Pumpkin Spice Muffins/ Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream

I always save the pumpkin flesh from my pumpkins when I’m carving them for Halloween. This is the advantage of growing your own pumpkins as a shop bought pumpkin usually has little flavour but if you can choose your variety you can get the best of both worlds. Although, to be honest, the spice in this mix means this would taste great even with a less flavoursome pumpkin!

These can be treated as either cupcakes or muffins, with icing it’s a cupcake, without it’s a nice, moist spicy muffin. The icing takes it to another level but it’s still delicious without.

This recipe makes an awkward 18 so what I did was make 12 cupcakes and 6 mini brioche shapes, which are great for a nice grab and go breakfast option.

Makes 18 cupcakes (or un-iced it’s a muffin!)

• 2 large eggs

• ¼ cup (59ml) milk

• 1 cup (236ml) vegetable oil

• 50g  butter, melted

• 1 tsp vanilla extract

• 270g pumpkin puree*

• 200g dark brown sugar

• 90g granulated sugar

• 350g plain flour

• 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

• 1 tsp salt

• 2 tsp ground cinnamon

• 1 tsp mixed spice

• ¼ tsp nutmeg

⁃ Heat the oven to 170°C and line a 12 hole muffin tray with paper liners and an extra 6 either cupcakes or a silicone tray if that’s easier.

⁃ Beat together the eggs, oil, melted butter milk and vanilla essence.

⁃ Add your pumpkin and sugars and mix well.

⁃ Add the flour, bicarb, salt and spices and fold in until totally incorporated. Try to to over mix but get all the flour broken down.

⁃ Pour into lined or silicone muffin holes.

⁃ Bake for 20 minutes until the cake is set and a skewer inserted comes out clean.

⁃ Leave to cool before icing.

*Steamed Pumpkin

– Cut your pumpkin flesh into rough chunks the same size and steam them in a vegetable steamer for 15 minutes until a knife inserted goes in smoothly.

– Mash the soft pumpkin flesh with a fork or a potato masher until smooth.

Salted caramel buttercream

• 100g unsalted butter (softened)

• 200g icing sugar

• 1 tbsp milk

• 4 tbsp salted caramel

⁃ Beat together all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl until smooth.

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