Fall is in the air at last! I don’t know whether to be happy or sad, as I did love the summer sunshine which warmed through me every morning. I opened my door yesterday morning to be greeted by a sudden chill of icyness, as the wind blew harshly and swirled the crisp autumn leaves all around me. Fall at last. If this dreadfully cold chill is here to stay, can it please just be Christmas already?
On the brighter side, fall does bring with it the radiant colors of change, the excitement of upcoming holidays, and best of all, all things pumpkin! I decided to start off my fall baking this year (in my little apartment kitchen) with these delectable little morsels of pumpkin fluffiness and maple creaminess.
I remember making these years ago for my family, and being absolutely thrilled with how perfectly they came out ( especially considering that cake of any kind can be a hard thing to master at high altitude). These sweet treats are quite easy to make, and they look beautiful as well. They are quite elegant with just a few sprinkles on top, but I think they are even more fun when bedecked with little edible clay pumpkins!
The cupcake part is the easy part. Just mix up the ingredients, spoon into fun, fall cupcake papers, and bake! Mine baked in only 17 minutes, but you may need to bake them a little longer depending on your oven. Just make sure to use the old toothpick trick!
The frosting is easy-peasy too. Just combine the ingredients and mix!
Okay, now comes the slightly more tricky part. Not necessarily tricky, just maybe a little tedious (and a bit of a workout!).
For the Edible Clay, you will just have to knead it for a while until all the little crumbly pieces come together. Don’t get discouraged, it will eventually come together! And when it does, it will be a nice, smooth, beautiful clump of edible clay.
To shape the pumpkins, you will need to roll little balls of the orange and then use a toothpick to press vertical lines around each one like so:
The rest is pretty easy. Just brush with a bit of water, roll in sprinkles, and top with a pinch of the green clay for the stem.
Enjoy creating your little pumpkin patch of cupcakes!
Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Edible Clay Pumpkins
For the Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes:
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup butter(1 1/2 sticks)
- 3 eggs
- 1 can pumpkin (15 oz)
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ginger
For the Maple Frosting:
- 3/4 cup butter, softened (1 1/2 sticks)
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons milk
For the Edible Clay Pumpkins:
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- Green and orange gel food coloring
- Orange sugar sprinkles (optional)
For the cupcakes:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 muffin cups with paper baking cups.
- Beat sugar and butter together until light and fluffy, and then add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add the pumpkin and buttermilk to the mixture and mix well. Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, allspice, nutmeg and ginger and add it to the pumpkin mixture. Beat well. Fill baking cups two-thirds full with batter.
- Bake 17-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean. Cool cupcakes on wire racks before frosting.
For the maple frosting:
- Beat butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
- Add maple syrup and vanilla and beat until well blended.
- Gradually add powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
- Add milk to reach desired consistency.
For the Edible Clay Pumpkins:
- Mix butter, corn syrup, salt, and vanilla in a bowl.
- Gradually add powdered sugar.
- Knead mixture until it reaches a smooth, clay-like texture.
- Color 4/5 of the clay with orange gel and 1/5 with green gel.
- Shape the orange clay into pumpkins by rolling clay into a ball and adding vertical lines to them with a toothpick. Brush water over the pumpkins and roll in orange sugar sprinkles.
- Shape green clay into the pumpkin stems, and place them on top of the pumpkins.
- Pipe frosting onto cupcakes using round piping tip. Top with your choice of sprinkles or edible clay pumpkins.
- Store in an air-tight container.
Makes 24 cupcakes