Light and full of autumnal flavour, these punchy pumpkin and California walnut cupcakes do take a little time to prepare – but they really are something special!
Preparation time: 2½ hours
- Preheat the oven to 175°C.
- Grate the pumpkin, then place in a medium saucepan with the orange juice. Cover and simmer for 15min.
- Place the contents of the saucepan into a blender and puree. Set aside.
- To make the base, toast the California walnuts in a dry pan over a low heat until golden brown, stirring frequently. Crush the walnuts into smaller pieces, place in a medium bowl and mix with the brown sugar and melted butter.
- Line a 12-hole muffin tray with cupcake cases. Divide the base mixture between them and push down firmly.
- Beat cream cheese with the eggs, sunflower oil, spices, sugar, vanilla sugar (or essence) and pumpkin puree until you get a smooth mixture.
- Add flour, breadcrumbs and baking powder and beat together.
- Divide mixture between the cupcake cases. Bake in the oven for 30-35min, or until risen and a skewer comes out clean.
- Leave the cupcakes to cool, then place in the fridge for around 2 hours to set.
- For the topping, add whipped cream to each cupcake, along with a pinch of cinnamon and a sprinkle of chopped California walnuts.