I know, I know, another cupcake recipe? Is it really necessary? Well, I can tell you that this one is completely necessary! Especially if you live in the Southern Hemisphere like me and are currently experiencing a very cold winter! Cupcakes make all winters better, don’t you think? This particular recipe is pretty awesome because it combines winter flavours, such as pumpkin, with a billowy cream cheese frosting to create a perfectly balanced cupcake. It may seem a little complicated to make the pumpkin purée first and then use it in the cupcakes, but the results are worth it because these cupcakes are extremely moist and flavourful.
When I originally made these cupcakes, I was searching for an alternative to pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving and I thought cupcakes might go down well instead. The only problem was that pretty much every recipe I came across called for pumpkin purée from a can, which was impossible to find in New Zealand at that time. Now you can find at least one can in most supermarkets, but it’s still pretty expensive! Even if you’re in America I would urge you to try doing the homemade purée over the store-bought as I think you can add so much more flavour through baking the pumpkin.
These cupcakes are the favourite of my friend who’s currently in the UK and she was very jealous when I sent her a snapchat of the finished product. She’s coming back for a visit at the end of the year and I promised her that I would make her some when she gets back so I increased the quantities for the purée and froze some as she doesn’t come back until summer.
UPDATE: Becca is back from the UK to stay woooo! It’s been so nice having her home and I made her a batch of these cupcakes to celebrate and took some more photos to update the recipe. She said they were just as good as she remembered!
If you want to have some leftover to freeze and make more cupcakes at a later date, you could also increase the quantities and then freeze the purée too. Then you can enjoy pumpkin at any time of the year you want! Happy baking.
- 2 2/3 cups flour
- 2 tspn baking soda
- 2 tspn baking powder
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup oil (canola or vegetable or similar)
- 4 large eggs[br]
- [b]Baked Pumpkin[/b]
- 800g (28oz) pumpkin pieces (or a small pumpkin, butternut or crown are the best)
- 3 tspn cinnamon
- 2 tspn nutmeg
- 2 tspn mixed spice
- 1 tspn ginger
- 1/2 tspn salt
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 75g (5 Tbspn) butter[br]
- [b]Cream Cheese Frosting[/b]
- 500g (17.5 oz) cream cheese, softened
- 300g (2 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
- 4 1/2 cups icing sugar
- 1 tspn vanilla essence
- Make the pumpkin purée before starting the cupcakes.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line muffins tins with paper liners.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl with an hand mixer), blend together the pumpkin purée, sugar, brown sugar and oil.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in two additions, mixing just until incorporated.
- Fill the cupcake liners about three-quarters full. Bake until the cupcakes are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 18-20 minutes.
- Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes, then remove the cupcakes from the pans and let cool completely before frosting how desired.
- The cupcakes will keep up to 4 days stored in an airtight container at room temperature.[br]
- Preheat the oven to 190°C. Line a casserole dish with baking paper.
- If not using pumpkin pieces, then cut off the top of the pumpkin in a circle and quarter it from the top down. Then scoop out the seeds and tendrils. Then cut the pumpkin into smaller pieces, either halves or thirds.
- Melt the butter completely, then add the brown sugar, spices and salt to the butter and mix until all combined. Using your hands, rub the butter/sugar/spice mixture all over the flesh of the pumpkin and make sure they well seasoned.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until you can easily stab through the middle with a fork. Let stand and cool (or if you’re impatient like me, just let it stand for a minute) then pull/cut the skin away from the flesh. Put the pumpkin pieces in a bowl and mash until very liquidy, or process in a food processor.[br]
- Either in the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a medium-sized bowl with a hand mixer, beat the softened butter until pale and fluffy. Add the cream cheese in small pieces and beat until combined.
- Then add the icing sugar, one cup at a time. Once combined, add in the vanilla essence and continue beating for a further 3-5 minutes or until the icing is light, fluffy and of a spreadable consistency.
- If the icing is too sloppy, then add more icing sugar and beat until it’s stiff enough to pipe onto a cupcake.