Back in the beginning of the Halloween season (ie when Wal-Mart put out the decorations) I found these really fun spider cupcake decorations from Wilton and just knew I needed to make them. So when a friend invited us over for some Trick or Treat fun, the opportunity was found.
We had pumpkin and sausage risotto the night before and has some freshly roasted pumpkin left over. I wanted to make a sweet pumpkin cupcake so this is what I came up with. *Adapted from a Skill Milk lesson (really good cupcake lessons online, I got a Groupon for my bday from my parents, just FYI the recipes and info is written for a UK or European audience, so Google what you need to know).
Ingredients – Cupcakes
125g softened, unsalted butter (just a tad bit more than one stick)
125g all purpose flour
125g brown sugar
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 large eggs (beaten and added slowly)
Juice of 1 small orange
Zest of one small orange
1/3 cup pumpkin (roasted or canned)
Couple of small apples, grated (about 1/2 a cup)
1 – 2 tsp of pumpkin spice (adjust depending on if using canned or fresh)
*The apple and pumpkin combined should be around 3/4 cup, I just had a bit more and used it
Preheat the oven to 350 and line your cupcake pan with papers.
Cream the butter and sugar until the color is much lighter than original, it almost becomes white. Then add the eggs slowly to attempt to avoid curdling (can result in denser cupcakes that don’t rise as well, but doesn’t change taste so don’t worry if it happens) and beat to combine.
Add the orange juice and zest, the pumpkin, and the apple and combine. Then sift the flour and baking soda together and combine that with the wet mixture. Lastly add the spices and (if you dare) taste to see if you like it! I know, I know, raw egg… the insanity… I haven’t died yet.
Now scoop the mixture into the cupcake papers, filling about 2/3 full. Bake at 350 for 20 mins or until a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean. I say mostly because if there are moist cake crumbs on the tooth pick, they are done. The cupcakes will continue to cook a bit while on the cooling rack and if they are devoid of moisture when they come out of the oven, they will become dry once cool. You just don’t want the tooth pick to be wet or slick with mixture, thats not cooked yet.
Cool on a wire rack and once cool ice!
Ingredients – Icing
1/2 cup of unsalted butter (one stick), softened
6oz of cream cheese, softened
1-2 tsp of vanilla extract (depending on your taste)
4-5 cups of confectioners’ sugar (adjust to desired consistency)
1 tsp pumpkin spice
Cream the butter and cream cheese. Once well combined, add the vanilla and blend to combine. Add any food coloring you want to use now. Why not at the end? I find that if you are using liquid coloring it is better to add it now as then you know how it will effect the consistency of the icing and you can adjust the amount of sugar you add in vs. doing it the other way around. Next add the confectioners’ sugar one cup at a time, being careful to start the mixer on very slow or you will be wearing the sugar… Combine until desired texture. I prefer stiff for piping since it holds up better in my hot hands! Then add the spice mix.
Fill the piping bag and I used a #21 nozzle piece to make the spiders spikes. I did need to make a spiral underneath the spikes because mine did not rise correctly (I’m blaming the eggs). I started at the paper and piped the “stars” in a circle and then built on them. Then added the eyes and the legs. I put them in the fridge to set the icing before taking them to our little Halloween Trick or Treat playdate.