Well…. after nearly a year of absolute radio silence, I’ve finally plucked up some courage to do a bit of sporadic blogging again! And what better way to kick things off than with a Halloween/seasonally appropriate recipe.
Now it’s at about this time when all things pumpkin related start to just get a bit too much and most people are probably fed up of the colour orange by now…. well not me! I’m certainly not quite ready to leave autumn behind and plan on making these cupcakes at least several times again before Christmas truly hits us all.
Fair warning, this recipe is very very pumpkin spice-y (I know that’s not a word but that’s what we’re going with!) so if that’s not really your thing then you are definitely not going to enjoy the fruits of your labour with this one. There’s also a little bit of groundwork to do before we fully get in to things by way of making your very own pumpkin pie spice mix! Yes that’s right ladies and gents, you can whip yourself up a bottle of this good stuff and have it in your cupboard all year round for those Pumpkin Spice cravings. You could seriously add this to anything you like to give it that autumnal, hipster vibe- my next test will be in pancake batter!
Pumpkin Pie Spice mix:
4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
2 tsp Ground Ginger
1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
1 tsp Ground Cloves
1 tsp All Spice
All you need to do is find a container to house your spice mix and pop all the ingredients into it. Then give it a really really good shake and stir to evenly distribute your spice blend!
Now for the cupcakes!
This recipe makes 12
For the Cakes:
140g plain flour
2 heaped tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix
Pinch of salt
2 heaped tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
70g Butter at room temperature
100g caster sugar
50g light muscavado sugar
1 large egg (XL if you have any!)
90ml Milk (I used Oat milk)
125g Pumpkin Purée (I got mine in a can from Sainsbury’s)
Cream Cheese Pumpkin Frosting:
100g super cold, full fat, cream cheese straight out of the fridge (Philadelphia really is the only way to go with this- otherwise the frosting will be too runny)
100g soft room temperature butter
350g icing sugar
2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix
To make the cakes, heat your oven to 180c (or 190c if you know your oven can underperform at times). Line a 12 hole muffin tin with your chosen cases- I chose gold foil ones.
First, sift the flour, salt, baking, bicarbonate and pumpkin pie spice together into a bowl and set aside.
Then, using an electric mixer or handheld mixer, beat together both sugars and butter until fluffy. Add in the egg and beat until combined (the mixture might look a bit runny at this point but don’t panic!
Stir the milk and pumpkin purée into your wet mixture so that it’s fully incorporated and then manually stir in the sifted dry ingredients taking care not to over-mix it. It should only be just combined.
Fill your 12 cases with the cake batter and bake for around 25 minutes but do keep an eye after the 20 minute mark because the sugars and spices in this recipe can catch very quickly! They will be fairly dark in colour and nicely risen when done.
Before icing your cakes, ensure they are completely cooled or you’ll end up with your frosting sliding off!
To make the cream cheese frosting simply put your cream cheese and butter together in a bowl and use the whisk attachment on your free-standing mixer or hand mixer (or your hands and a physical whisk if you’ve got a good arm!!). Whisk these two together until you have no lumps and a smooth combined mixture- try your best not to over whisk as the frosting won’t hold its own when you come to piping! Then add half of the icing sugar and whisk (only until just combined) and finally whisk in the other half. I can’t stress enough how important it is to not over-whisk this mixture. Finally, add in the pumpkin pie spice by gently folding it in with a spoon.
To decorate the cakes I personally used a large star shaped piping nozzle and created questionable swirls on top with the cream cheese frosting. I then made 36- yes that’s right 36!!!!!- mini pumpkins in three different sizes out of green and orange fondant icing (which I shop-bought and I am not ashamed to admit!). I sat and did this whilst I waited for the cakes to cook and cool and it filled the time gap very nicely.
When it came to assembly I iced the cakes and put them straight in the fridge to set the frosting. Then once they’d had a little rest in there I took them back out and used an airbrush tool I was gifted last Christmas by Jack’s Mum and Dad (if you’re reading this Deb, yes this is the first time I’ve used it, I’m sorry it took so long, but my god it is fab!) and sprayed an orange colour on each of the swirls. I then topped each cake with three pumpkins of various sizes to create the “pumpkin patch” feel.
And that’s all there is to it!
I hope you enjoyed and got a little bit of inspiration from this- even if it’s just to make your own Pumpkin Pie Spice blend to use in different things.
I must admit that I’ve struggled for inspiration over the last year so if anyone’s got something they’d really like me to blog about then I’d love to hear your suggestions!
And quite possibly the biggest news of all (and another reason I’ve been totally MIA on here); Jack and I finally bought our first home together!!!! I’m hoping to share some interior related things on here to give some tips or inspiration of how we’ve spruced up our house. It really was such a long time coming and I’m so happy to not only be here but to be sharing it all with him!
See you for another post at some point! (Note how I did not promise “soon” because I can’t make any such promise at the moment!)
Lots of love,