SPICED PUMPKIN CUPCAKES WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
20 October 2014
I’m heading to the west coast of Ireland tomorrow for a much anticipated food photography and styling workshop hosted by Imen of Farmette and taught by Susan Spungen and Beth Kirby of Local Milk Blog. I have been looking forward to this trip (ok more like really, really excited!) since I booked myself a spot. The location of where we are staying looks stunning and I cannot wait to arrive at Ballynahinch Castle and meet everyone.
It was by pure chance that I happened to be on Instagram at the right time to see a posting about this workshop. The world we live in today is very much ruled by technology and keeping up with social networking and technology alone can be overwhelming. But from what I have seen and experienced, there are many wonderful opportunities and networks you can gain from social networking. More on this trip in the coming weeks.
As I’ll be away for the next couple of weekends, away from the kitchen with no opportunity to cook and share, I’ve decided to get into the Halloween holiday spirit earlier. With Halloween coming up there has been an abundance of pumpkins and butternut squash in all sorts of shapes and sizes at the grocers. My favourite are the munchkins, which are adorable and make for great decorations, as well as baking whole.
I was inspired to bake a sweet treat using mashed pumpkin combined with a hint of spices. There is something about spices in baking that make me nostalgic for the holiday season. It’s knowing that the festive season is just around the corner. The days are getting shorter, the long dark nights are setting in and Christmas is not far behind. Something to look forward to. In the meantime, I leave you with this recipe.
200g self-raising flour
180ml sunflower oil
180g light muscovado sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g cooked pumpkin or butternut squash flesh
100g dried cranberries
Zest 1 orange
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
FOR THE FROSTING
200g tub full-fat cream cheese
80g icing sugar
Heat oven to 180C/356F fan/gas 4.
Line a 12-hole muffin tray with paper cases, or you can use a cupcake tray that will yield approx. 18 cupcakes.
Pour the oil into a large bowl and add the sugar, eggs and vanilla and beat together.
Mix in the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and bicarbonate of soda.
Stir in the pumpkin, dried cranberries, orange zest to the mixture. The mixture should be quite wet.
Spoon the mixture into the cases filling it up 2/3 full as the mixture will rise in the oven. Bake for 20-25 mins until a skewer inserted in the centre of a cupcake comes out clean.
Cool completely on a wire rack.
For the frosting, beat the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth.
I piped the frosting to create little puffs on top of the cupcakes but you can just spread the frosting on top if you prefer.