!
Making the Cupcake Mix
To make the cupcake mix, start by pouring the sugar, oil, eggs and pumpkin puree into the large mixing bowl. Beat these to combine.
Then, add in the remaining dry ingredients: flour, spices, salt, baking powder and soda. Fold these in gently, stopping as soon as the flour is completely combined. Add splashes of milk until you have a workable mixture that’s sticky and wet but not runny.
Start to put the cupcake batter into the cases. If you only have a tray of six, split the mixture in half and put the rest in another bowl so you don’t use too much in these first six. Fill the cupcake cases 2/3 full.
Put them in your oven and bake for 20 minutes at 190C (or 180C for a fan oven), check them, and then bake for another five if need be. They should be springy to touch once done, looking golden brown and pumpkin orange.
While We Wait…
5 Fun Halloween Facts:
1 – The largest pumpkin ever grown reached 2,323 pounds! It was grown in Switzerland in 2014 and no other pumpkin has beaten this record yet.
2 – Originally people carved scary faces into turnips and small pumpkin squashes rather than the huge carving pumpkins we use today. They were made in Ireland to ward off evil spirits.
3 – The tradition of trick or treating has its origins in begging, when people that had fallen on hard times would knock door to door during thanksgiving. It was then combined with the offering (treats) made during the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain.
4 – Halloween is the second largest commercial holiday in the US after Christmas. Americans prefer a creepy ghoul and carving pumpkins to an Easter egg!
5 – The celebrations of Halloween are thought to be older than most other holidays celebrated today. Samhain itself is around 6000 years old giving it a 4000-year head start on Christmas.
Decorating the Cupcakes
Once they’re out of the oven, leave them to cool on a wire rack. If you find that the tops of your cupcakes are in weird shapes or not flat enough for your decorating, place them out on your counter and rest a full-sized plate on top of them. Don’t press down, just let the weight of the plate on the cupcakes push down the tops until they are uniform. This only works when the cupcakes are still hot.
To make the yummy cream cheese icing, start by beating together the butter and cream cheese until smooth – you may be better off using an electric beater for this bit, especially if your arms are still aching from pumpkin carving.
Add your icing sugar a bit at a time, beating it in as you go to incorporate it all. Add the teaspoon of cinnamon and vanilla extract, beating until your frosting is smooth and fluffy.
Once the cupcakes have completely cooled you can begin to ice them. Smear the tops with icing or use an icing bag for a more professional look! You can even dust with a little cinnamon or nutmeg for an extra special finish.