pumpkin spice cupcakes

You can tell Thanksgiving is around the corner when instagram is flooded with all things pumpkin. How could I not add my own pumpkin flavoured cupcakes to the mix?

Originally this was going to be pumpkin bread but when I walked past the shelves and spied the friand tin, I decided to turn the pumpkin bread into cupcakes.

The cake mixture itself is very tasty but the cream cheese icing with pecans atop, make these little cakes into very tasty treats. I shared these with my neighbours and workmates and when one asked for the recipe, you know you have a hit on your hands.

Here’s the recipe for you which makes 9 friands or 12 cupcakes. For all my recipes I use a 250ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C.

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with cream cheese icing - inspired by the Flour Bakery Famous Banana Cake recipe
¾ cup plain flour 
½ teaspoon baking powder 
¼ tsp bicarb soda 
½ tsp ground cinnamon 
¼ tsp ground ginger 
pinch nutmeg 
pinch cloves 
pinch sea salt 
¼ cup brown sugar 
¼ cup caster sugar 
1 egg 
¼ cup canola oil 
200 gm pumpkin puree
1 tbs yoghurt 
1 tsp vanilla 

30 gms unsalted butter, softened 
60 gms Philadelphia cream cheese, softened 
½ tsp vanilla extract 
1 cup sifted icing sugar 
Whole pecans to decorate (mine were maple glazed)  

Glazed Pecans 
12 pecan halves 
¼ cup maple syrup or maple flavoured syrup 
Pinch of sea salt

Position the rack in the centre of the oven and preheat to 180°C. Butter 12 cup muffin pan or line with paper liners. I used a friand pan. 

In a bowl, sift together the flour, bicarb soda, spices and salt. Set aside. Using a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, or a handheld mixer, beat together the sugar and egg on medium speed for about 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. With the machine on low speed, slowly drizzle in the oil. Do not pour the oil in all at once. Add it slowly so it has time to incorporate into the egg mixture and doesn't deflate the air you have just beaten into the batter. Adding the oil should take about 1 minute. Add the pumpkin, the yoghurt and vanilla, then continue to mix on low speed just until combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour mixture until thoroughly combined. No flour streaks should be visible.

Carefully spoon the batter into each muffin or friand tin. Fill each tin about 2/3 full. Bake for 20 minutes or until risen and golden and tests cooked when a skewer is inserted. Let cool on a rack for 10 minutes before removing from the tin. Ice when completely cold.

Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F (conventional). Toss pecans in maple syrup then spread out in a single layer on a baking paper lined baking tray. Sprinkle the pecans with a few flakes of sea salt. Bake until maple syrup is caramelized and pecans are toasted about 10 minutes. Normally I check the pecans after 5 minutes, and then turn them over. Remember the maple syrup is hot so use tongs or a fork for this step. Let cool completely on baking sheet before storing the pecans in an airtight container.

While the cupcakes are cooling, blend the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and icing sugar in a food processor until smooth or you can do this using hand beaters. Refrigerate the filling for an hour to allow it to firm. Top each cupcake with a generous dollop of icing before topping with a pecan. Store in a sealed container in the fridge but bring to room temperature before serving.

Like the rest of the world I was on tenterhooks all weekend awaiting the outcome of the US election. 

See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen. 

Bye for now,



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