While Spring has cloaked the Hills in a blanket of blossoms, Halloween beckons to break with seasonal cooking and indulge in some of my favourite flavours. These vegan pumpkin cupcakes are full of warm Autumnal spices and are so light and moist…I couldn’t stop at one.
My daughter is super excited about Halloween this year and is fixing to dress up as either a monster mermaid or a pooh. She’s 4 and at this point it could go either way. I am, of course, campaigning for the mermaid.
While she loves the idea of Halloween any actual experience she’s had with the day finds her hiding behind our legs. I bought a themed doorbell complete with booming voice and she almost dropped her cupcakes. If you’ve watched Trolls as many times as I have you’ll understand the reference.
So we are giving our wee one a watered down Halloween complete with daytime pumpkin carving (she doesn’t like the dark) and an hour of trick-or-treating visiting only our four neighbours. It’s the perfect celebration for a brave-not-always-brave 4 year-old.
In the last few months we’ve grappled with some big little person decisions including whether to move her forward to big school or let her enjoy another year of kindergarten. With the guidance and support of some sage souls we’ve come to this. Our Elf is 4. She’ll only be 4 once.
While she is clever, articulate, curious and thoughtful she is also shy with other children and often prefers to play on her own. She follows her own heart and I love that about her. But, big school is big and she’ll need the tools to navigate that big world. Another year of kindergarten with more students than this year will give her time to develop that toolbox.
Maybe next year she’ll be ready for a big scary Halloween but this year, it’s mermaids and vegan pumpkin cupcakes.
Since my first trip to the States a decade ago I have been obsessed with pumpkin spice. I’ve made sneaky spiced pumpkin baked doughnuts and simple vegan pumpkin waffles. Besides an unfortunate pumpkin latte incident (are they supposed to be that thick?) pumpkin spice has sat right up there with peanut butter and chocolate as my favourite sweet flavour combination – who could go past my no-bake peanut butter chocolate oat squares? But pumpkin spice is just so comforting.
With those familiar cinnamon, nutmeg and clove aromas my spellbinding vegan pumpkin cupcakes put me right back in to my happy place.
VEGAN PUMPKIN CUPCAKES FOR THE NON-BAKER
I am not a baker. I am what you would call an enthusiastic novice. All vegan baking recipes on this blog have been tested and tested and tested. So, you’ll be happy to know that if baking is not your strong point, you can still make these cupcakes. I will not ask you to cream or sift or weigh; all you need is two bowls, a whisk and your oven. A cupcake pan will come in handy too. Simples.
For my daughter I topped these little cakes with a basic sweet frosting inspired by a recipe I came across on Loving It Vegan (if you love sweets check out Alison’s blog, it’s wonderful). For something a little less sweet you could try a simple cashew frosting like on my Turkish delight cupcakes or mix it up with a basic vegan chocolate frosting. They are also pretty wonderful with a simple dusting of confectioner’s sugar.
However you enjoy them these aromatic and wonderfully light pumpkin cupcakes are the perfect little Halloween sweet for big and small people. Nothing scary, nothing spooky but perfect for a little person being a little person the only way she knows how. Enjoy, x.
VEGAN PUMPKIN CUPCAKE RECIPE
- 1 and 1/3 cups spelt flour
- 1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 3/4 cup pureed pumpkin around 2 cups cooked pumpkin, pureed
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup raw granulated sugar
- 6 tbsp aquafaba brine from a can of chickpeas
- 1/3 cup sunflower oil
- 3 tbsp vegan butter
- 3 tbsp dairy-free milk
- 3 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar add more if required
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- Pre-heat oven to 170 degrees C (340 degrees F) and line a 12-pan cupcake/muffin pan with cupcake sheets.
- In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
- In a separate larger bowl, whisk together the pureed pumpkin, sugars, aquafaba and sunflower oil.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk together until combined. Don't over mix; stop when the lumps are gone.
- Fill each cupcake pan just over half-full with the cake batter and bake in the oven for 18 - 20 minutes or until a skewer comes away clean from the centre of a cake.
- Remove the cakes from the oven to cool completely before frosting.
- To prepare the frosting add the ingredients to a large bowl and beat together with an electric beater until soft peaks. Pipe on to cooled cupcakes to serve. Store in an airtight container for up to four days.
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