I think I’ve discovered what is essentially Autumn in a lightly-oiled muffin pan. Boo! And Happy Halloween. While my husband and I no longer have little witches and goblins running around the house, vibrating with excitement to don their new costumes, I still get dizzy with delight over the treats the holiday holds in store. And these cupcakes are no exception. Adapted from a recipe by Ina Garten, they are a perfect not-too-sweet Halloween indulgence that grown-ups love as much as the kiddos do. So, I recommend baking up a batch, then touring the extraordinary scarecrows dotted around town, and returning home to a simple (read: un-tricky) treat. And, if you’re feeling extra-inspired, Ina crushes Heath toffee bars, and sprinkles the pieces over the cupcakes after frosting them. May these cupcakes and the spirit of the season delight and bewitch you too! –HK
with Maple Frosting
(Cupcakes and frosting can be made the night before. Frost the day of.)
Makes 10 cupcakes.
½ cup vegetable oil, plus extra for oiling the pan
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
½ tsp. kosher salt
2 large eggs at room temperature
1 cup canned pumpkin
½ granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
Preheat oven to 350° F. Brush the top of a muffin pan with vegetable oil, and line it with 10 cupcake liners. Sift (I did not) flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt into a medium bowl.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, pumpkin, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and then ½ cup oil. Add the flour mixture and stir to combine.
Scoop batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool completely, then spread the cupcakes with frosting.
6 oz. cream cheese
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tbsp. pure maple syrup
½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
With an electric mixer, cream together the cream cheese, butter, maple syrup, and vanilla on medium-low until very smooth. With the mixer on low, slowly add sugar and mix until smooth.