We love Autumn, or ‘Fall’ if you’re reading this across the pond. Specifically we love October with its deep copper leaves crunching underfoot, and the excuse it gives you to nurse steaming mugs of rich hot chocolate (with marshmallows on top right?)
Most of all though, we love it because it brings with it one of the best holidays: Hallowe’en! Maybe it’s because we were the kids that fully embraced the dress-up box, or maybe it’s because of a tween/teenage predilection for Goosebumps, Tim Burton and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Most likely it’s down to the fact that it’s a holiday centred around sugar.
These seasonal pumpkin cupcakes aren’t scary to make and they taste spookily good. The cinnamon and ginger give these moist cakes spicy depth, and the cream cheese frosting sits on top like a sugar cloud. Credit for the recipe goes to the fabulous Ina Garten, aka the Barefoot Contessa. Measurements are in American ‘cups’.
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes approx 10 cupcakes
- 1/2 cup vegetable or sunflower oil
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp fine salt
- 2 large eggs (we use organic every time)
- 1 cup canned pumpkin purée (we use Libby’s from Ocado)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 6 oz cream cheese (we use delicious Italian mascarpone)
- 3 tbsp softened unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp good vanilla extract
- 2 cups icing sugar
Preheat your oven to 350° F (176° C). Place 10 cupcake cases in a muffin or cupcake pan.
Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarb of soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt into a medium bowl. In a larger bowl whisk the eggs with the pumpkin purée, granulated sugar and brown sugar. When smooth add the oil and whisk again to combine.
Add the flour mix to the pumpkin mix and stir until everything’s incorporated. Scoop the batter into the cupcake cases, filling the cases two thirds of the way up. Bake for 20-25 minutes; you can test to see if they’re done by poking one of the cakes with a wooden skewer. If it comes out clean they’re done.
Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, pipe or spread with the frosting mixture. The frosting is super easy: with an electric whisk beat the cream cheese, butter, vanilla,maple syrup and 1/2 tsp of salt until smooth. With the whisk on low, slowly add the sugar until combined.