These cupcakes were super fun to make and my first time baking with pumpkin!
Similar to carrot cakes, these cupcakes use oil rather than butter (so they don’t dry out quickly) and are packed with spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. I made 50 of these cupcakes for a friend’s work party and had so much fun making the decorations. For the chocolate spiders I used a black chocolate icing (found at Bake Boss) and for the pumpkins I used coloured fondant and a toothpick! Super easy, and you don’t have to buy all the fondant shaping tools either : )
The original recipe called for tinned pumpkin puree, but as we live in Australia, its not that easy to find. I simply made my own! Here’s how I did it:
1. Buy 1/2 butternut pumpkin from the supermarket and chop into small pieces, removing the skin and seeds.
2. Place the pumpkin in a microwave safe container with a little bit of water. Essentially we are steaming it.
3. Microwave on high for several minutes, checking at different intervals until tender.
4. Move pumpkin to a food processor and blend until smooth. Allow to cool. Use in baking or store in an air tight container and freeze it until you need it!
1 and 3/4 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
350 – 500gm icing sugar, sifted
80g butter, softened
200g cream cheese, chilled
1 teaspoon – 1.5 teaspoons vanilla essence
– METHOD –
1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees celsius and line two 12 hole cupcake trays with patty pans.
2. In a large bowl sift the flour and add the baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
3. In a bowl of a mixer, combine the brown sugar, eggs, pumpkin puree, oil, milk and vanilla. Mix until smooth.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not over mix!
5. Spoon mixture into patty pans. You should get around 14-16 cupcakes. With the remaining cupcake holes, pour a little bit of water in them. Alternatively, you can place a small bowl of water in your oven. Make sure the bowl is oven proof though! This prevents the cupcakes from getting a funny shape and becoming too dry. Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes, checking them half way and rotating the trays.
6. Once cooked and a skewer comes out clean, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before icing.
7. To make the icing, place the butter in a bowl of a mixer and blend until smooth. Add the icing sugar and vanilla essence, mix again. Finally add the cream cheese and blend until a thick, even and smooth consistency results. If it is too runny, add more icing sugar, or if it is too thick, add more cream cheese. For piping, a thick, firm consistency is best.
8. Put your icing into a piping bag and pipe swirls onto your cupcakes. Alternatively use a knife to spread the icing on top.
9. Decorate with chocolate spiders and fondant pumpkins, or if you can find it, use white fairy floss for a cobweb effect.