As it is Halloween, and Tim has gone mad (almost as mad as I go at Christmas), I set out to make some awesome pumpkin cakes for our Halloween party. I am planning on attempting some more marshmallow icing today, and will post an update on how that goes later. But for now, let me share the fun three hours I spent in the kitchen yesterday making not just one batch of cupcakes but also pumpkin bread.
My first chore, was of course, to scoop out all the pumpkin seeds and then cut/scrape out as much flesh as I could without ruining the pumpkins that Tim will be carving into lanterns tonight. It was a messy job, I can tell you, but still quite enjoyable.
I then quickly boiled up and mashed the pumpkin flesh. The recipe called for canned pumpkin, but I have no idea where to get that from in the UK and also I enjoyed playing “waste not, want not” by using my pumpkins for both food and decoration.
I beat the butter with a wooden spoon (not having a mixer as suggested in the recipe) and then creamed in the sugar, before adding half the pumpkin mash I had made to the buttermilk and combining it with the flour/spice mixture and eggs.
This is how they looked going into the oven. It’s actually the last photo I took as well, because things suddenly got a bit more complicated and taking photos slipped my mind. For you see, while they were baking in the oven I set about cleaning my bowls and utensils so I could make the pumpkin bread and put it in as soon as the cupcakes came out.
So, I have no photos of the bread making process either and I cannot share the bread recipe with you as it isn’t mine to share. The cupcakes are another story, however, as I converted measurements, combined two recipes and made substitutions and so it feels more like “my” recipe than one from someone else’s book. So here goes…
- 400g plain flour
- 2tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg (or approx. 1/4 whole nutmeg, grated)
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
- 300g caster sugar
- 150g butter
- 250ml buttermilk
- 100g pumpkin flesh, mashed
- 2 eggs
The baking process:
- In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt, and spices.
- In a second bowl, beat the butter until creamy in texture and then add the sugar and vanilla essence, mixing well.
- In a smaller bowl or jug, add the buttermilk to the pumpkin mash and mix well. This will help make adding the flesh to the cake batter easier.
- Slowly add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture, adding flour and the buttermilk/pumpkin mixture as you go along so that the mixture never gets too runny from the wet ingredients or too stiff to mix from the flour.
- Once everything is mixed in the cake should have a “dropping consistency” – i.e. if you scoop some up in a spoon and tilt it over, the batter should drop in a smooth motion.
- Spoon batter into pre-prepared cupcake moulds. The amount you get will depend on the size of the moulds – I used medium sized cases and got 44 cupcakes.
- Place in a preheated oven at 180 Celcius or 350 Fahrenheit for approximately 20 minutes or until golden brown and springy to touch.
- Allow to cool, decorate and enjoy!
I hope that made sense… I shall be back sometime soon with an update on the decorating.