I signed up to bring a "treat" for Scottie's Halloween party at school on Friday, but the school wants the treat to be a healthy type snack (which I think is a bit silly since it's a holiday!), but whatever, I went in search of some kind of muffin/cupcake that was a bit more healthy than traditional ones. I also wanted something that would be fun to decorate. I started thinking pumpkin--helps that I have a big open can of it in the fridge. So the first thing I decided to do was go to the trusty old Allrecipes website and search for pumpkin cupcakes. The very first one I looked at seemed like a winner, it has no refined sugar (honey instead) and was fairly low fat, not to mention uses some whole wheat flour. Ding, ding, ding! I didn't want to make the whole recipe if it didn't turn out nice and moist and flavorful and worthy of being a kid's fun treat, so I scaled down the recipe (love that about Allrecipes, with the touch of a button you can scale up or down a recipe to fit your needs!) and made four cupcakes.
These are the perfect pumpkin cupcake! I like that they weren't so sweet, you can actually taste the pumpkin more without all the sugar, but they get plenty of sweetness from the honey and of course, the icing on the top. I'm calling it good and making 30 of these tomorrow! And just how cool are the eyeball chocolates I found at Cost Plus World Market the other day. Just what I was looking for!
Here's the delicious recipe adapted slightly:
Pumpkin Chip Cupcakes
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (I used a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice)
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten (I used Egg Beaters with a touch of yolk)
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (omitted)
- miniature chocolate chips
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar (I'm going to add more powdered sugar, this was a bit too much cream cheese per sugar ratio and it was a strange consistency, but when I added more sugar, it was GREAT!)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with 15 cupcake liners (If not using liners, coat pan with cooking spray). Set aside.
In a large bowl (no need for a mixer), combine the first seven ingredients. Whisk together. In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, pumpkin, oil, honey and water; mix well. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry and stir just until combined. Fold in chocolate chips and nuts. The recipe says bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Mine were perfect at 16 1/2 minutes. (Do not overbake!) Cool 5-10 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.
For frosting, in a small mixing bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter. Add vanilla, mix well. Stir in powdered sugar until smooth. (I did this all by hand with a spatula, it will work fine if the cream cheese and butter are softened.) Frost cooled cupcakes. "Here's lookin' at you, Kid!" And just how cute and perfect are these plates!
Happy Halloween Party-ing!