Pumpkin passion cupcakes

Pumpkin passion cupcakes

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(36 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 25 mins


Makes 12
Use grated pumpkin or butternut squash for these gorgeous, spiced cupcakes

Nutrition and extra info

  • Before icing

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal386
  • fat23g
  • saturates7g
  • carbs43g
  • sugars30g
  • fibre1g
  • protein4.3g
  • salt0.45g
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  • 175ml sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil

    A variety of oils can be used for baking. Sunflower is the one we use most often at Good Food as…

  • 175g light muscovado sugar
  • 3 large eggs



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200g coarsely grated pumpkin or butternut squash flesh



    Pumpkins are the most famous of all the winter squashes, and are most associated with Halloween…

  • 100g sultanas
  • grated zest 1 orange



    One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon



    A fragrant spice which comes from the inner bark of a tropical tree. When dried, it curls into…

  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, is an alkali which is used to raise soda breads and full-…

For the frosting

  • 200g tub full-fat cream cheese
  • 85g icing sugar
  • toasted chopped pecans to decorate (optional)



    Related to the walnut, pecans are native to America, and grow enclosed in a glossy, browny-red…


  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Line a 12-hole muffin tray with paper cases. Pour the oil into a large bowl and add the sugar, eggs and vanilla. Beat together, then add the grated pumpkin, sultanas and orange zest.

  2. Stir in the cinnamon, flour and bicarbonate of soda, the mixture will be quite wet. Spoon into the cases. Bake for 25 mins until firm and springy to the touch and a skewer inserted in the centre of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack. At this stage you can freeze the cakes for 4 months.

  3. To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth then spread on top of the cupcakes. Leave plain or decorate with toasted pecans. Store in the fridge, but return to room temperature to serve for the best flavour and texture.

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Comments (53)

spoon_licker's picture

I made these with butternut squash and they were some of the best cakes I've ever made. You get that lovely orangey taste alongside the moistness of the squash. They rose so tall in cake cases, however, that I couldn't ice the top, so I cut the tops off, iced the and put them back on again, ala. the fairy cakes from days of yore. If you want to ice the tops, I would maybe use muffin cases. Fantastic recipe.

mindymoo62's picture

I made these for haloween with my step daughters. Great fun! We used fondant icing instead of the frosting and coloured it green and blue with spiders webs and bats etc on top. Loved by all who tried them and the kids had hours of fun making gareish toppings!! The mix was very runny but excellent once cooked, tasted great and lasted well in an airtight tin. I have just eaten one 4 days later, still tastes good. Will make again, yum yum!

kfeve11's picture

WOW! These are delicious!!! Kept the recipe the same and they turned out stunning. Very moist and light. I am a new pumpkin fan. Excellent Halloween treats!

truffle80's picture

Have just made this and am very impressed! I used butternut squash and followed the recipe exactly - really light and moist sponge. Tastes a lot like carrot cake...delish!

alvaston16's picture

My daughter and I made these, what a triumph. We even sprayed the pecans with edible gold spray for added effect. We made fairy cakes instead of cupcakes which gave us enough mixture to make a cake aswell.

whipp3dcream's picture

Had a go at these as my first ever attempt at baking, and they came out an absolute treat, couldn't be happier with the results! I don't know if it was just because I was learning as I went but the prep time was a lot longer than the suggested 15mins, I spent at least that on the pumpkin alone. I went with 1.5tsp ground cinnamon and .5tsp ground ginger. I left out the sultanas until the mix had been added to the tray cases, then added sultanas to half, and white chocolate chips to the other half. I used the suggested frosting here for the sultana ones, but for the white chocolate ones, I topped them with white chocolate spider webs, as per Angela Nilsen's muffin recipe. I also had enough mix over to make 3 more muffins, so chopped up some pecans and added those to the mix along with the sultanas. Difficult to pick a favourite, can't wait to bake some again! :-)

harrietturton's picture

Great recipe! Lovely moist muffins delicious! Great way to use up pumpkin skin. I poured maple syrup over mine instead - Bliss!

sammarlowuk's picture

Super quick, super easy and super delicious... and that's without the icing! The first batch was so good, I doubled up and made a second batch for the freezer and tried tweaking with some white chocolate chips, as suggested in another review! The most perfect pumpkin cupcakes... check out my blog post http://www.theannoyedthyroid.com/2012/07/30/pumpkin-passion-cupcakes/

bridalzone's picture

I thought this recipe included passion fruit. After all it is called pumpkin and PASSION cupcake. That is what attracted me to this recipe. Oh well let me keep searching for a cake recipe that includes passion fruit.

bridalzone's picture

I thought this recipe included passion fruit. After all it is called pumpkin and PASSION cupcake. That is what attracted me to this recipe. Oh well let me keep searching for a cake recipe that includes passion fruit.

bridalzone's picture

I thought this recipe included passion fruit. After all it is called pumpkin and PASSION cupcake. That is what attracted me to this recipe. Oh well let me keep searching for a cake recipe that includes passion fruit.

heidiandnabs's picture

The flavour of these cupcakes is absolutely delicious and moreish. Did anyone else find them a bit greasy though? They left greasy stains on the cake stand I displayed them on. Wondering if the oil could be reduced and replaced with apple puree. Or how about butter instead of oil. If anyone has tried that I'd love to know.

maryechappell's picture

I used to make carrot cake with oil and like you found it a bit greasy so now I do it with soft margarine, so I am going to try this recipe with the same weight of soft marge.

Following above comment I did use soft marge in the recipe, I made it as a one stage cake ie beat everything together except the grated squash, orange rind & dried fruit which I stirred in after. It was delicious, favourable comments all round

tweetie-pie's picture

Mmmm, these were lovely!! Deliciously moist cupcakes. I used half olive oil as i didnt have enough sunflower, but they turned out fine...I also did raisins instead of sultanas as i didn't have any, and mixed chopped pecans with the mixture instead of putting them on top. Also added some cinnamon to the icing, and they were yum - went down well with all the family! My cake cases were quite small so the mixture made 24 instead of 12.

sazzygoodsell's picture

This is a fab recipe, so many people can not believe its pumpkin. And everyone loves them, I prefer with pumpkin rather than butternut squash it seems to be a bit more spicier with the pumpkin.

The hardest thing to do it get the pumpkin or squash peeled & grated. My favourite recipe at the moment.

jobarley's picture

These are fab, I followed the recipie to the letter & didn't add anything (unusual for me). Made them to take to a bonfire party and they went down a treat.

Frantic Flapjack's picture

Wow! These were fabulous - gorgeous and moist and fruity and spicy - just yummy!! I used butternut squash and topped with the cream cheese frosting and pecans.

sullie's picture

Deliciously moist cupcakes great recipe will be making again.

sullie's picture

Deliciously moist cupcakes great recipe will be making again.

blondie29's picture

i made these tonight and i love them ,my partner wasent so sure but then hes a tipical farmer, meat and two veg man ,ill defo be making them again though


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