For the past couple of days, as well as making a note in next year’s diary to buy more candy, I’ve been busy making almost 100 Halloween themed mini-cupcakes for a friend’s costume party tonight. I’ve been basing them on recipes from a book produced by the Primrose Bakery (located in Primrose Hill, North London). I love this book. I adore their wonderful creations and have made many of them on numerous occasions, always with good results. It might seem odd using it in the US – a country that is pretty much obsessed with the cupcake and from where (arguably) it originates – but I find British recipes produce delicious cakes which are slightly less sweet, and are more suited to my taste preference. But I do need to experiment with some American recipes, and I’m definitely looking forward to exploring some of the many fabulous cupcake shops that Los Angeles has to offer.
RECIPE: Pumpkin cupcakes with spiced cream cheese icing
For the cupcakes:
4 ounces unsalted butter (room temperature)
8 ounces soft light brown sugar
2 large free-range eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
3 ½ ounces puréed pumpkin
4 ½ ounces self-raising flour (sifted)
4 ounces plain flour (sifted)
½ teaspoon ground ginger
120ml 2% milk mixed with 1 teaspoon lemon juice
This makes about 12 regular or 48 mini cupcakes.
For the icing:
6 ounces cream cheese
16 ounces icing sugar, sifted
4 ½ ounces unsalted butter (room temperature)
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / gas mark 4 and line a tray with cupcake cases.
In a large bowl mix the cream and butter until pale and smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, and then the vanilla extract, beating well after each addition. Add the puréed pumpkin and beat until combined.
Mix the flours, cinnamon and ginger in a bowl. Add one-third to the creamed mixture and beat until combined. Add half of the milk / lemon juice and beat again until combined. Repeat until all the flour and liquid have been added.
Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases, filling to about ⅔ full. Bake in the oven – about 25 minutes for regular and 20 minutes for mini cupcakes – insert a skewer (which should come out clean) in the centre to check that they’re cooked. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in their tins for 10 minutes before placing on a wire rack to cool. When they are completely cool, ice them with spiced cream cheese icing…
Place all the icing ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat until thoroughly combined.
Note: This icing must be stored in the fridge because it contains cream cheese.