Monday, 3 November 2014

Gluten free pumpkin cupcakes with pumpkin frosting

It's that time of year again when we buy our pumpkins from the local store, spend an hour or so scraping away the inside and carving a face on it only to have to throw it all away a day later. How sad!

I can't say I am that fond of pumpkin. I always feel it is such a waste to throw the perfectly good flesh away but whenever I try to use it for some recipe or other it always comes out yuk! Pumpkin soup - not great (although the little snowballs liked it), roasted pumpkin - a sloppy mess ... so where am I going wrong?

I came to the conclusion that it is not me, it is the pumpkin's fault. I bought a can of pureed pumpkin just to prove to myself that it is the pumpkin and made a discovery. Pure pumpkin has a very specific taste - not one that I am keen on personally - but if you add lots (and I mean lots) of spices, especially cinnamon, it can be quite nice!

So yesterday, we were invited to a post Halloween party and I decided to make pumpkin cupcakes using the canned pumpkin. And as the cupcakes didn't use the whole can, I used the remaining pumpkin for the buttercream frosting. And they tasted GOOD. So good I might even have a go at pumpkin pie sometime (when I master gluten free pastry!). But I still need to figure out how to get the scooped remains from the Halloween pumpkin into a puree that I can cook with?

There's always next year ...
So here's the recipe for the pumpkin cupcakes with pumpkin buttercream:

Pumpkin cupcakes

280g self-raising flour/gluten free flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
110g margarine
200g caster sugar
5 tbsp brown soft sugar
2 eggs (room temperature)
180ml milk
250g pureed pumpkin (canned is fine)

Preheat the oven to 190°C / Gas 5. Place 24 paper cases in muffin tins.

Mix together the flour, spices, salt, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and set aside.

Beat the butter, caster sugar and brown sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy.  

Add the eggs one at a time, allowing each one to blend into the butter mixture before adding the next. 

Remove the bowl from the mixer then stir in the milk and pumpkin puree and then stir in the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated. 

Pour the cupcake mixture into the prepared muffin cases.

Bake in the preheated oven until golden and the tops spring back when lightly pressed, about 25 minutes. Cool in the tins for 5 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.

While the cupcakes are cooling, make the icing (see below) then when cool pipe the pumpkin buttercream onto each cupcake and decorate with sprinkles or jelly worms or other suitable toppings.

Pumpkin buttercream

90g unsalted butter
 100% pumpkin puree
900g icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Cream together the butter and the pumpkin puree in an electric mixer, until the butter is a light orange colour. The pumpkin won't totally combine at this stage so you won't be able to get a completely smooth mixture even after several minutes but don't worry about it, it will blend well once the icing sugar is added.

Beat in the vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Add the icing sugar and mix well until smooth. I always add the icing sugar and mix by hand first to avoid clouds of icing sugar billowing out and settling across my whole kitchen. Once the icing sugar has started mixing in to the point that it doesn't fly everywhere, I then finish it off with the beater on my trusty Kitchen Aid until it's smooth and blended evenly.

Little Love Cakes creates high quality and bespoke cakes for any celebration in the Twickenham/ Teddington/ Richmond area. Visit us on Facebook at littlelovecakeslondon.

Each cake is baked and decorated using high quality ingredients and is decorated with care and great attention to detail - we know it's the little things that make a cake special and unique. 

© 2014 Nicola Noble & Little Love Cakes: Please observe the rules of copyright and blog etiquette. If you use my ideas or images, please link back to my blog. And do let me know - I'd love to take a look. 

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