Sweet Halloween Pumpkin Muffins
- 30-60 minutes to prepare
- 30-60 minutes to cook
- Makes approx. 12 muffins
- How to make
250ml butternut squash / pumpkin puree (approx. ½ butternut) - try and choose a sweet variety of pumpkin/squash
150g butter (or coconut oil)
6 tbsp / 90ml maple syrup
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp mixed spice
300g self raising flour (you could use a gluten free option if you prefer)
Greek yogurt / cream cheese
Extra butternut squash puree
Some blackberries blended or mashed into a puree
Maple syrup – a little to sweeten
Fresh fruit such as: blackberries, blueberries, kiwi, etc.
Dried fruit such as: raisins, prunes, goji berries, etc.
Seeds such as: poppy seeds, pumpkin seeds etc.
How to make
Start by making a butternut squash/pumpkin puree (unless you have some pre-made in the freezer). Peel the squash and cut into chunks, then steam until soft (approx. 20mins), either using a steamer or by placing in a colander over a pan of simmering water and covering (you could boil instead, if you prefer, but steaming retains more of the nutrients)
In a bowl, blend the squash to a smooth puree, adding some water if required (just enough to get a smooth consistency) – a hand blender will give the smoothest texture, but a food processor or blender can also be used
Stir the butter (or coconut oil) into the warm puree to gently melt it, or if the puree is cold, gently warm together in a pan over a low heat until just melted. Then allow to cool. If you are using a pre-made puree from the freezer you will need approx. 250ml of puree. Allow to defrost over night, then gently warm through with the butter/oil
Preheat the oven to 180°C / 160°C fan / gas 4
Whisk the eggs, maple syrup, vanilla, mixed spice and cooled puree (with butter) together in a large bowl with a hand whisk
Then sieve in the flour and lightly stir using a metal spoon. Don’t over stir the mixture, to avoid knocking out too much air
Spoon the mixture into muffin cases in a muffin tin, so the cases are about 3/4 full, allowing room for the cakes to rise
Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 25 minute until golden. You can stick a knife in the centre of a muffin to check they are cooked through: it should come out clean. Allow the muffins to cool completely before decorating on a cooling rack
Get your children involved with the decorating and let their imaginations go wild. Try to keep the extra ingredients as natural and healthy as possible – whilst making them look as fun as you like. Here are a few ideas to start you off…
Pumpkin face – mix Greek yogurt or cream cheese, a drizzle of maple syrup, a pinch of mixed spice and a dollop of squash puree together, to create an orange frosting. Spread on a muffin and decorate with a little kiwi for the pumpkins stem, and raisins for eyes and teeth.
Spider – mix Greek yogurt or cream cheese with a drizzle of maple syrup. Spread this white frosting on a muffin and use a blackberry to create a spiders body, with sliced blueberries for legs. Or you can use some raisins and blueberries to create the body, and draw on the legs with a cocktail stick dipped in blackberry juice
Dracula – mix Greek yogurt or cream cheese, a drizzle of maple syrup and a dollop of blackberry puree to create a reddish / purple frosting. Spread onto a muffin, then sprinkle poppy seeds at the top to create a Dracula widows peak hairline, (use a cocktail stick to help guide the seeds). Use raisins and cut up goji berries as eyes, a goji berry mouth and white frosting for Dracula fangs!
Witch hat – white frosting, with cut up dried prune for a black hat
- Dairy ingredients
As these muffins won’t stay fresh as long as cakes made with caster sugar or similar, so it’s therefore best to bake, decorate and eat them on the day you make them. They can be kept them in an air tight container (without the decorations) in a cool place for up to 3 days, otherwise you can freeze them, and defrost in a couple of hours, then decorate before serving.
Decorate just before serving and get as creative as you like. Children will love creating spooky Halloween faces with yogurt, healthy icing, dried fruit and seeds. These look fantastic on a Halloween party table.
This recipe can be made at any time of year - simply adapt the decorations to fit. You can also adjust the fruit purée and spice - experiment with whatever is in season. Vanilla and raspberry would be delicious on a summer's day!