It happened to me more times than I could count. I’d find the note buried in the child’s backpack – before the days of email. It was the night before and I needed to whip up a dozen cupcakes for a school party the next day.
Then there was the evening phone call from the PTA parent wanting to make sure I was bringing in a dozen cupcakes for the party the next day. Of course she was sure someone had called me weeks ago. Um, no.
But no one puts mommy in the corner. I’d make cupcakes even if I never got to bed.
Thankfully, these will not only allow you get some sleep, but if you have Halloween candy lying about, you’ve got the decorations covered. The icing is quick. The dairy-free cupcakes can be baked in a jiffy. And you’ll have cute cupcakes that look like little pumpkin patches (try squinting at the photo). What kid doesn’t like sparkly sugar and candy corn pumpkins on top of (dairy-free) buttercream? And you wonder why teachers hold parties about 10 minutes before the final school bell rings?
Like Halloween – these cupcakes are glittery and slightly over the top. People will think you slaved over them for hours when in fact you could watch television, do the laundry, write a novella and bake these all at the same time. Not to mention you don’t have to stay up all night.
I wasn’t convinced that chocolate chips should be in the same cupcake as pumpkin, but it tasted great. The simple vanilla dairy-free buttercream is topped with bright orange sugar and a candy pumpkin. I was going for a piped hay-field look but my piping skills need work. Lots of work. Instead I ended up going for a hay pile with a touch of orange. It requires imagination, but I trust you can do that.
I cannot even begin to tell you how grateful I am that those days of finding notes buried in the bottom of the kid’s backpack are behind us. Also, I’m glad the days of finding smelly socks and old lunches in the bottom of the backpack are distant nightmares.
But I still break out in a sweat when I see kids walking home with backpacks that look like they could hold a year’s worth of old lunches. Whose idea was that to make backpacks bigger than the kid? I bet it wasn’t anyone who has to clean it out and bake cupcakes late at night. Right?
|Halloween Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cupcakes, Gluten Free||
- 120 grams Spectrum Vegetable Shortening (10 tablespoons)
- 175 grams granulated sugar (3/4 cup)
- 3 extra-large eggs
- 160 grams organic pumpkin (not pie mix) (3/4 cup)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 175 grams AP GF Flour (89 grams superfine brown rice flour plus 43 grams each superfine white rice flour and tapioca flour/starch) (1⅓ cups)
- 1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 75 grams mini chocolate chips (1/2 cup)
- ½ teaspoon AP GF flour
- 108 grams Spectrum Vegetable Shortening (9 tablespoons)
- 260 grams powdered sugar, sifted (about 2½ cups)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1-3 tablespoons almond milk
- orange sugar
- candy corn pumpkins (I use Jelly Belly)
- Preheat oven to 350. Place Halloween or Orange liners in a muffin tin (12-14). Set aside.
- Cream shortening and sugar in a large bowl using a handheld mixer or a wooden spoon (you’ll have to use some muscle to get it smooth and fluffy). Add the eggs and mix in thoroughly. Add pumpkin and vanilla. Beat until smooth. In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Add to wet mixture and beat just until smooth. In a small bowl toss chocolate chips with ½ teaspoon of flour until the chips are coated. Using a silicone spatula, fold chocolate chips into batter. Fill the liners ⅔ full. Bake 18-20 minutes or just until a toothpick comes out with dry crumbs or no crumbs. Remove cupcakes to a rack and cool completely before frosting.
- Using a mixer, whip shortening with powdered sugar on low just until incorporated. Add vanilla and 1 tablespoon of almond milk. Whip on high until fluffy. If the buttercream is very stiff, add almond milk 1 tablespoon at a time until it is light and fluffy. Pipe or spread on each cupcake making the tops mostly flat.
- Immediately after applying the buttercream, sprinkle with decorative sugar. Top with a candy pumpkin. Or top with sprinkles and your choice of Halloween candy. But make sure it is gluten-free.