I first came across these little cupcakes at the Wholefoods store in Pasadena, Los Angeles - the beauty is that your kids won't know there's pumpkin inside unless you tell them! They're great served warm and just dusted with icing sugar - or iced and decorated for Halloween.
- Prep Time : 20-25 minutes
- Cook Time : 20-25 minutes
- Yield : 18-30
- plain flour - 1 cup
- plain wholemeal flour - 1 cup
- baking powder - 2 teaspoons
- ground ginger - 2 teaspoons
- ground cinnamon - 1 teaspoon
- ground nutmeg - 1/4 teaspoon
- salt - 1/4 teaspoon
- brown sugar - 3/4 cup
- vegetable oil - 1/2 cup
- eggs - 2
- vanilla extract - 2 teaspoons
- mashed pumpkin - 1/2 cup mixed with 1/2 cup buttermilk
- Buttercream Icing
- softened unsalted butter - 250g (2 cups), sifted
- vanilla extract - 2 teaspoons mixed with 1 tablespoon water
- pure icing sugar - 600g, sifted, or more if needed
- milk or cream - 2 tablespoons, or more if needed
- Colouring gel or drops - orange, black & purple
- Halloween sweets or candies - optional
Preheat oven to 180degC. Line a mini muffin pan tin (or regular muffin tin) with cupcake liners or spray and flour the pan using cooking spray. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together flours, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, eggs, vanilla, pumpkin and buttermilk, then add to flour mixture and stir to combine.
Spoon batter into prepared pan and bake for 15 - 20 minutes for mini cupcakes (20 - 25 minutes for regular cupcakes) or until done when tested with a skewer. Allow cupcakes to cool in the pan for a few minutes, then transfer them to wire racks.
For the Buttercream Icing: Cream together the butter, icing sugar and vanilla, beating well. Add the milk or cream and continue beating until light and fluffy. It should be firm enough to a hold a knife upright but soft enough to be piped.
Divide into three and transfer to 3 bowls. Add colouring paste or drops, a little at a time, until you have the colour you like.
Use a palette knife to smooth icing over tops of cakes or spoon icing into three piping bags and pipe over tops. Decorate with sprinkles and/or Halloween-shaped sweets.