Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes

I really love autumn. There are rare moments when I really miss living in a colder climate – especially missing Bonfire night last night. I hope all my UK buddies out there enjoyed the fireworks, chestnuts, toffee apples, hot port…ahh all that autumnal-goodness. There are certain things that are inextricably linked to Autumn and pumpkin seems to be one of them. Sweet or savoury these gourd-like squashes are truly delicious. That being said, I traditionally wouldn’t recognize them in their sweet state – pumpkin pie for example is not something I grew up with…I’m sure really sure I’d absolutely love it if I tried it (but I’m willing to accept donations/recipes to help change my mind!) But I think I’m a step closer to recognizing pumpkin as a delicious dessert ingredient after trying out this fantastic autumnal recipe. I had a bit of a belated Halloween Party last weekend and decided to lull my guests into a food & drink coma – these pumpkin cupcakes being the icing on the cake (if you’ll pardon the pun)!

(Makes 15-18)

What you need:

  • 2 cups cake flour (you can use all purpose but cake flour gives it a lighter & fluffier texture)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp five spice
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 225g room softened (room temperature) butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 444g tinned pumpkin purée

How to:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and line muffin tray with paper cupcake liners
  2. In a bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger powder, nutmeg and five spice together.
  3. In a standing mixer, using the whisk attachment, mix two sugars, butter and eggs until smooth.
  4. Change to a paddle attachment and add the dry ingredients. Mix until smooth
  5. Add the pumpkin purée and continue mixing until it’s all incorporated.
  6. Divide the cake mix evenly between the liners – fill each one about halfway.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes – the cakes will be done if an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

**For the frosting I used the same vanilla frosting recipe as with the Chocolate Button Cupcakes I previously made. Sprinkle the top with ground cinnamon.

These cupcakes are actually amazing even without the frosting, so if you’re not a big frosting fan (like me) then feel free to skimp or forget it all together. The pumpkin purée makes these cakes stay moist (haha sorry I know people really hate that word) but isn’t too overwhelming flavour-wise: it’s the mix of spices that really makes me think of Autumn when I make these cupcakes. Even if you don’t have a sweet-tooth, these cupcakes are worth making just to fill your place with the most comforting aroma. It’s like a giant snuggly hug…but in dessert form!

Happy Baking!

xoxo   V.


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