Happy Thanksgiving! Hallowe’en might have passed, but we’re still determined to find a use for pumpkins… While this recipe might not be the traditional pumpkin pie, America’s favourite autumn flavours work perfectly when transformed into cupcakes.
Ingredients | Makes 12 cupcakes
For the cupcakes
135g (5oz) plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
160g (5½oz) caster sugar
50g (1¾oz) soft light brown sugar
115ml (4fl oz) rapeseed or other flavourless vegetable oil
2 large eggs
210g (7½oz) tinned pumpkin purée (such as Libby’s)
For the frosting
75ml (2½fl oz) water
65g (2oz) caster sugar
2 good-quality chai tea bags (such as Teapigs)
3 cardamom pods
2 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
115g (4oz) unsalted butter, softened
250g (9oz) full-fat cream cheese, such as Philadelphia, cold
100g (3½oz) icing sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp honey
One 12-hole deep muffin tin and 12 paper muffin cases
1. To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F), Gas mark 4, and line the muffin tin with the paper muffin cases.
2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
3. Using a freestanding electric mixer with the paddle attachment or a hand-held electric whisk, mix together the sugars and oil on a low speed until all combined and lighter in colour. Add the eggs, one at a time, on a low speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition, then add the pumpkin purée. Now add the dry ingredients to the mixture, folding them in carefully so that the mixture remains light.
4. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until three-quarters full. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the cupcakes bounce back when lightly touched. Leave to cool slightly before removing from the tin and placing on a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
5. To make the frosting, mix the water, sugar, tea bags, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon together in a saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Lower the heat and simmer gently for a further 5–8 minutes. Take off the heat, strain the syrup into a clean bowl, squeezing the tea bags to get all the flavour out, and leave to cool completely.
6. Using a freestanding electric mixer with the paddle attachment or a hand-held electric whisk, beat the butter to loosen it up, then add the cream cheese and icing sugar on a low speed until incorporated. Turn the mixer to a high speed and beat for about 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Don’t overbeat, or the cream cheese will split and become runny. Lower the speed and add the vanilla extract, honey and chai syrup until all are well combined. As soon as the frosting is combined, put into the fridge for about 2 hours so that the spicy flavours can intensify further.
7. Pipe or spoon generous amounts of the frosting onto each cupcake, gently smoothing over with a palette knife and making a nice swirl of frosting on each one
This recipe appears in Life is Sweet by The Hummingbird Bakery
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