Pumpkin and ClemenGold Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Nov 2nd

It is the season for cooking, baking and decorating with pumpkins…Firstly Halloween that has just happened and then the time leading up to Thanksgiving in the USA. So all over blogland recipes are popping up with pureed pumpkin as an ingredient. Halloween is a fairly new event in South Africa and not really big as yet. We, being a Christian family, do not celebrate Halloween at all but with the little grandsons it has been grand to buy some of the Trick or Treat sweeties (or candy as the Americans call it) and spoil them when they come to me for aftercare in the afternoons. When the folk over at ClemenGold asked if I could do something, using their product, for Halloween, I knew straight away that the wonderfully aromatic citrus flavour of ClemenGold would go very well indeed with pumpkin and the spices that pull it all together. The first recipe I chose to use my roasted and pureed pumpkin in were these gorgeous cupcakes. After much debating I decided to just go the easy route with decorating and used some of the aforementioned trick or treat sweeties…….

To get your pumpkin roasted – peel and cut it into wedges then place in a roasting dish, drizzle with olive oil, dust with cinnamon, a bit of brown sugar and the zest and juice of 1 ClemenGold then roast at 200 degrees Celcius until they are starting to caramelize around the edges and are tender. Cool then puree and set aside until needed. I made enough for this recipe and a delicious pumpkin cheesecake. Keep your eyes peeled for that recipe.

Talking of cupcakes and muffins – I wonder when Sylko Paper Company are going to up the ante and improve their paper liners? I don’t know about you but I am so tired of misshapen, horrible liners that you struggle with to get back into shape, the little corrugations have kind of stretched and lost their groove and, even using a muffin pan to support them, you still end up with odd shaped and uneven cupcakes. By the way, said paper liners do NOT look anything like they do on their website by the time we get to purchase them in the shops. A simple change to their packaging would change that! With the advent of better quality liners and fancy wrappers in SA Sylko had better get with the party I say. I found these awesome liners, when we were away recently, at a little spice wholesaler in Knysna (sorry can’t remember the name of it but it was in a side road between Fruit and Veg City and the Knysna Quays entrance). They are a much better quality paper, they hold their shape beautifully and are packaged in a way that does not let them go limp and out of shape. Big up to those guys. I could travel all the way back there and buy some more!!! After all these years Sylko have finally lost my custom, at least on the cupcake liner range!

PUMPKIN AND CLEMENGOLD CUPCAKES WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

Makes 18 muffin sized cupcakes

Ingredients:
175 g Cake Flour
20g Cocoa Powder
5ml Baking Powder
2,5ml Salt
2,5ml Ground Ginger
5ml Ground Cinnamon
1ml Ground Nutmeg
1ml Ground Cloves
115 g Butter – at room temperature
200 g White Sugar (granulated)
1 ClemenGold – finely grated zest only - feel free to use orange, clementine or mandarin or naartjies ( in SA) if you cannot find ClemenGold
2 XL Free Range Eggs – at room temperature
80grams Roasted Pumpkin – pureed
30ml Buttermilk or Plain Yoghurt
2,5ml Pure Vanilla Extract

Method:
Preheat oven to 180 oC (350oF) Make sure your rack is in the middle of the oven
Line 2 muffin trays with paper cups

Sift together the flour, baking powder, cocoa, ground spices, and salt into a bowl
Using a mixer cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
Beat in the eggs, zest and vanilla extract 
Add the flour mixture and incorporate
Fold in the pumpkin puree and buttermilk
Fill the muffin cups evenly with the batter (I use an ice cream scoop for this – perfect size for the paper liners as they need to be 3/4 filled)
Place in the oven, on the middle rack. and bake for about 15 minutes or until firm to the touch
Place on a wire rack to cool completely before frosting and decorating

Cream Cheese Frosting:
125g Butter – at room temperature
500g icing sugar – sifted twice to remove any lumps
Powdered Food Coloring of choice (optional) (I used yellow and red to make orange)
2,5ml Vanilla Extract
125g Cream Cheese – at room temperature (Use a good quality firm cream cheese like Philadelphia or the local Lancewood Superior in the rectangular box)

Method:
Beat the butter and icing sugar until pale and fluffy
Beat in vanilla extract and desired coloring (if using) As I didn’t have any orange colour I mixed yellow and red powders together, testing by mixing a tiny bit in a little milk now and again until I was happy with the colour)
Add cream cheese and beat again just until fluffy once more. If you overbeat it at this stage the cream cheese tends to split and your frosting takes on a bit of a grainy texture, nice to taste but not nice to look at!)
Pipe onto cooled cupcakes and decorate as desired

Enjoy!

browniegirl xx

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