Saturday, 29 October 2011

Pumpkin and Ginger Cupcakes

In the spirit of economy, I decided that rather than just trashing the innards of this year's pumpkin, I would actually make something out of them.  That makes me sound rather wasteful, doesn't it?  But this is only our second year of pumpkin-age, so it's hardly a crime to have disposed of one lot is it?

In my defence, last year, when the husband insisted we got all Hallowe'eny - I think his paternal instinct finally kicked in around this time - so I duly purchased a pumpkin, scooped out the innards, carved a scary face (not modelled on him, despite the rumours) and set about Googling for a pumpkin pie recipe.  Whilst surfing, I was distracted by the then six-month-old pumpkin and by the time I returned to the kitchen, the actual  pumpkin had been disposed of because 'it's making the kitchen smell, and quite frankly it looks like something one of the dogs hewed up'

Pumpkin and Ginger Cupcakes with Ginger Frosting

With the husband being immediately suspicious of anything that looks remotely new - food, clothes, having had half an inch cut off my hair (hard to tell when your hair is curly, but he always notices) - I figured the best way to try and get him to eat pumpkin was to disguise it under a layer of frosting.  So cupcakes it was.  I found the recipe (then lost it, then found it again) on the Baking Mad website.  And found LOADS of other things I want to bake too - but alas no time at the moment.

Although the mixture did indeed look even more like something that had come out of one or other of the dogs, it had a beautiful, spicy autumnal aroma and evoked thoughts of being gathered round a bonfire, sparkler in gloved hand and waiting for a hot drink and something yummy to eat.

With it being so thick and there being so much of the mixture, I carefully ensured to only fill the cups 2/3rds full but wasn't convinced they'd be particularly light or rise well as the pumpkin seemed to so heavy compared to the rest of the mix.  But I was pleasently surprised to find beautifully soft and moist cakes with a gorgeous, warming ginger flavour.  My grandmother would've adored these cakes.

Last year's pumpkin <3
As I'm not a fan of cream cheese frosting, I chose to make regular butter cream, flavoured with the syrup from the stem ginger.  Top idea.  Although next time, I'd probably finely dice some ginger to add to the frosting too.

So onto the taste test.  Abigail was so excited while I was icing the cakes, she clung to my legs and bounced up and down like a hyperactive frog so they're not very aesthetically pleasing.  She then carried her cupcake to her high chair, got strapped in and rather dubiously prodded the strange smelling frosting.  Twenty minutes later, frosting licked completely off the cake, the sponge finally disappeared in two bites to a chorus of 'all gone, more Mummy, more'.  Result.

Next the husband.  Eyes lit up like a Jack O'Lantern, one disappeared really quickly and a second was reached for until I said 'Did you like it?'  'Grunt. (with an affirmative tone)' 'It was pumpkin and ginger' 'Oh, I thought the chocolate tasted weird.'  '*Sigh*'

Ah well, he ate one.  He didn't directly complain.  Will be interested to see how long it takes the others to disappear.  But another highly recommended recipe!

You can find it here.

If you want to make my version of the frosting, mix 250g icing sugar and 80g of unsalted butter together using a free standing mixer or a hand mixer until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.  Add two tablespoons of syrup from a jar of stem ginger and mix on high speed for five minutes until you have a light and  fluffy frosting.  If you prefer your frosting thicker, add a little more icing sugar or if it's too thick, add a splash of milk.

I'm entering this into the September 2012 Alphabakes.


  1. This is a great way to use up leftover pumpkin - I think I made a pumpkin pie last year but then didn't eat any of it (though other people did, and said it was nice) - this looks like a much better idea! Thanks for sending it into Alphabakes.

  2. Great post! It made me laugh. I found you via Alphabakes. Lovely blog!


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