Pumpkin spice and everything nice, that’s what these cupcakes are made of!
Happy Halloween everyone! There’s still one more day of October left and pumpkin season is still in full swing, so I figured it was absolutely appropriate to make these cupcakes. Also, instead of gorging on processed Halloween candy today and for next week or so, you can enjoy these mini cupcakes guilt-free! Yupp, these cupcakes are actually good for you! And not that I’m really one to count, but each of these little babies has only 48 calories! However…it will take a lot of will power to stop at just one, so let’s say that 2 has less than 100 calories and 3 has less than 150 calories.
Pumpkin is a great veggie that shouldn’t just be eaten around Halloween or Thanksgiving. This gourd is a potassium superstar! In just one cup of mashed pumpkin, you get 564 mg of potassium, which is about 33 percent more than a medium banana. Potassium is great for the body because it works with sodium to maintain the body’s water balance. Potassium aside, one cup of mashed pumpkin has more than 5000 mcg of beta-carotene and more than 3,5000 mcg of beta-cryptoxanthin, a member of the carotenoid family that seems to reduce the risk of lung and colon cancer (Bowden 57).
Pumpkin is also great for eye health. Not only is it high in Vitamin A, but it also contains more than 2,400 mcg of carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which are all good for keeping our eyeballs in tiptop shape (Bowden 58).
Aesthetically, pureed pumpkin gives these cupcakes the loveliest golden colour. Is it not beautiful? I think it is! And it’s a perfect colour for fall.
Like my other recipes, refined sugar is replaced with 100% maple syrup, and all-purpose flour is booted to the curb so that a blend of spelt and brown rice flour can take its place. Believe me, you won’t miss the first mentioned sugar or flour at all. The maple syrup gives these cupcakes a lovely, subtle caramel flavour, and the spelt flour gives these cupcakes a heartier texture.
I guess cupcakes aren’t necessarily supposed to be hearty though, rather they’re meant to be light and fluffy. But I believe that cold weather deserves a hearty, more robust cupcake.
And of course, these pumpkin spice cupcakes wouldn’t be pumpkin spice without that wonderful mixture of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and cardamon (or nutmeg if you don’t have any).
While making these cupcakes, I was racing against the setting of the sun for my pictures. Thankfully, I had my sister by my side to help me measure out and mix all the ingredients…except one slipped right by me.
The coconut oil. Ooops.
The first couple of batches turned out just fine without the coconut oil, so if you have none in your house, don’t fret because your cupcakes will still turn out lovely. However, coconut oil is an awesome fat that’s been shown to be antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antiviral, as well as having substantial antioxidant power (Bowden 300). In addition, the caretenoids from the pumpkin need fat to be absorbed. So go ahead, add in that coconut oil! Do make sure that though the coconut oil is virgin or extra virgin.
These cupcakes are absolutely delicious naked. You can bring these cupcakes to a higher level of cupcake-y-ness by spreading the tops with delightfully fluffy cinnamon cream cheese icing.
And there you have it! Perfect, little pumpkin spice cupcakes. Wishing you all a safe and happy Halloween and weekend!
Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes
- 2 cups spelt flour
- 1/2 cup brown rice flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp pink Himalayan salt
- 3 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamon or nutmeg
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 1 cup pureed pumpkin
- 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 egg
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Sift the dry ingredients (including the pumpkin spice) into a large mixing bowl.
In a separate bowl, mix together wet ingredients.
Slowly incorporate wet mixture with flour mixture until smooth.
Pour the batter into lined mini muffin trays (about 3/4 full).
Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 20-25 minutes until a knife comes out clean. For regular sized cupcakes, increase baking time to 35-40 minutes.
Let the cupcakes cool completely before icing.
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing:
Whip together 1 cup of creamcheese, 2-3 tbsp of milk, 1 tbsp of maple syrup, and 2 tbsp of cinnamon.
Bowden, Jonny. The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth: The Surprising, Unbiased Truth about What You Should Eat and Why. Gloucester, MA: Fair Winds, 2007. Print.