Friday, October 30, 2009

RECIPE : pumpkin cupcakes

We are getting in to the spirit of Halloween here, and carved some jack o lanterns which we'll light on Saturday night. We're not sure whether we'll get any trick or treaters since we're in an apartment complex. I'm hoping we do. We have some chocolates ready just in case... (and if not, well, I guess it's all for us. A win-win situation really).

Anyway, with a big bowl full of good pumpkin flesh scraped out, I thought I'd make something tasty, and found this nice recipe. I'm not sure about the canned solid-pack pumpkin... I've not seen this before, and not sure why it even exists. It sounds like something Sandra Lee would use in one of her 'semi-homemade' recipes, even with stacks of pumpkins around like there are now. Yes, we think 'half-baked' is a more accurate description of her 'cooking'. Anyway, I microwaved/steamed the flesh with a little water, and mashed it to use in this.

Recipe adapted from Honey & Jam (which was adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
Makes 17-18 cupcakes (I made a half batch, which was enough for about 36 mini cupcakes)

1 stick (approx 115g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup firmly packed dark-brown sugar

1/3 cup caster sugar

2 cups cake flour*

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger
 (I didn't have any, but grated in a little fresh ginger when adding the pumpkin)
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 large eggs

1/2 cup buttermilk mixed with 1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/4 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin

* I hadn't heard of cake flour before, but looked it up and found a substitute recipe here. The cornflour with plain flour seemed to work out fine.

Two 8-ounce packages (approx 455g) cream cheese, softened

1 stick (approx 115g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 cups pure icing sugar

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

So, for a half batch of the cupcake mix, I made about a quarter batch of this icing. I hardly measure anything when making icing anyway, just throw it all in! Inspired by this Jamie recipe, I decided to add some lemon zest instead of the maple syrup, and a dash of milk.

Make the cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 350° (175°C). Line a cupcake pan with liners.
In a stand mixer (or by hand with a wooden spoon like I did!), beat the butter and sugars on medium speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt, and pepper into a medium bowl.
Add the eggs one at a time to the mixer, scraping down the sides after each addition. Alternate adding the flour and milk mixtures, beginning and ending with the flour. Beat in the pumpkin until smooth. Scoop the batter in to the cupcake liners — you’re looking to get them 3/4 full.
Bake the cakes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool the cupcakes on racks completely.

Make the icing:

In a stand mixer beat all the ingredients on medium until fluffy. If you are doing this by hand, I'd recommend beating the cream cheese and butter together first, to soften. Then, sift in the icing sugar bit by bit, to avoid lumps.

Enjoy! They are quite delicious. I'm off to make pumpkin scones and soup for dinner.


Shosh said...

We have two pumpkins in the cupboard. Guess what I'm now making tomorrow... Were they yummy? :D

kim said...

Shosh! Did you make them?! They are very yummy :)
(sorry I took so long!)