Halloween is just around the corner! The season of spiced desserts and spooky, yummy treats. Having been invited to a Halloween costume party this year, I thought it would be very fitting to make a batch of Halloween cupcakes with a bit of a twist. These pumpkin caramel cupcakes are perfect for the season and surrounding holidays, and their spooky little monster preparations are great for the Halloween party occasion.
In this recipe, I use a small baking pumpkin to make the puree for the cupcakes. As you can probably tell, I tend to make things from scratch and avoid canned anything to stay away from preservatives. Although the process of pureeing a pumpkin will take a bit longer in this recipe, I do provide an alternative for those of you who are on the go. A can of pumpkin puree will do the trick as well for this recipe of Halloween cupcakes.
Makes: Approx. 24-26 Regular Cupcakes
Prep time: 30~40 minutes
Cooking Time:75~80 minutes
Prep and cook times overlap in this recipe
What you’ll need
- Cutting board and knife
- Meshed sifter
- Cupcake Liners
- Small Ladle or Spoon
- Baking Pan and Tray
- 1 Small Baking Pumpkin (makes about 4 – 5 Cups Pureed Pumpkin) or
- 4 Cups Canned Pumpkin Puree
- 2 1/4 Cups Flour
- 1/4 Tsp Pink Himalayan Salt
- 3 Teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1 1/2 Cups Brown Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Melted Butter (1 Stick)
- 3/4 Cups Milk
- 3 Eggs
- 1 1/2 Tsp Vanilla
- 2 Heaping Tbsp Melted Caramel
- 2 Tbsp Nutella Spread (Optional)
For Cupcake Decoration
- Chocolate Sprinkles
- Candy Eyeballs (Try these or these) – For the eyes
- Small Bag of Candy Corn – For the ears
- Caramel Bits (Try these or these) – For the nose
- Cream Cheese or Vanilla Frosting
- If you are working with a whole baking pumpkin from scratch, start by turning the oven on at 325 degrees. While heating up, cut the pumpkin in half and remove the stem. Hallow out the pumpkin until you’re left with two half shells. Wrap the halves in aluminum foil and place in oven for 45 min to 1 hour.
- I also like to clean the leftover pumpkin seeds, sprinkle them with a bit of salt and place them in a baking tray in the oven along with the aluminum covered pumpkin halves.
- While the pumpkins are left to soften in the oven, in a large mixing bowl, add in the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar and mix together well. If you have a mixer, add in the butter, milk, vanilla and eggs. Otherwise, beat the eggs first, then place the ingredients along with the dry ingredients. Set aside
- Once the pumpkin halves are done, remove them from the aluminum foil and carefully peel off the shells. Alternatively, I like to use a fork and spoon and spoon off the softened pumpkin from it’s shell. Make sure to keep the oven on and turn up to 350 degrees. Place small amounts into a small mixer of blender at a time and blend until pureed. Add small amounts of water if necessary to get a puree consistency. You should produce about 4 to 5 cups of pumpkin puree. Add the pureed pumpkin into the large mixing bowl containing the flour.
- Add the caramel, and optionally, the Nutella into the bowl and mix together.
- Fill the cupcakes liners 3/4 of the way with the mixture, place them evenly on a baking tray and pop them into the oven for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, take out the cupcakes and let cool for a while. Or, place them in the fridge for a few minutes to cool down.
- Apply the frosting on each cupcake and dip them in the chocolate sprinkles. Decorate with the candy eyes, caramel noses, and candy corn ears!
Now you’ve got yourself a set a mini monsters at your disposal! In this recipe, I ended up making two slightly larger ones (see last row of photos, on the left) and placed them at the front. They’re supposed to be mom and pop monsters while the rest are the little minion children. I maaaaaybe have gotten a bit carried away with this but it’s so much fun when baking cupcakes!
Enjoy and share these little critters during the Halloween festivities! And don’t be afraid to take a bite out of them – they love to be eaten!