In the kitchen:: pumpkin spiced cupcakes


The winter months are all about homely, warming cooking both sweet and savoury. So with pumpkin season in full swing, and pumpkin spice being the key flavour in October, I thought I'd make pumpkin spiced cupcakes.

The ingredients call for puréed pumpkin - now, I couldn't find any ready-made so mine was from scratch, and so easy to make. Take a small pumpkin, de-seed and cut into chunks, then boil until soft and blend until it's a smooth purée - voilà! You are ready to make your cupcakes.


You will need:

:: 280g plain flour
:: 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
:: 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
:: 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
:: 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
:: 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
:: 1/2 teaspoon salt
:: 1 tablespoon baking powder
:: 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
:: 110g butter, softened
:: 200g caster sugar
:: 5 tablespoons brown soft sugar
:: 2 eggs, room temparature
:: 180ml milk
:: 250g pumpkin, cooked and pureed

For your icing:

:: 200g cream cheese, softened
:: 50g butter, softened
:: 350g icing sugar
:: 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
:: 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

What you will need to do:

:: Preheat an oven to 190 degrees and line 24 muffin cases.
:: Stir together the flour, all the spices, salt, baking powder and bicarb; set aside.


:: Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 
:: Add the eggs one at a time. Stir in the milk and the pumpkin puree after the last egg.


:: Stir in the flour mixture until well combined and then pour into the muffin cases.

:: Bake in the oven until golden and cooked through.
:: While the cupcakes are cooling make the icing by beating the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the icing sugar with the vanilla extract and cinnamon. Once the cupcakes are cool, ice with the cinnamon frosting.


My frosting was runnier than I wanted - I wanted it to be thick enough to pipe, so next time I think I'll use marshmallow/meringue frosting as it holds better, and is really glossy. But, overall, I'm really pleased with these, and I really liked the level of spice in them - all the tastes of autumn in one.

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All Blacks, rugby & little sleep:: Cardiff