Halloween Pumpkin Cupcakes

A carved pumpkin is a great Halloween decoration but none of us like wasting food unnecessarily so we've been finding ways of using up the leftover pumpkin flesh. In the past, we've made pumpkin soup and even found that roasted pumpkin seeds are great on a salad or to finish off a soup. But, now we're going to a whole new sweet level with pumpkin cupcakes!

This recipe makes super-moist, tasty cupcakes. They can be decorated or eaten straight from the tin. For more ideas on how to adapt the recipe for gluten free diets and also tips on how to best store, then simply jump to the frequently asked questions section. Or, just skip to the recipe.

Great way to use up leftover pumpkin flesh
Halloween Pumpkin Cupcake recipe - with fondant pumpkin topper

Recipe for Halloween Pumpkin Cupcakes


125g Muscovado or Light Soft Brown Sugar

50g Dark Muscovado Sugar

200g Self Raising Flour

1tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

1.5 tsp Mixed Spice

1 tsp Ground Ginger

1 tsp Cinnamon

2 Eggs

150ml Sunflower Oil

200g Pumpkin, grated

Optional - 75g Walnuts finely chopped (see frequently asked questions)

How to make the Halloween Pumpkin cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C / Fan 160°C / Gas 4.

  2. Grease a 12 hole muffin tin or loose based mini sponge cake tin.

  3. In a large bowl, mix the sugars, flour, bicarb and spices together.

  4. In a separate bowl or measuring jug, whisk in the eggs into the sunflower oil. No need to over whisk, just make sure the ingredients are mixed well.

  5. Add the wet mix to the dry mix and stir until all of the ingredients are combined.

  6. Fold in the grated pumpkin and walnuts if using.

  7. Spoon out the batter into the greased baking tin.

  8. Place in the centre of the oven and bake for 20 minutes - or into a skewer is clear.

  9. Leave to cool completely in the tin before turning out.

  10. Have fun decorating with fondant, buttercream or frosting.

Frequently asked questions - Halloween Pumpkin cupcake recipe

What is the texture of the cake?

This recipe makes very moist cakes but retains a light sponge. It's very similar in taste and texture to a carrot cake.

How many cupcakes does this recipe make?

This recipe makes 12 generously sized cupcakes.

How should the pumpkin cupcakes be stored?

To keep them fresh, store these pumpkin cupcakes in an airtight tin.

How long will this pumpkin cupcake recipe keep?

Once baked and undecorated, the cupcakes will last up to 1 week.

Can you make ahead of Halloween and freeze the pumpkin cupcakes?

These cupcakes freeze really well so long as they are not decorated.

What additional ingredients can be added to the Halloween pumpkin cupcakes?

For added crunch and a nutty flavour, we'd recommend stirring in 75g of finely chopped walnuts into the mix at the same time as you fold in the grated pumpkin.

Can I make this recipe gluten free as well as dairy free?

Simply swap self raising flour with a gluten free alternative. You may need to add a 1/4 teaspoon of xantham gum if your mixture looks too wet. The xantham gum acts as a replacement to the gluten that you find in 'traditional' self-raising flour.

Why do you use two sorts of sugar in this recipe?

We've added a small amount of dark brown muscovado sugar as this adds a treacle flavour to the bake. If you love this flavour - then feel free to add more (but remember to reduce the amount of soft brown sugar making sure that the total amount used remains at 175g).

Decorate or dessert?

These cupcakes can be enjoyed as a dessert by gently heating in the oven or microwave (don't over bake or over heat in the microwave as it'll go rubbery). Enjoy with lashings of creamy custard and vanilla ice cream.

Decorate with fondant: Fondant can be used to make some great, fun toppers. You've seen some of our creations in the photos above but here are some more ideas of what you can make from the pliable fondant:

- mini fondant pumpkins

- wrapped 'Mummy' style bandage fondant

- witches hats

- black cats

- broomsticks

- zombies

Spider's Webs are best made simply from icing sugar mixed with a couple of drops of water or stem ginger syrup for spice. Then, use a dark icing to make the 'web' effect.

How to make Cream Cheese Frosting - this could be coloured in traditional Halloween colours of oranges, greens and purples. Beat 100g butter until really soft and mix in 200g sifted icing sugar. Then add in 100g soft cream cheese. Add food colouring if preferred.

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