Pumpkin cupcakes

by Juliet Sear

A tasty way to use up pumpkin-carving leftovers

These are delicious and perfect for Halloween, as we need to use up the flesh we’ve carved out of our pumpkins. You can make them as they are, or if you want to get a bit more creative you can colour the frosting with some orange food colouring and add some green detail for the stalk and leaf with some green coloured frosting too. Alternatively, there are tonnes of fun Halloween-themed sprinkles available in the stores.


For the sponge:
175ml sunflower oil
175g light muscovado sugar
4 medium eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
200g pumpkin or butternut squash flesh, coarsely grated
100g sultanas
Grated zest 1 orange
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
200g self-raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

For the frosting:
100g soft unsalted butter
200g unrefined icing sugar
Vanilla paste to taste
100g cream cheese
Orange and green paste food colouring (optional)


Heat oven to 180C. Line your cupcake tin with baking cases. Pour the oil into a large bowl and add the sugar, beaten eggs and vanilla. Beat together. Squeeze out excess water from the pumpkin/ squash and pat dry with a kitchen towel, then tip it in the bowl with the sultanas and orange zest.

In another large bowl, add the ground cinnamon, mixed spice, flour and bicarbonate of soda and stir with a spoon to distribute the spices throughout.

Add the flour to the wet mix and lightly fold together. Spoon into the cases. Bake for approx 15-20 mins, until firm and springy to the touch. Check the middle is cooked through by inserting a knife or metal skewer—it should come out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack, then you can decorate.

To make the frosting, beat the butter, icing sugar and vanilla together until pale and creamy, then beat in the cream cheese until just mixed. If you like, take 2 tbsp of the frosting and turn it green to use for leaf detail and colour the rest of the frosting orange.

Recipe: Juliet Sear