Around 3:45 on September 6, I received this text from my friend Carmen:
Of course it was super nice to know she thought I could handle such a task. But here’s the thing: I’ve never made a cupcake in my entire life.
But I was up for the challenge, so I agreed. And the wheels started turning. A few weeks ago, I had a cupcake that was baked in an orange peel and it was the most delicious cupcake I’ve ever had. Which made me think– Can you cook cupcakes inside other foods too? I wanted to be festive so thought to myself and decided I would make a spice cupcake inside a pumpkin. I gooched (*wink wink* at you, Kori. And for the rest of you: google-searched) the heck out of my idea to get wise words and wisdom from the brave people who had gone before me. But alas! I could not find it any where. Can you bake a cupcake inside a pumpkin? I was going to try.
So I went to the store and bought a box of spice cake mix (I know, I know I cheated. But I thought the aesthetics were more worth my effort than learning how to come up with a perfect spice cupcake recipe,) a cupcake pan (told you, never made cupcakes,) three mini-pumpkins (just in case), and the ingredients necessary for homemade frosting (see! I didn’t cop-out entirely.) I went home and went to work on my trial run for the pumpkin spice in a pumpkin cupcake.
My friend Gabby and I cut the top off of one of the pumpkins and used a spoon to take all the gunk out of the inside. The shell of the pumpkin was a little thick, so we carved it a little from the inside, leaving the wall a little thinner and thus allowing the cupcake to bake easier. We made our batter and poured it in (2/3 of the way full). We obviously had left over batter so to the enjoyment, mostly, of my Spanish teacher we made a batch of regular cupcakes as well. While the cupcakes were baking we made a delicious frosting (recipe can be found at the end of this article).
To my surprise, the cupcake turned out fantastic!
Even Coco wanted in on the deliciousness. Then again, she likes feet too, so maybe she’s not the best reference to use for my cooking skills.
Now it is Saturday, and it was time for the real deal. Carmen would be coming by to pick up her birthday cupcake and it had to be delicious and beautiful. This time, I went into the baking process full of confidence and it turned out quite all right. I decorated the pumpkin cupcake with my orange-colored frosting and two swirly birthday candles which would function as the stem of the pumpkin.
Success!! She loved it, and that was all I could ask for.
Carmen, grab a spoon and dig in. I hope you love it. Thank you for challenging me with this birthday wish. I had a blast.
You are such an amazing person and I’m so thankful to have you as a friend and sister-in-Christ. You totally rock. Enjoy, my dear. Happy Birthday.
Recipe for frosting:
Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting
– 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
– 1/4 C. unsalted butter, softened
– 2 C. powdered sugar (I ended up adding more of this due to the frosting not being as thick as I had desired. This part is up to you.)
– 1/4 t. vanilla extract
– 1/8 t. ground cinnamon
– 1/8 t. fresh ground nutmeg
– food coloring
In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add food color and mix again. Chill for 15-20 minutes.