Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fresh Pumpkin Cupcakes with Candy Corn~White Chocolate Ganache and Vanilla Swiss Buttercream

One of my favorite television shows is Chopped on the Food Network.  Watching chefs take mystery ingredients from a basket and turn them into an edible Appetizer, Entree and Dessert is always entertaining.  I have visions, sometimes, of competing with hopes I'd make it through the appetizer and entree rounds to get to that dessert basket--LOL!

This past week, with Halloween around the corner, the baskets contained candy (for all 3 rounds) and  when I was thinking what I'd bake today...let's say I was inspired.  I think I've been pretty honest that I'm a candy corn "addict" and love when this time of year rolls around to have an excuse to buy several bags!  So, that is my candy from my mystery basket that I used to add to the cupcakes. If you've seen the show, you know the judges give points for creativity and just adding candy as a garnish wouldn't do.  I decided to make a ganache for my filling with candy corn and white chocolate, but it was the cupcake, with fresh pumpkin that will really grab the gold ring!
Sugar pumpkins are perfect for baking pies, so I know how to prepare them to puree, but I decided to add a twist.  I've been thinking...why couldn't I grate the pumpkin flesh, adding it to the batter like I would a carrot cake.  Well, why not indeed.  The cupcakes are moist and full of spiced flavor that lends itself to the treat of the candy ganache and topped with a wonderful vanilla buttercream.

Fresh Pumpkin Cupcakes with Candy Corn~White Chocolate Ganache 
& Vanilla Swiss Buttercream

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
3 cups freshly grated pumpkin
1/4 cup sour cream

Candy Corn~White Chocolate Ganache
1/2 cup candy corn
1/2 white chocolate chips
3/4 cup heavy cream

I suggest mixing up the ganache before starting the cupcakes  In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream and candy corn together or medium heat.  Stir frequently and lower the heat a bit once the candy corn starts to melt.  When completely melted and "bubbles" appear around the edge of the heavy cream, remove and pour over the white chocolate.  Whisk to combine.

Chill in the refrigerator while you prepare the cupcakes.

Swiss Buttercream

Preheat oven to 350F-degrees.  Use cupcake liners in muffin pans (recipe makes 18 cupcakes).
Cut a Sugar Pumpkin in half and scrape the seeds and membrane (or as my grandson says, "the guts") out.  Peel the pumpkin; I use a porcelain peeler to make the job easier.  Wrap the other half in plastic and refrigerate for another use.

Grate pumpkin, using a box grater or a grating attachment to your food processor; you'll need 3 cups.
In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter, oil and sugar together thoroughly.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add the vanilla and pumpkin pie spice and beat once more.

Whisk the dry ingredients together and add to the batter, along with the sour cream and mix on low until combined completely.  Finally stir in the pumpkin.
Scoop batter into the prepared lined muffin pan(s).
Bake 18 to 20 minutes until golden brown--use a wooden skewer (or your fingertips pressed on top) to check for doneness.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.  Mix up the Swiss Buttercream or you could use your favorite Cream Cheese Frosting recipe.  Use an apple corer to remove a "plug" from the middle to allow the ganache.
Transfer the ganache to a piping bag with at least a #12 tip and fill the centers.
I like to place part of the "plug" back over the ganache to cover.  I divided the buttercream into three bowls and colored one in yellow and one in orange besides the white.  When I put it in the piping bag, I tried to swirl the colors.
I'm not holding out for the Chopped  producers to call me, but I sure had a lot of fun making a unique cupcake that would be spooktacular on any Halloween table.  Enjoy!


  1. Where DID you get the spider holders? I LOVE THEM!
    Jane x

    1. I found them at Craft & Barrel here in Seattle.

  2. Oh my goodness! You should be on Cupcake Wars! These look and I know they are delicious!! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    1. I watch Cupcake Wars too...some of the ingredients they require are weird too! Thinking of you, XOXO

  3. i think they are missing the best opportunity! they must find out about you susan, and you need to be on that show! you are brilliant and these are fantastic, oh my goodness, YUM! your cupcakes are so delicious sounding(and looking).i am a candy corn lover too. i would sure love a cupcake right now... :)

    1. I knew we were soul sisters! XOXO

    2. hee hee, yes! i thought you might like to see my homage to candy corn, since i cannot bake like you! xoxo

    3. What a great project--you inspire me!

  4. THE WINNER? Susan from My Mother's Apron Strings! FABULOUS ENTRY! LUSCIOUS PRODUCT. GORGEOUS PRESENTATION. Congratulations, Susan! Really great job. Susan

  5. You are SO creative! I am blown away.

    1. If only I still lived in Connecticut--these would be at one of our stamping sessions:-D

  6. Now that's a pumpkin cupcake!!!!
    stamping sue

    1. I knew my "Halloween Lover" would find these intriguing!! Ditto on what I replied to PC, XOXO

    2. forgot to mention my new favorite show is on foodnetwork called.....wait for it.....HALLOWEEN Wars!!! besides the wonderful cake designs they do some amazing pumpkin carving!

  7. Those cupcakes look super yummy–what a great fall treat! :)

  8. Those cupcakes look super yummy–what a great fall treat! :)

  9. I think they should call you...right away! Cooking with fresh ingredients is the BEST! I'm putting together my new 'blog list' of Sisters! I'm having fun!

  10. I know these would smell so good - not to mention how they taste!
    Thanks for linking to Open House!

  11. Susan, these treats would vanish at my house in no time. What perfect cupcake for the season! Hugs. Kirsten

  12. Susan, these cupcakes are absolutely 5-star quality! I that candy corn unique! And these beautifully piped swirls are indeed the icing on the cake ;-))) The whole thing is a piece of masterwork. Thumbs up for you!
    Enjoy your weekend!

  13. Sounds delicious! I'm glad you had fun experimenting, and making a great and unique cupcake!

  14. Oh my! Those look too good. I have a thing for candy corn, too. My problem is that I've hidden the bag on myself and now haven't one clue where I put it. I may have to tear the kitchen apart. ☺

  15. chopped producers SHOULD call you.