More Autumn, than Halloween, this delicious gluten-free pumpkin spiced cupcake recipe is sure to get your little ghouls excited for spooky season.
Of course, this delicious gluten-free pumpkin spiced cupcake recipe is not just for the young, this is definitely a favourite with older spooks as well. Hmm, actually older spooks doesn’t sounds very good does it HAHA. Perhaps, I will just leave it that before I damn myself even more.
I’m aware for Australia, the current season is in Spring. However, for the month of October, I do like to switch things up and channel my inner obsession for all things Fall and Autumn, as Halloween is my second favourite celebration to Christmas.
And it’s not just because of the spooky decorations and traditions either. It’s mostly due to the link between the seasonal influence of Fall and Autumn for Halloween. As the Spring season just doesn’t carry the spooky vibe at all really. Does it?
I had a lot of fun making these cupcakes, and boy did they taste delicious. No really. Even my partner who isn’t one for icing loved the cupcakes, and cinnamon icing. Winning.
All things flowery, pink and purple, blue and white. Green and blue skies, these colours just don’t seem to work with Halloween. So for the month of October only, I do revert back to my all time favourite season for just the month, to harness the colours I love, the recipes I love and the spooky vibes I love.
Of course, this is also the month of serious envy, when I admire the many instagram posts from people I follow who live in the northern hemisphere, and are currently enjoying a very seasonal change of all things Autumn and Fall and Halloween. The colours of auburn, brown, grey, orange, black, golden yellow and all things red. The admiration of the posts that begin to pop up on my feed are simply out – to die for.
I’ve been lucky to experience an American Halloween, a Canadian one, an Irish one and one in the UK. All were fabulous, and simply spectacular to experience. With the Canadian one probably being my favourite of all. Mostly as we were driving through the mountains and varying country towns, so trucks of pumpkins and hotels with spooky displays, were lined along the streets and fields. Even if you don’t like Halloween, the season and celebration of Fall and Autumn overseas, is truly something to be experienced by all.
So, with all that said, October is the month I like to experiment in the kitchen, and enjoy a few Autumn, Fall and Halloween treats. Which are all mostly inspired by Pumpkin Pies and Pumpkin Spiced Lattes, Pancakes and Cupcakes.
Every year, I make my traditional gluten-free and vegan pumpkin pie, which lasts around half an hour at my place.
Related post: A Gluten-Free and Vegan Pumpkin Pie Recipe
And last year, I even started experimenting with pumpkin spiced lattes – again a huge hit. Simply delicious.
Related post: An Easy to Make Pumpkin Spiced Latte Recipe
This year, I wanted to branch out and try something new. Something I have never really experimented with, but have always wanted to make. It seems to be a popular recipe of late also, as I have already seen plenty of Pinterest pins and Instagram posts of someone’s version of the recipe – which is Pumpkin Spiced Cupcakes. Though, I am yet to find the right gluten-free one. I opted to create my own. Sort of.
I found a recipe of pumpkin spiced cupcakes I really liked, and then re-adapted it after hours of research, on how to convert it to a gluten-free one. And here’s what I came up with:
- 2 ¼ cups gluten-free self-raising flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 1 cup white sugar
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- ¾ cup almond milk
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (click HERE for an easy pumpkin puree recipe)
As you’ve noticed this recipe isn’t vegan. I still struggle a little with vegan recipes, as I can’t quite get the consistency right when it comes to a cake rising in the oven. So, eggs and butter still place a big part in most of my recipes.
Though this recipe does have a bit of sugar in it, I feel when it comes to pumpkin spice and all things nice, the sugar plays an important part in enhancing the flavours of the recipe to ensure you get a beautiful golden syrup like texture to your pumpkin recipe. However, if you are a master baker, you could probably substitute the sugar for agave, coconut sugar or something else you may be the master of using. I am not quite there yet.
Depending on how you’d like to top your cupcakes, you can either make a cinnamon frosting, or create a delicious tasting Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting. I’m not a huge fan of cream cheese, so I made a simple cinnamon frosting for mine, which I will share the recipe for. However, if you like cheese cream, here’s an easy frosting to make:
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- 3 cups of icing sugar sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
I’ll share down below after the method of making the cupcakes, on how to make the cream cheese frosting and the easy cinnamon frosting I use.
Ingredients for the Cinnamon Frosting:
- 100g butter (softened)
- 1 cup of icing sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp of almond milk (room temp)
- 1 tsp of cinnamon
Now let’s get into the fun part of baking the actual cupcakes. Here’s how you do that:
- Preheat an oven to 190 degrees C. Grease 24 muffin cups, or line with paper muffin liners.
- Sift together the flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove, allspice, salt, baking powder, and baking soda; set aside.
- Beat 1/2 cup of butter, the white sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy.
- The mixture should be noticeably lighter in color. Add the room-temperature eggs one at a time, allowing each egg to blend into the butter mixture before adding the next.
- Stir in the milk and pumpkin puree after the last egg.
- Stir in the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated.
- Pour the batter into the prepared muffin cups.
- Bake in the preheated oven until golden and the tops spring back when lightly pressed, about 25 minutes.
- Cool in the pans for 5 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.
Whilst the cupcakes are cooling, you can then move on your preferred method of icing. I’ll talk through how to make the cream cheese frosting first and then move onto the method of how to make the cinnamon frosting I made.
Method – Cream Cheese Cinnamon Frosting:
- Beat the cream cheese and 1/4 butter together with an electric mixer in a bowl until smooth.
- Beat in the sugar a little at a time until well incorporated into the mixture.
- Add the vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon; beat until fluffy.
- Once the cupcakes are cool, frost with the cream cheese icing.
As you can see the cream cheese icing has a lot of sugar in it, which is another reason why I don’t always opt for a cream cheese type of topping for any baked treat I make. Not only am I not a fan of cream cheese, the amount of sugar required to go with it, to take out the savoury bitterness of cream cheese is just too much for me to handle. But of course, who am I too judge. If that’s your thing, go forth with the cream cheese and enjoy.
If you prefer something less sugary, but still compliments the cupcakes really well, here is how you make my cinnamon icing.
Method – Cinnamon Icing:
- Use an electric beater to beat butter in a bowl until it becomes a nice pale colour.
- Gradually add in the icing sugar, beating well between additions, until;s nice and fluffy.
- Stir in milk and cinnamon (add in little vanilla if you like also) until well combined and the icing is still fluffy.
- Try not to overheat as it can deflate the fluffiness.
- Spread the frosting evenly over your cooled cupcakes and top with extra cinnamon or perhaps some Halloween inspired decorations. Orange and black sprinkles look great on these by the way.
Of course, you can get super creative with your decorations if you want these to me more Halloween inspired than Autumn/Fall inspired. Try decorating with small bats or make some pumpkins out of icing (not sure how you do that, but I know there are loads of recipes online for that), to really enhance the look of your cupcakes.
But most of enjoy – enjoy. I know we did. Again, much like my pumpkin pie recipe – these cupcakes didn’t last long at all.