These Halloween pumpkin cupcakes are simple but so effective, and are ready in about 40 minutes (plus cooling time).
The cupcakes themselves are spiced with a little cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, which deepens their colour and gives them a lovely, autumnal warmth. Plus they are fortified with real pumpkin purée, so they're the perfect seasonal addition to serve up for fright night. Decorate them with bright orange cream cheese frosting and delicate coils of green for leaves, and they will go down famously with guests or trick or treaters.
- 200g self-raising flour
- 1tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ginger
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ½ tsp allspice
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 300g caster sugar
- 170g pureed pumpkin
- 2 large eggs
- 125ml vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
For the frosting:
- 60g butter, softened
- 60g cream cheese, softened
- 240g icing sugar, sifted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Green and orange food colourings
- Pretzel sticks, Mikados or Matchmakers, to use as stalks
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with cupcake cases.
- Sift the flour with the spices, baking powder, soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
- In a separate large bowl mix together the sugar, pumpkin, eggs, oil and maple syrup.
- Gently fold in the flour mixture.
- Spoon the mixture into the cupcake liners, filling ¾ of the way and bake for 18 mins or until a cocktail stick inserted into the centre of each cake comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
- For the cream cheese frosting: In a large, clean mixing bowl, cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth, gradually add the icing sugar and continue to cream until light and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla until combined.
- Place a scoop of the frosting into a separate bowl and colour with green food colouring.
- Colour the remainder orange. Spread a layer onto each cupcake, then use a piping bag to pipe a pumpkin design around each cupcake.
- Use the green to pipe the pumpkin leaves and finish with a pretzel stick as the stalk, if desired.
Top tips for making Halloween pumpkin cupcakes
If you don’t have any maple syrup you could opt for honey or golden syrup instead.
Can I use store bought frosting to decorate these cupcakes?
Yes. Store bought frosting tends to be quite soft, so you may wish to bolster it with a tablespoon of icing sugar (sifted). You can add colouring in the same way as above.
How can I make these cute pumpkins a little spookier?
Using a black tube of writing icing, drawn on little triangle shapes for eyes and a nose, and a zigzag line for a mouth, to make them into Jack-o'-lanterns.
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