Since moving to the northwest (from the southwest), I’ve experienced fall in a whole new way. The leaves actually change colors here…it’s not a myth, it’s real and its gorgeous! Not only that, there are these things at the grocery store… so cute and fun…pumpkins! All kinds of pumpkins! Big, small, lumpy, round, squat, fat, oblong, white, yellow, orange, spotted pumpkins! I had never seen so many different kinds! I know, sounding pretty sheltered right now huh? Either way, I always want to buy them in bulk and bring them home to go pinterest decorating crazy on my entire house! But recently I was thinking that they deserved a better purpose. What else can I do with these tasty and adorable little treats? I saw a recipe for stuffed pumpkins; what an awesome idea! But what do I want to stuff my mini pumpkins with? Well, I couldn’t help it…cupcakes are just on my brain lately. So there you have it, I decided to bake a cupcake inside an actual mini pumpkin. I wanted to see what happens, if it would even work, and to see how insanely cute they would turn out! I was not disappointed!
I picked out two different kinds of pumpkins. One was short with classic pumpkin ridges and the other was taller and smooth with more room for batter. I bought two of each kind so that I could test them differently. One set was roasted in the oven at 400 F for about 20 minutes before I cut them open to hollow them out. I wanted to see if it would be easier this way, the taller ones had a thicker skin and it made it slightly easier to cut into, but overall, I preferred the shorter pumpkins on all accounts. With the proper knife, they were way easier to cut into, and I found that the one I roasted was weaker than the one I hadn’t. I cut the tops off the pumpkins and took out all the guts and seeds and did my best to make the pumpkin’s walls even on all sides so that the cupcakes would cook as evenly as possible. I thought about saving the tops for pictures but they didn’t cut nicely to I tossed them.
After cleaning out the little cuties, I rubbed brown sugar on the inside of the pumpkins. I thought it would make a nicer transition from cupcake to pumpkin when digging out yummy spoonfulls! I then filled the pumpkins about 2/3 full and put them in the oven to bake at 350 F. I used the same Go-to vanilla cupcakes recipe found at the FoodNetwork.com that I adapted for my Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes. Turns out that 2/3 full was a bit much, they overflowed a little bit and seemed like they would never stop plumping up! I think that next time I would try only filling them halfway. I left these in the oven for about 40 minutes. They were taking forever to bake! But they turned out wonderfully! A little more moist than I would have liked, but, again, I think that only filling them halfway will help to fix this problem.
They were just adorable, I couldn’t wait to ice and decorate them! Not to mention taste them! I made a cinnamon flavored buttercream to ice the pumpcakes (what else would I call these?) and used little miniature pumpkins to add an extra cuteness to them. This part is not edible; you can find edible pumpkin shaped decorations, but it was $9 for 6 edible ones or $2 for 2 reusable plastic ones. I went with the cheaper option; besides, who really wants to eat those hardened, strange tasting fake candy toppings that you buy in packages? I found myself addicted to a November/Thanksgiving theme and then realized it was October and threw in some Halloween attempts as well. I ended up with the best of both worlds!
Now, to taste this strange creation. I grabbed a spoon and dug in! There was something almost fun about eating a cupcake out of the pumpkin; it added a sort of charm to the experience and it tasted so good! Every now and then I’d get a scoop that had some pumpkin and it was always a pleasant surprise! Again, the ridged short pumpkin worked out the best. I found that the bigger one was just too much cupcake for one person to eat.
In conclusion, the experiment was a success and the short pumpkin won in all categories: easy to cut, baked well, lovely appearance, and the perfect size! I had a lot of fun playing with these and if you have any more questions about how I did this or are interested in trying it yourself, comment below and let me know! I’d love to hear from you!