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How to Make Pumpkin Cupcakes for Halloween

Updated on October 6, 2010

Pumpkin cupcakes are a great addition to your holiday table this Halloween. They are a bit sweeter than pumpkin muffins, and work best with homemade pumpkin puree. You can also add chocolate chips, dried fruits, or nuts to this recipe if you wish.

Pumpkin Cupcakes

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1 cup brown sugar, packed

1 cup white sugar

1 cup butter, melted

4 eggs, beaten

15 ounces pumpkin puree

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a cupcake pan or line with paper liners (this recipe will make 18 cupcakes). Mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice. In a different bowl, mix brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter and eggs. Combine both mixes and whisk until batter is smooth. Stir in the pumpkin puree and mix well. Scoop the batter into the cupcake pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cupcake center comes out clean. Cool completely before icing or serving.

While these cupcakes are delicious when eaten plain, you can also dust with confectioner’s sugar or frost them. Vanilla, cream cheese, buttercream, and lemon icing all work well.

Making homemade pumpkin puree

Homemade pumpkin puree works best for this recipe. While using fresh pumpkin to make a pumpkin puree will take longer, the cupcakes will have a fresher and more vibrant taste. To make the puree, cut a pumpkin into 2-inch cubes, removing all seeds and pulp from the flesh. Cut the pumpkin peel off of these cubes as well. If you prefer, you can peel the pumpkin before cutting it into cubes instead, but this can be more difficult. Next, boil these cubes in a large pot until they soften. Finally, put the softened cubes in a food processor and blend them until they have the consistency of puree. If your pumpkin puree is too thin and you would prefer a thicker puree, use a thin cloth to strain water out of the puree.

Use a freshly cut pumpkin to make your own pumpkin puree, as the nutrients and the taste of the pumpkin will start to decline as soon as it has been cut. If you use a large pumpkin and have more puree than you need for these cupcakes, you can freeze the puree to use in recipes later.  

Image Credit: norwichnuts, Flickr


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