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  • Writer's pictureMoustachefs

Who Doesn't Need a Pumpkin Spiced Cupcake Right Now?

I don't know about you, but in my family Halloween always comes too early. Too early not as in we start celebrating and decorating early. Too early as in we start celebrating and decorating too late. By the time we realize it's Halloween, it's already gone. Luckily, we have a kid who goes to school and other places where he is reminded weeks upfront that Halloween is coming and he needs a costume. And when that day arrives, he will wear the same vampire costume he wears every year, no make up needed, as he is a natural half vampire, from his mother side. That's me, born and raised in the heart of Transylvania, a fantasy realm where vampires are legal and everybody drinks blood instead of energy drinks. But anyways, coming back to Halloween cupcakes, it seems that I am incapable to post this recipe before the event happens and last year it even took me three days to make them. So this year I decided to just call them Pumpkin Spiced Cupcakes (which they are) and share this recipe with you, in case you need something sweet and spicy in your life right now. Who's in?

(This is a classic recipe I make for years from Joy of Baking, I just add more spices. If you don’t have pumpkin puree, start with this step and add 30-40 minutes extra for preparation.)


(Makes 15-20 cupcakes depending on the size of the mould you’re using)

If you organize them in this order, the preparation will flow easier

Group 1

113 g butter at room temperature

200 g white sugar

2 large eggs (room temperature)

2 ml vanilla essence (or 1 capsule from Dr. Oetker)

Group 2

200 g flour

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon powder

½ teaspoon ginger powder

½ teaspoon cloves powder

1 teaspoon Speculaas spices (this is optional and my personal preference, as I find it in Belgium)

Lemon zest from ½ lemon

Orange zest from ½ orange

Group 3

350 g pumpkin pulp (makes 150-200 g of puree)

Optional Cream Cheese Frosting

113 g Philadelphia cream cheese at room temperature

50 g butter room temperature

180 g confectioners’ sugar

2 ml vanilla essence (or 1 capsule from Dr. Oetker)

Toasted Walnuts to decorate (to toast them, place the walnuts in a non-stick pan and leave them on the stove at low heat, until they brown and they become crunchier)


Step 1

Make the pumpkin puree. Cut the pumpkin into cubes, throw them in a thick wall pot, add a pinch of salt and cover. Let it cook on low heat, covered, for 10 minutes. Don’t add water and don’t stir during these 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, give it a good stir and leave it cook for another 10 minutes, covered. Repeat this until you get a smooth puree. Alternatively, you can obtain pumpkin puree by roasting it. Here’s a good recipe.

Step 2

In the meantime, prepare your cupcake moulds or tray, the rest of the ingredients and preheat oven at 180°. The butter should be at room temperature, soft and smooth. If you decorate them with frosting, take out the cream cheese from the fridge as well, so it comes to room temperature.

Step 3

Take all ingredients in group 1. Beat the butter in your electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugar and mix at medium speed until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time. Incorporate the vanilla essence.

Step 4

Mix all ingredients in group 2. Start adding 1/3 of this dry ingredients mix over the batter in the mixer. Then add ½ of the pumpkin puree, the again 1/3 of dry mix, then the rest of the puree and the remainder of the dry mix.

Step 5

Fill the cupcake moulds up to ¾, as they will still rise in the oven. Bake them for 30-35 minutes and do the toothpick test. Insert a toothpick in the centre of one cupcake and if it comes out clean they’re done. Let them cool completely.

Step 6

Beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth and start adding the confectioners’ sugar slowly. Beat in the vanilla essence. I used some colorant to get a Halloween witch effect, but it’s better to keep them simple and fluffy. My favourite piping tip is the open star. Finish with some toasted walnuts sprinkled all over the place.

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