Thursday, 11 September 2014

Pumpkin Cupcakes

In celebration of National Cupcake Week (15-27 September) Betta Living are asking bloggers to come up with their own creative cupcake entry as part of there #bettabakeoff competition. As I love cake I thought I would have a go too, so here is my recipe for Pumkin Cupcakes. We decided to make Pumpkin cupcakes because the pumpkin is so moist and has a great flavour to it. I always think that its one of those ingredients that we really don't use much in the UK and we should use it more. It also reminds me of all the time we spent in the USA as the Americans really know how to use there pumpkins.

Ingredients for 12 Pumpkin Cupcakes
1 1/2 Cups of Plain Flour (200g)
1 tsp Baking powder 
1/2 tsp Baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pumpkin spice mix
1 cup of tinned solid packed pumpkin (200g)
1/3 cup of vegetable oil (or something similar) (113g)
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups of Sugar (250g)
1 tsp Cinnamon

1 cup of Cream Cheese (180g)
1/2 cup icing sugar (60g)
Food colouring - I used red and yellow to make orange
2 Flakes chopped

Crush up some Oreo's

1. Preheat oven to 180C and put 12 muffin cases into a tray in preparation
2. Put all of the ingredients for the cupcakes into your mixing bowl and mix using a hand blender until smooth
3. Fill each paper case to 2/3 full
4. Bake for 25- 30 minutes (you can check they are done with a skewer that comes out clean)
5. Leave to cool on a wire rack before icing

6. To make the icing mix the the cream cheese, icing sugar together and then add the food colouring
7. Cut the tops of the muffins out in the centre to form a well in the middle (this helps it to look more like a pumpkin and gives a well for the flake to sit in) then pipe on icing, placing a piece of flake in the middle to look like the stalk.
8. Take the centre out of the Oreo's (the white cream bit) and place in a plastic bag and crush. We used a rolling pin.
9. Finally place your finished pumpkin on your crushed Oreo's to look like soil underneath

What I love most about this recipe is how simple it is, I love that you can throw in all of your ingredients into the bowl at the same time as it makes them really quick to make (great for emergency baking). I use cups to measure the recipe out as its easier for my kids to help without having to worry about using the scales. I have had a few times when baking where my kids have turned my digital scales off half way through weighing an ingredient and so cups alleviate that as an issue, plus I have lovely Russian doll cups. I have accidentally put in the whole tin of pumpkin before and you couldn't tell so don't worry if you do that too. I always find these muffins go down really well at a party as they are a little bit different from usual and the pumpkin and cream cheese is a great flavour combination. My brother is known for swooping in and scoffing a few and my husband who isn't very fond of the traditional cupcake recipe loves these too. If you haven't got time to do the cream cheese icing they also work if you sprinkle on a mix of sugar and cinnamon on top just before baking to give them a little extra crunch on top.

My two boys were most interested in helping with the creation of the Oreo soil on this occasion and took great pleasure in bashing the bag with the rolling pin. I do like it when they enjoy baking with me and I have a baking job that is perfect for them. I had a bit of a piping set back as I discovered that all of the piping bags had disintegrated when I got them out, so as I was not going to be defeated I used a clear plastic bag instead and just made it work despite being a little tricky. As a result I made quite a mess with the orange icing. To make them look more like pumpkins I scooped out a teaspoon size circle out of the centre which helped with the shape but also provided a little well for the flake it sit in.

As a special surprise for my boys I used one of the tops of the cupcakes that I had scooped out to make the duplo dinosaur his own special cupcake. That naughty dinosaur is always up to no good, and very good at making my boys giggle. They were very excited over breakfast when they came down to this scene.

We really enjoyed making this pumpkin cupcakes. What cupcake flavours do you like to make?

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