Pumpkin Cupcakes Take Over the World

6 Apr

It’s spring break in my neck of the woods and recipes like this are popping up in my feeds, with pictures that look so friggin’ delicious it hurts my brain. I should be embracing spring and a new season of growing things by fixing up a recipe with greens, citrus and berries, but I’m not. The Catastrophic Refrigerator Failure of 2011 took out most of our perishables and I have yet to psych myself up for a trip to the grocery store to restock.

With some milk, a can of pumpkin left over from Thanksgiving and a modified recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, I made some simple tasty cakes to make myself feel better about having to go to the store. (Mom gifted me this cookbook a few years ago and it rocks my socks. I’m not affiliated in any way with Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero, the awesome ladies who wrote it–I just think they’re rad. Measurements are posted down at the bottom.)

You know what I like about vegan cakes? Well, I like a lot of things about vegan cakes. What I’m trying to say is I love them even more this week because they don’t call for any friggin’ eggs.
Start by collecting all the stuff you need. It sucks to get partway through a recipe and find out you don’t have any flour, for example. Not that I’ve done this. Ahem.

That goes for hardware, too. You want cupcake liners. It’s delicate cake, man.

Stir the wet ingredients together with the sugar. You can use any kind of milk. Soy, rice, cow, but probably not chocolate… that would be weird.

Mmm, cinnamon. I doubled the amount called for in the recipe, because I could.

I don’t have a sifter, but whatever. Mix your dry ingredients and dump them in a sieve like I did. Same difference. Why mix and sift? It helps distribute the baking powder and baking soda evenly and keeps bitter, icky lumps from infiltrating the batter.

I blame my camera, the lighting, and pretty much everything else for what’s wrong with these pictures. This one kinda looks like brains to me, but it’s just me stirring the flour mixture into the pumpkin.

Ms. Isa says that using an electric mixer will give you gummy batter, and frankly that sounds gross. Instead she recommends stirring it together with a fork, which as it turns out is really annoying and messy. After a few seconds of doing it her way I said “screw this” and got out my trusty rubber spatula. Stir it up, scraping the sides, until it’s mostly smooth.

At this point, I decided my cupcakes should have a little more spice so I dumped in a teaspoon of ginger and stirred it up really well. I was afraid that I would overmix that poor batter, but it didn’t hurt the cupcakes at all.

The original recipe calls for chocolate chips, but I just don’t like them in these. I followed the recipe faithfully the first time and it was not my cup of tea (which is just a nice way of saying chocolate plus pumpkin is an abomination unto the Lord). Turns out that subtracting 1/2 cup of chocolate chips from the recipe means you end up with 1/2 cup less batter. Eleven cupcakes it is!

While the cupcakes are baking, mix up your topping of choice. The cinnamon icing from the recipe is good, but I bet these would kick ass with a cream cheese frosting. This is about where I realized I was out of butter. I didn’t have any, so I melted coconut oil instead. I also added too much milk and it was on the runny side (just add more powdered sugar if that happens to you), but it tasted good and the coconut oil made it really, really shiny.

I like shiny.

When the cupcakes were done, I set them on the counter to cool and went back to my computer to upload photos and work on this post. Thirty minutes later, I returned to find this:

“They were delicious with milk,” he said. I bet they were, you dirty cake-thief.

You can pour the icing into a sandwich bag and snip a little corner off the bottom if you want to drizzle it on the cupcakes (make sure they’re completely cooled first), or you can do what I did and dunk the suckers directly into the bowl. It’s kinda messy, so let it drip some of the excess back into the bowl before you put it on your serving plate. Hint: If you wait till you’re done icing them all before cramming one into your face, you can eat the ugliest one and have only pretty ones left for company. I learned that one from my mama.

The end product was sweet, tender, and shinier than Captain Picard’s head.

Hubby recommends eating them three at a time with a glass of milk. Grrr.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Icing
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/3 cup oil
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup soy milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips if you’re some kind of heathen
Cinnamon Icing (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350° and put cupcake liners in a muffin tin. Stir together pumpkin, oil, sugar, milk, and vanilla. Sift in flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Mix until smooth using a spoon or rubber spatula (not an electric mixer). Once it’s well-combined, fold in the chocolate chips if you’re using them (pleh!). Fill liners about 2/3 full (I use a 1/4 cup measure to transfer the batter). Bake for 22-24 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Cinnamon Icing
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tablespoons margarine or butter, melted
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Whisk together in a small bowl until smooth. Keep at room temperature until ready to use.


10 Responses to “Pumpkin Cupcakes Take Over the World”

  1. louhish April 6, 2011 at 11:49 pm #

    i’m allergic to eggs, which means i pretty much buy eggs any time i need to bake..and then have leftover eggs (or that liquid egg-replacement stuff) that then goes bad before i bake again. i’m going to steal your vegan cookbook.

    also, chocolate chips belong in certain pumpkin products, but not all of them. i’d probably leave them out of this recipe too, but a cakey pumpkin cookie is so much better with chocolate chips.

    • Bika April 7, 2011 at 12:04 am #

      You would Love this cookbook, with a capital L. I’ll bake you some if I’m ever up in your neck of the woods :> (or vice versa.)

      Also, I think I figured out why I don’t like chocolate chips in some baked goods. It happens when they stay perma-melty. I like them to cool off and be chewy again, but these turned ’em into syrup and it made me sad.

    • Tami April 7, 2011 at 10:07 am #

      One egg replacement (can only be done if you’re replacing only a small number of eggs) is to heat up some water and flax seed (1T flax to 3T water per egg) and then use the resulting gloopy, jelly-like substance instead.

      Personally, I’ve used it in cornbread and was none the wiser. Also, more fiber. Mmmm, fiber.

      • Bika April 7, 2011 at 6:44 pm #

        Egg replacements are handy when you want to convert a regular recipe into a vegan one. I’ve had mixed results; it really does depend on the recipe.

        In addition to flax and commercial egg replacers (a mix of leaveners and starches usually), I’ve used silken tofu, mashed bananas, applesauce, yogurt, or even pumpkin. Flax isn’t very suitable for light, airy recipes but is great for more grainy or textured baked goods. Bananas can add some flavor (wanted or unwanted) and pumpkin adds color, while applesauce, plain yogurt and tofu are silent additions that don’t impose on the original flavors of the recipe.

        Eggs are used as a binder or emulsifier, to thicken, retain moisture and prevent a crumbly product. By substituting an egg replacement that adds moisture (which aids in the binding process), you can safely exchange one for the other and still have great results. Maybe not identical, but tasty nonetheless.

        If your recipe depends heavily on eggs for foam structure (ie angel food or souffle), replacements won’t work. But if they’re just for a little binding, chances are you can work around it. If you miss the egg-y yellow color? Add a pinch of turmeric.

  2. Tami April 7, 2011 at 10:08 am #

    LOVE the cupcake dipping idea. I was wondering how that would turn out to be a frosting! AND SO SHINY. Shine shine.

    • Bika April 7, 2011 at 10:40 am #

      It was more of a glaze, really! Of course, if you follow the directions and use butter or margarine, the consistency is a little different, which I’ve tried and prefer to the SUPERSHINE. I still really like shiny things, though.

  3. Mom April 7, 2011 at 12:52 pm #

    What cunning little cupcake papers!! And no, chocolate in pumpkin is NOT ok….raisins, people.

    • Bika April 7, 2011 at 6:53 pm #

      Ethan picked out those wrappers for his birthday cupcakes, which worked out great because they went with the black and white halloween-themed decorations. 🙂

      I know YOU remember ’em, but hooray for links: http://i.imgur.com/XVyQH.jpg


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