Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes
Since they are topped with cream-cheese frosting and miniature marzipan pumpkins, you might not realizee these festive cupcakes are nutritious. Pumpkins are loaded with good stuff -- vitamins A and B, iron, potassium, protein, fiber -- and are low in fat and sodium.
- Yield: Makes 22
Source: Martha Stewart Kids, 2002
- 1 sugar pumpkin, (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and seeded
- 1/2 cup Pumpkin Puree, or canned pumpkin puree
- 1 cup pecans
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Pinch of ground cloves
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 4 large eggs
- 2 seven-ounce packages almond paste
- Gel food color, orange, brown, and green
- Cream Cheese Frosting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two muffin tins with paper liners. Grate pumpkin in a food processor or on the large holes of a box grater (you should have about 2 1/2 cups). Transfer to a medium bowl, and add pumpkin puree and pecans.
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves; pulse to combine. With machine running, add oil and eggs; process until smooth, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Add pumpkin mixture; pulse to combine.
Spoon about 1/3 cup batter into each cupcake liner. Bake until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Make the marzipan pumpkins: Tint two-thirds almond paste orange, adding food color a dab at a time until desired color is reached. Tint a quarter of remaining paste brown and the rest green. Shape into leaves, stems, and pumpkins (see instructions below).
Decorate cupcakes with frosting and marzipan pumpkins.
Marzipan Pumpkin How-To: Using a small rolling pin, roll out green almond paste about 1/8 inch thick; use a leaf cutter to cut out leaf shapes. Roll brown into small ropes; cut and shape into stems. Using the palms of your hand, shape orange into three-quarter-inch globes. Use a toothpick to poke holes in tops of pumpkins and to press creases from top to bottom. Attach leaves and stems to tops with a bit of frosting.