Recipe Image
Carol Kicinski
These cupcakes make a great fall treat for vegans and carnivores alike!

Celebrate the start of Fall with vegan pumpkin cupcakes!

Author Byline Image   It is officially fall! The way I know that here in Florida is that the temperatures have dropped from the low 90s to the mid 80s, hurricane season is upon us, and the markets are filled with Halloween decorations and fall produce.
   I can’t think “October” without thinking “pumpkin.” So, it only stands to reason I would start baking up some gluten-free pumpkin treats. In the past I have made pumpkin scones, pumpkin pies, pumpkin quick breads, and pumpkin cookies but for today I decided to try out some pumpkin cupcakes.
   I will be the first to admit I am never going to win any pastry decorating contests. I can’t do fancy piping, have no clue how to fashion things out of fondant, and truth be told, it is about all I can do to get the frosting to look smooth. But even with my cake decorating handicaps, I was able to make these look sort of like pumpkins with the help of food decorating gel and some gumdrop candies. The thing is, if I can do this, so can your kids!
   Of course there really is no need to try and get all fancy with your decorating. You can simply smear some frosting on top of a cupcake and call it a day!
   The flavor of theses
Vegan Pumpkin Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes
Pumpkin Cupcakes
1 cup pure pumpkin puree
1/3 cup vegan mayonnaise
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
¼ cup rice (or other dairy-free) milk
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups good quality all-purpose gluten-free flour blend
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Dairy Free Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces vegan cream cheese substitute
½ cup dairy-free butter substitute
2 tablespoons maple syrup
4 cups powdered sugar
Orange food coloring gel (optional)
Orange food decorating gel (optional)
6 green gumdrops, cut in half (optional)
   Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12 cup standard muffin tin with paper liners.
   Whisk together the pumpkin puree, vegan mayonnaise, sugar, brown sugar, rice milk, maple syrup, and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk until fully combined. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling about 2/3 full. Bake for 18 – 22 minutes or until the tops of the cupcakes feel firm and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.
   Combine the frosting ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat, starting on low, to combine. Once the ingredients have combined, increase the speed to medium-high and beat for 1 minute or until very smooth. If desired, add orange food coloring, a little at a time, until desired color is achieved.
   Generously top the cooled cupcakes with frosting and smooth the top of the frosting into a roundish shape. Starting at the top of each cupcake, draw lines down to the cupcake liner in a spoke. Top each cupcake with a gumdrop half.
cuties is reminiscent of pumpkin pie, but in a cupcake. How fun is that? They are vegan thanks to my secret weapon for moist gluten-free cupcakes, vegan mayonnaise, which means they are also great for those on an egg or
dairy free diet as well.
   These pumpkin cupcakes helped it feel a bit more like fall in these parts. In fact, I think I am going to crank up the air conditioning and put on a sweater. Then I am going to have another cupcake!