Halloween Baking with Laura Adlington


Halloween is next week, we’ve got our costumes, decorated our houses, and have the trick or treating candy stocked up – now all we need is a sweet and spooky treat to top it all off. We turned to 2020 Bake Off finalist Laura Adlington for her pumpkin spiced cupcake recipe, Halloween themed and extremely tasty, they are the perfect pumpkin pick!


Pumpkin spiced cupcakes with cream cheese frosting



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These cupcakes are a great way to use up any leftover pumpkin flesh once you’ve finished carving out your spook-tastic creations for Halloween.

They’re incredibly simple to make and taste out of this world. The pumpkin makes the cupcakes really soft and moist, and they pair beautifully with the smooth and slightly tangy cream cheese frosting. Heaven!

To make the cupcakes you need to steam or roast the pumpkin flesh until it’s soft, then puree it. If that sounds like a lot of effort, you can buy pumpkin puree in tins in some supermarkets and whole food stores.


Happy Halloween and happy baking!


Makes 12 cupcakes



12-hole cupcake /muffin tin




For the cupcakes

130g plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Pinch salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground allspice

160g golden caster sugar

230g cooked pumpkin (or pumpkin purée)

110g vegetable oil

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract



For the icing

270g full-fat cream cheese

130g unsalted butter

350g icing sugar




Preheat your oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/Gas 4

Divide your pumpkin into medium-sized chunks and cook in the oven for about 1.5 hours, or 5-10 minutes in the microwave. Once soft, scoop out the flesh and mash it with the back of a fork until it’s smooth and forms a puree. Leave to cool.


To make the cupcakes, sieve the flour, baking powder, bicarb, salt and all the spices into a medium bowl. Give it a good mix and leave to one side.


In a large bowl, add the eggs, sugar, vegetable oil, vanilla extract and cooled pumpkin puree. Whisk until combined, then add the dry ingredients and whisk again until combined.


Spoon the mixture into cupcake cases (only fill about ¾ of the way) and bake for 16-18 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.


While the cupcakes are cooking, make the cream cheese frosting by beating the butter and cream cheese together for 1-2 minutes (I recommend using an electric hand whisk if you have one). Then add in the cinnamon and icing sugar. Whisk for 2 minutes then cover the bowl in cling film and pop it in the fridge until it’s firm enough to pipe (about 1-2 hours).


Create Mini Pumpkins


You can decorate the cupcakes however you like. I used coloured fondant to create mini pumpkins, but you can add kids’ sweets or ghost eyes (available from most supermarkets). Get creative and have fun. Enjoy!



 Divide your fondant into 12 balls weighing approx. 20g each


Use a pallet knife or the back of a dinner knife to carve out the pumpkin shape, going from the top in the centre to the bottom and working your way round


 To create the stem, roll a small amount of fondant in-between your fingers, then press the end down to create a small bulb. Add a very small drop of water to attach the stem to the pumpkin


 To create the vines, tear off a small amount of green fondant and rub it between both of your palms until it’s nice and thin. Attach it to the pumpkins using a very small amount of water or simply drape it around the stem.