Pumpkin And California Walnut Cupcakes

Pumpkin and California walnut cupcakes and fork on a plate surrounded by crumbs
Credit: California Walnuts

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

Serves: 12

  1. Preheat the oven to 175°C.
  2. Grate the pumpkin, then place in a medium saucepan with the orange juice. Cover and simmer for 15min.
  3. Place the contents of the saucepan into a blender and puree. Set aside.
  4. 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.
  5. Line a 12-hole muffin tray with cupcake cases. Divide the base mixture between them and push down firmly.
  6. Beat cream cheese with the eggs, sunflower oil, spices, sugar, vanilla sugar (or essence) and pumpkin puree until you get a smooth mixture.
  7. Add flour, breadcrumbs and baking powder and beat together.
  8. Divide mixture between the cupcake cases. Bake in the oven for 30-35min, or until risen and a skewer comes out clean.
  9. Leave the cupcakes to cool, then place in the fridge for around 2 hours to set.
  10. For the topping, add whipped cream to each cupcake, along with a pinch of cinnamon and a sprinkle of chopped California walnuts.