Pumpkin and maple cupcakes

It’s that time of year again – the office bake off, this time for Hallowe’en!  I wasn’t going to enter because in all honesty, I have one baking cookbook in this flat, and two pieces of bakeware: a square tin and a fairy cake tray.  No idea why, that’s just how Matt packed the kitchen up, and since I wasn’t around to help I don’t feel I can really complain.  But the reminder email that came round the office today invited everyone to beat me (having won the coveted Golden Spoon last time round) and the previous winner, and the challenge to defend my spoon proved impossible to resist.

I thought some kind of fairy cake sized creation would be ideal, being small enough to have a taste and gets around having to portion up a bigger offering.  And cupcakes look cute, right? A pretty little pumpkin came in the veg box this week, so I started thinking about adapting a carrot cake recipe to suit, maybe upping the spice factor, and some orange cream cheese frosting…so some seasonal Hallowe’en cupcakes it would be.

The Abel and Cole newsletter had a recipe for pumpkin muffins which I souped up with some maple syrup and more spices. The one I’ve tried tastes okay, so we’ll see what the discerning palates of the office crew say tomorrow…..

For little Hallowe’en cupcakes of your own, peel and dice 300g (ish) of pumpkin. Coat in about a tablespoon of maple syrup. Roast in a hot oven for 20 minutes or until the edges are browning and it’s soft when you poke the chunks with a fork. Blitz in a blender, food processor or with a stick blender, whatever you have to hand.  Let it down with a little bit of the 125ml milk if it’s too thick.

Then mix in a jug:

  • 2 eggs
  • 125ml milk
  • 50ml maple syrup
and in a bowl:
  • 0.5 tsp mixed spice
  • 0.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 50g light brown sugar
  • 175g plain flour
  • 1tsp baking powder

Mix the pumpkin paste in with the milky mixture, add 60g melted butter and sift in the dry ingredients.
Give it a good stir round but stop once it’s all merged together, don’t over mix.  Fill some fairy cake cases three quarters full and bake at 180 (fan) for 25 minutes or so.  They’ll still be damp in the middle, but cooked through.

I iced them with cream cheese icing (125g phull phat Philly, 250g unrefined icing sugar) and added the zest of an orange, and a bit of its juice.  I then topped each one with a  pumpkin seed.

I made two trays using fairy cake cases, but I’m sure they’d be great supersized to muffin sized cases.   Last time at the bake off, I ran out of cake for the tasters.  Don’t want that to happen this time!

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