These cupcakes can be scared up in minutes—no mixer needed! It’s a simple baking project for children to practice measuring, stirring, following a recipe—and just one bowl and one spoon to wash!
The basic cake is flour, sugar, spices, eggs and oil, stirred together with canned pumpkin and raisins. Raisins and pumpkin add a boost of vitamins, minerals and fiber, plus make a moist and tasty cake.
Measure ingredients into one large mixing bowl.
Stir together with pumpkin.
Since Halloween offers lots of treats to choose from, I like to bake mini cupcakes—you can always eat more than one if you want! The recipe makes 60 minis, and bake in just 15 minutes, so you can bake in batches if you don’t have five pans. Or bake some minis and some regular size cupcakes. If you have a 2-tablespoon size cookie scoop, it works well for filling the muffin cups. Or use a regular tablespoon and scoop it off with a smaller spoon.
The bright orange batter is so pretty from the beta carotene antioxidants in the pumpkin. But it bakes to a darker color in the cupcakes.
So I got to thinking about natural colors, then discovered a new baking dye that is made from vegetables and now available at many supermarkets. The colors are limited to yellow (turmeric), red (beets), and blue (spirulina). Yellow and red makes orange (a good children’s lesson).
So take your pick—mini or regular, natural or traditional color, it’s all part of the Halloween fun! BOO!
Pumpkin Raisin Party Cupcakes
Makes 60 mini size or 18 regular size
Prep time: 15 minutes
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup canola oil
- 4 eggs
- 1 can (15-ounces) pumpkin
- 1-1/4 cups Sun-Maid Natural Raisins
- 1/3 cup butter, at room temperature
- 3 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, optional
- Sun-Maid Dried Apricots and Currants or Natural Raisins for decorating
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line 60 mini or 18 regular size muffin cups with paper liners.
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Stir.
Add oil and eggs. Add pumpkin and stir several minutes until smooth and well blended.
Stir in raisins.
Spoon batter into muffin cups about 3/4 full.
Bake mini cupcakes 15 minutes, regular size 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes to wire rack to cool completely. Spread frosting on cupcakes and decorate with dried fruit to make Jack-o-Lantern and scary faces.
Place butter and cream cheese in a medium bowl. If it is not very soft, microwave about 10 seconds to soften, do not melt. Stir well to combine. Stir in powdered sugar and milk. Add coloring if desired.
Super shortcut cupcakes: Add 1-1/4 cups raisins to a spice cake mix. Bake as package directs. Frost cupcakes with prepared vanilla frosting, adding color if desired.
Rosemary Mark remembers the day her kindergarten teacher said, “Rosemary, you need to play somewhere other than the kitchen or the grocery store, how about the playground.” Five year-old Rosemary was devastated, but only for the day. After studying foods and nutrition in college, she made the kitchen her playground for recipe development and new product innovation. She blogs at www.getcookingsimply.com.