Recipe – Pumpkin passion cupcakes.

I love this recipe, it is super easy and really yummy. I found it on The BBC Good Food site several years ago and have made it every year at Halloween since. I think this is also the recipe when I discovered you could freeze some cakes and biscuits, which is now the way I can offer freshly baked cakes and biscuits at all my classes without having to bake every night of the week.

The recipe says it makes 12 but I usually get about 15 and freeze half. Though its hardly worth freezing them because they disappear very quickly!

The one change I make to the recipe is the frosting. I use an electric whisk to blend the icing sugar and cream cheese but tend to add a fair bit more icing sugar until the consistency is stiff enough to hold its shape, the recipe quantities make quite a runny icing.


175ml sunflower oil

175g light muscavado sugar

3 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

200g coarsely grated pumpkin flesh

100g sultanas

grated zest of one orange

2 tsp ground cinnamon

200g self raising flour

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda


200g full fat cream cheese

85g icing sugar


  1. Heat oven to 180c/160c/fan/gas 4. Line a 12 hole muffin tray with paper cases. pour the oil into a large bowl and add the sugar, eggs and vanilla. Beat together, then add the grated pumpkin, sultanas and orange zest.
  2. Stir in the cinnamon, flour and bicarbonate of soda, the mixture will be quite wet. Spoon into the cases. Bake for 25 minutes until firm and springy to the touch and a skewer inserted in the centre of the cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack. At this stage you can freeze the cakes for four months.
  3. To make the frosting , beat the cream cheese and icing sugar together until smooth then spread on top of the cupcakes. store in the fridge, but return to room temperature to serve for the best flavour and texture.

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Julia Claridge

I was about 6 or 7 years old when I had my first go on a sewing machine, it was an old hand crank machine that my mum used with her patients, she was an occupational therapist. I still vividly remember watching with amazement as the tiny perfectly formed stitches were created as I turned the handle. I Grew up in the 70’s and 80’s when buying clothes was less affordable and dressmaking was an answer to updating your wardrobe more regularly. My own mother was a talented dressmaker who made most of my clothes and my sisters clothes as well as a many for herself. I soon got involved with making my clothes, I loved the whole experience of picking out fabrics, trims and a pattern to create a new outfit, then going home to make a new garment or outfit. When it came to leaving school I visited a careers advisor who asked what I wanted to do next. My answer was ..Sew! Read more...

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