Pumpkin and cinnamon cupcakes 4 (2)

Pumpkin and pecan mini muffins

In the past few years I’ve developed a huge affinity towards yellow pumpkin .I think it had to do with actually growing it in my home garden. Being witness to the whole symbiotic relationship of the pumpkin flowers with the bees and the earth was and is almost magical. It leaves me in awe every time.  I think it’s the process of actually growing squash successfully that has me most excited and grateful more even than the desire of consuming it cooked !

Pumpkin cut and half filters

It’s almost as if I’ve been allowed by the guardians of nature to lend a teeny helping hand in the special cycle of squash pollination.I tell you the first time that I spotted the little tell tale bulge at the base of the female pumpkin flower I had to quell the urge to jump with joy. And thereafter to watch them getting bigger are all fierce moments of almost maternal pride.My gardener on the other hand thought that I was just making a fat fuss over something very small…..until I gave him some of  our home nurtured pumpkin to take back ! Yep..he sees the difference now :)

Like most kitchen garden owners, I too like to use my precious produce in as many ways as possible. One reason is that no one wants to eat the same thing time and again and the other being respect for the natural flavour that has not been tainted by pesticides. With an ingredient like the pumpkin it’s easy to play around with recipes simply because it has a base flavour that fits both in the dessert as well as salad category.

Healthy cakes are something that make sense to me. Not only because we are a family of cake fiends but simply because a cake is such a welcoming sight for hungry kids coming home from school. Whether I turn the batter into 1 whole cake or little minis really depends on my time and the goings on for the next few days. Minis also make for great snack box options rather than a big wedge of cake which by the way is never enough, no matter what the size ! I can almost see my fellow baker parents nodding away 😉

pumpkin and cinnamon cupcakes 2 (3)

Anyway these babies were baked for some special members of my family who are always extremely appreciative about my cookery skills. That and the fact that they like cake. Of course I kept back a few for my kids or else all hell would’ve broken loose .They’re quite awful like that you know ?!… again, not my genes for sure 😛    Anyway after we had been treated to a yummilicious feast and just before we left their home, I was asked what cupcakes they were. (I had elevated the muffins to cupcake status by slathering on some frosting)

With a beaming smile I announced proudly that they were “pumpkin and pecan wholegrain” ones. I could see the excitement dullen just a bit in their eyes along with a small ‘Oh!’ That’s when it hit me that it’s not just other kids , a lot of adults too aren’t convinced about healthy cakes !!!!

Thanks to the smidgen of faith in my baking talents they did give it a try and I got a message saying that they loved it and admitted that they were not only initially very apprehensive but were just as surprised later about how good it tasted.

I was quite relieved ,not to mention learned a great deal about what to bake for others.My husband and kids have spoilt me in their enthusiasm for trying out any cake that I dish out , that I don’t stop to think of how these different cakes might sound to someone else. LOL

Next time…chocolate cake…PROMISE !

Pumpkin and cinnamon cupcakes (2)

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Instructions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Line the mini muffin tray with mini paper cups.
  • 2. Remove the skin and cube the pumpkin into small pieces. Add to a pan along with just enough water to cover it. Close the lid, place on the stove on a medium flame and let cook for about 8 to 10 minutes until well cooked. Drain the water and reserve to add to dhal etc and set aside the cooked pumpkin to cool. Once cool , make a smooth puree' in the blender. Set aside.
  • 3. now for the dry ingredients. Sift the flour , baking powder, soda and cinnamon into a medium sized bowl and set aside.
  • 4. Take a large mixing bowl add in the Oil , eggs and milk (Tip:always crack the eggs separately before adding to the bowl,never directly into the mixing bowl)
  • 5. Beat well with either a balloon whisk or a n electric beater.
  • 6. Add 1 C of the pumpkin puree' and stir well into the egg mixture.
  • 7. Now add the sifted dry ingredients into the wet mixture and fold in with a rubber spatula.
  • 8. Folding the mixture involves a cutting and turning action. This ensures that the batter stays light and airy.
  • 9. Mix in the chopped pecan nuts in the same manner
  • 10. Drop teaspoonfuls of the mixture into the paper cases and slide into the oven
  • 11. Bake each tray for about 8 to 1o minutes until risen and golden or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • 12. Set out to cool on a wire rack before frosting
  • 13. Beat all the frosting ingredients together with an electric beater until you get a thick buttercream. Using a small palette knife ,lightly smear the top of each mini muffin with a swirly cap of cinnamon infused butter cream. (This is entirely optional) A bit of cinnamon dusted on top adds to the flavour.

About Chef

Shanthini Rajkumar

Hello ☺ ! Welcome to Pink lemon tree. A suggestion that has turned into an immensely satisfying connect with foodies from near and far. Best described as a foodie mom ...