When I first saw these cupcakes decorated like pumpkins on pinterest a lightbulb went off over my head. Such a simple, easy way to decorate cupcakes for Halloween! And with no faff or balls of fondant or sugarpaste on top, these cupcakes taste just as good as they look.
This recipe is a slightly adapted version of Peggy Porschen’s vanilla cupcakes (I didn’t bother with the sugar syrup step this time).
- 250g very soft unsalted butter
- 250g caster sugar
- 5 eggs
- the seeds of one vanilla pod
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste (preferably)
- 250g self-raising flour
Preheat your oven to 180C/gas 4/350F and line one and a half cupcake tins with cases (this recipe makes around 16 large cupcakes for me). I used some spooky Halloween cases that I bought from Asda.
Next, mix your soft butter with your sugar. You can do this by hand or in a mixer, just cream together until fluffy and combined before adding your eggs one at a time with a tablespoon of the flour for each egg. Add the rest of the flour and mix to combine, and then add your vanilla seeds. Take a sharp knife and lay your vanilla pod down on a cutting board, and slit it from end to end. Unfurl the pod and scrape out the seeds, either with your knife or a teaspoon works well too. Add the seeds to your mixture and mix. Pop your cupcakes into the oven and bake for 12-16 minutes, testing for doneness as soon as they look ready.
Next, make your frosting!
- 100g unsalted butter
- 200g full fat cream cheese
- 600g icing sugar – sieved. YOU MUST SIEVE.
- .5 tsp bright orange gel food colouring. I used Sugarflair in tangerine apricot
Mix your soft butter and the SIEVED icing sugar in a mixer, or by hand. If doing it by hand, you’ll need a very large bowl as the icing sugar will go everywhere. Once the butter is combined and the mixture looks like buttery breadcrumbs interspersed with icing sugar, add your cream cheese and mix. Add your gel colouring a little at a time, until you get an orange colour you’re happy with, then spoon your frosting into a piping bag fitted with a Wilton 2D tip (if you have one) and pipe 4 lines of frosting on each cupcake, starting from the bottom and working around the cupcake to the top.
To make the pumpkin stalks, I used writing icing in green, or you could also reserve a little of your buttercream and colour it dark green.