Fall is now official, and that means all the beautiful bounty of autumn harvest is upon us! One of my favorites right now is any kind of squash, and these Pumpkin Ginger Spice cupcakes are an absolute delight. The crystallised ginger and spices harmonize perfectly with the sweet squash, and the Maple-Cinnamon Creamcheese frosting is so creamy and luscious. If you're planning to make these for a crowd, be sure to double the recipe as your guests will definitely be wanting seconds and thirds. Seriously, they are that good!
Watch my video tutorial below to get all the step by step instructions, or watch on Youtube.
Ingredients for 12 cupcakes
125g / 1 cup flour (I used whole wheat but you can also use white)
50g / 1/2 package instant vanilla pudding mix
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1.5 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. fresh ginger, finely minced
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. cloves
30g / 4 Tblsp. finely chopped crystallized ginger
115g / 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
50g 1/4 cup white sugar*
50g 1/4 cup brown sugar*
1/2 tsp pure vanilla bean paste (or extract)
220g / 8 ounce pumpkin puree (see recipe below)
*If you use a sugar replacement such as Stevia like I did, make sure to read the package instructions to see the sugar conversion chart. If the ratio is not 1:1 you will need to adjust accordingly.
How to Make Homemade Pumpkin Purée
You will need one Red Kuri Squash or other suitable cooking squash, of which you will use about half of it, depending on the size. (If you make more purée than needed, it keeps well in the freezer in a Ziploc bag for other pumpkin baking recipes.) Wash and cut the squash in half, and remove the inside seeds and stringy flesh in the center. Steam the cubed squash for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Alternately you could also roast them in the oven.
Once fully steamed, they should be very soft and fall from your fork. Use a hand mixer, or a potato masher, to blend to a smooth purée, then allow to cool.
Baking the Cupcakes
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 12 muffin cups, or line with paper muffin liners. Whisk together the flour, pudding mix, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, allspice, cloves, and half of the crystallized ginger in a bowl; set aside.
Beat the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy. The mixture should be noticeably lighter in color. Add the room-temperature eggs one at a time, allowing each egg to blend into the butter mixture before adding the next. Beat in the vanilla and pumpkin puree with the last egg. Stir in the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin cups.
Bake in the preheated oven until golden and the tops spring back when lightly pressed, about 20 minutes. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.
Make sure your cupcakes are completely cooled before you frost them, otherwise you will have a melting mess! It also helps if the frosting is chilled before working with it. Sprinkle the remaining crystallized ginger on top of the frosted cupcakes for decoration.
Maple-Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
200g / 8 ounces plain cream cheese
50g / 1/4 cup butter
120g / 1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tblsp. dark maple syrup
Cream the butter in a brown until creamy and fluffy. Then cream together the cream cheese with the butter, to prevent any lumps. Mix in the maple syrup and cinnamon, then gradually whisk in the confectioner's sugar. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Enjoy! Let me know if you make these, how you liked them?