Yellow Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Before you go “Pumpkin cupcakes? Eww!” let me just say a few things. From being a hater of yellow pumpkin, or any pumpkin for that matter, I have become a pumpkin fanatic – I have begun to use them in my cooking, made a lovely soup the other day, chutney, salad and now these beautiful cupcakes. The fact that pumpkins are lovely in sweet dishes is not something new..pumpkin halwa better known as dumroot halwa or kashi halwa here, pumkin kheer and cakes, they have always been incorporated in Indian desserts because of their naturally sweet flavour.

So my first class assignment at sophia entailed of using three parts of a single ingredient; for instance, if you want to cook with drumstick you have to use it’s flowers, leaves and of course the drumstick. And voila, what better way to showcase this otherwise ostracized vegetable than in cupcakes? I used the pumpkin flesh in cupcakes, sprinkled the pumpkin seeds (pepita) on the cream cheese frosting and made a little chip out pumpkin skin for garnish.As the yellowness of the pumpkin pervades into the batter, the cupcakes come out a lovely mustard, moist and fluffy. And the icing on the cake? literally? is the cream cheese frosting of course! You will never turn your back on pumpkins again, not with desserts at least!

Ps: If you had to use three parts of one ingredient, which one would it be? 



For the cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1 cup soft light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (113 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg, grated
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 large eggs
  • 200 ml pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the frosting

  • 225 g cream cheese
  • 55 g unsalted butter
  • 125 g icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For garnish

  • Pepitas
  • Pumpkin skin chips

Makes 12 cupcakes


  • Preheat oven to 180C. Line a 12 muffin pan with cupcake wrappers.
  • In a bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and ground ginger. Mix well and set aside.


  • Cream the butter. Add the sugar and beat well using a hand mixer. Add the eggs, one by one. Beat further. Add the pumpkin puree. Beat for 2-3 minutes. Finally add the vanilla extract.
  • Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Fold well. Pour into the prepared muffin pan. Bake for 20 minutes.


  • For the frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter for 2 minutes until smooth. Add the icing sugar and beat for another 2 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and beat again.
  • Allow the pumpkin cupcakes to cook on a wire rack. Smear the prepared frosting over the cupcakes using an offset spatula.
  • For the pumpkin skin chips, dehydrate them in a lowest oven temperature for 2-3 hours until crisp.
  • To finish off, sprinkle pumpkin seeds and a pumpkin skin chip.




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