Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes

It is no secret that I love pumpkins and all things autumnal. When a friend at work bought me the most beautiful cupcake cook book by Peggy Porschen, the ones which caught my eye were unsurprisingly the spiced pumpkin cupcakes with a cinnamon cream cheese frosting and topped with a sugarcraft pumpkin.

Pumpkin

James made most of the pumpkins, he’s fab at making things out of fondant. We bought some orange fondant and made the brown by mixing cocoa powder into white fondant. Roll a ball of orange fondant between your hands and then flatten it very slightly, using a sharp knife poke a hole into the top of the pumpkin and then gently use the back of the knife to make the indents around the pumpkin.

We made them to celebrate me completing a New Years Resolution, which was to complete a 10 km run. I set myself a goal to try and do it in under 65 minutes (my previous two were 75 mins and then 70 mins) but I managed to complete this one (my first official big race) in 63:39 mins. I was delighted! I’ll be taking some into work tomorrow to celebrate there too, we definitely don’t need 24!

Ingredients:

  • 100 g of unsalted butter, melted and left to cool slightly
  • 280 g of pumpkin purée (you can buy tinned but I had some left over in the freezer from last autumn, when I made my own to last me through the year)
  • 0.5 tsp of fine sea salt
  • 115 g of buttermilk
  • 325 g of light brown sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 240 g of plain flour (I used white spelt flour)
  • 2.5 tsp of baking powder
  • 0.5 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
  • 0.75 tsp of ground ginger
  • 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 0.75 tsp of ground nutmeg
  • 0.25 tsp of ground cinnamon

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 250 g of full-fat cream cheese
  • 250 g of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 625 g of icing sugar, sifted
  • 1.5 tsp of cinnamon

Method:

  1. First make the icing so that it has time to chill. In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Place the butter and a third of the sugar into a large mixing bowl and cream them together until light a fluffy, with an electric hand whisk. Add a third more icing sugar and keep mixing. Add the rest of the icing sugar, scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat until smooth. Mix in the cream cheese and cinnamon, at a low speed, until smooth and well mixed. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge to firm up.
  2. Preheat the oven to 175°C and line two 12-hole muffin trays with cases.
  3. Put the pumpkin, salt, buttermilk and sugar into a large bowl and by hand with a balloon whisk (I admit to cheating and using an electric hand mixer with a balloon whisk attachment on slow), until well mixed.
  4. Whisk in the eggs one at a time.
  5. Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarb and spices, in batches, into the mixture, mixing it in each time.
  6. Add the melted butter and mix it lightly until it is well incorporated.
  7. I used a quarter cup measure to spoon the mixture into the cases.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the tops are golden brown and spring back to the touch. A skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean.
  9. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely.
  10. Pipe the icing onto the cupcakes and top with a sugarcraft pumpkin.
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