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Christine Cushing

Christine Cushing

Scrumptious pumpkin cupcakes with orange mascapone

Invited to a fall or Thanksgiving dinner and don’t know what to bring? Christine Cushing takes us through her pumpkin spice cupcakes with orange mascarpone icing - a treat that is sure to blow away your host and everyone else at the party!
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The Loop, October 9, 2013 11:44:42 AM

If you’ve been asked to bring something to a Thanksgiving or fall dinner, we’ve got a super easy dessert idea for you that is sure to be a holiday hit: pumpkin cupcakes!

Pumpkin spice cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes

1/3 cup (80 ml) olive oil
2 eggs
1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla
½ cup (125 ml) pumpkin purée
Grated zest of 1 orange
¾ cup (175 ml) light brown sugar
1 cup (250 ml) all purpose flour
1/4 tsp (1 ml) baking soda
3/4 tsp (4 ml) baking powder
1 tsp (5 ml) cinnamon
1 tsp (5 ml) pumpkin pie spice
Pinch cloves
Pinch salt

Orange mascarpone icing

1/2 cup (125 ml) 35% cream
¾ cup (175 ml) mascarpone cream cheese
finely grated zest of 1 orange
2 tbsp (25 ml) orange juice
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) vanilla extract
1/2 cup (125 ml) icing sugar

Optional: Praline garnish

1/4 cup (50 ml) pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup (125 ml) sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard 12 muffin tin with paper liners.

Combine wet ingredients, orange zest and brown sugar in a mixing bowl fitted with paddle attachment and mix on medium speed until thoroughly blended. In a separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture and beat on low speed for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides once, to blend mixture thoroughly.

Spoon mixture into prepared muffin tin with an ice cream scoop or two spoons and bake at 350 degrees for about 20-22 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Cool on wire rack and start on the icing.

In the stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat whipping cream on high until it just starts to hold peaks, about 3 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and continue to beat on medium speed until smooth and well blended, about 2 minutes. Pipe or spread icing on top of each cup cake once cooled.

If you’re making the praline topping, grab a small sauce pan with heavy bottom and put it on high, heating sugar until melted and starting to turn amber. Tilt pan to prevent burning spots. Be very cautious , as sugar gets extremely hot. Add the pumpkin seeds and continue to cook for about 2 minutes or until sugar turns a rich brown caramel colour. Tilt pan to blend sugar, do not stir. Ensure that you have a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or greased), ready as mixture is very hot. Remove from heat immediately and pour onto baking sheet. Let cool completely.

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