Pumpkin Chocolate-Chip Cupcakes

31 Mar

Our neighbors, and friends, went away a week or so ago. I call them Pal and Am, fondly, but they are really Al and Pam. We have an arrangement with them where we watch each others’ cats when any of us are out of town, but this time Cookie, their older cat, was a little under the weather. I won’t go into details, but I did suggest trying to give her some puréed pumpkin.

I didn’t promise it would work, which is good, because neither of the cats even tasted it. The potassium I was supposed to give Cookie was nasty—if it tasted anything like it smelled, the poor girl was in trouble. Luckily, the poor kitty’s bad day was someone else’s delicious baked treat…

How can you go wrong if you add chocolate chunks?

The long and the short of it is that I had a lot of pumpkin purée left over. I found it in the fridge today and decided to make these chocolate-chip pumpkin cupcakes that just happen to be vegan. One of the many reasons that I make vegan cupcakes is because the recipe book I have has recipes for 12 cupcakes. Martha Stewart, listen up. Not everyone needs to make 38 effing cupcakes in a batch. I’m not hosting a bake sale for the local grade school, I’m trying to bake some treats for the weekend. Even 12 seems a bit much when there’s only two of us.

Cupcakes ready for the oven. And yes, that's a "coffee maker" behind the cupcakes, and it makes better coffee than the coffeemaker you've got.

Luckily, our neighbors are always appreciative when I bake. I think, in the past, there have been cupcakes passed to Al without Pam even knowing that the cakes existed, because he ate them so quickly. So I know that Al is always a willing recipient of extra cupcakes…plus, I had the pumpkin leftover from their cat, so it seemed fitting to share.

So I whipped these up today in addition to making the batter and frosting for pink velvets, requested as a birthday present by my lovely niece. I’m still waiting on the verdict of their tastiness from next door, but I’m fairly certain it will be positive. Al’s never sent anything back. I gave them five cupcakes—one for Pam, and four for Al. That’s how it’s gonna go down anyway.

By the way, feel free to use real butter and milk in these if you want. But why not try some vegan cupcakes for once? You might like them!

I did adapt this cupcake recipe, so it’s not quite the same as Isa’s. I think they came out a bit fluffier than when I made them exact to the recipe. Plus, I changed the topping. Isa called for cinnamon icing. Cupcakes need more than “icing”—that’s for coffee cake! Let’s have some real chocolate frosting here. Really.


The outdoor photo shoot.

1 cup canned, puréed pumpkin
1/3 cup oil
1 Tbs ground flax seed in 3 Tbs water, blended til thick and creamy
3/4 granulated sugar
1/4 cup soy or coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used Whole Foods’ dark chocolate chunks)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners.

The cat, posing again for another photo.

In a medium bowl, blend together pumpkin, oil, flax seed mixture, sugar, milk and vanilla. I used a stick blender to mix it properly. Sift in the flour, baking soda and powder, cinnamon and salt. Use a whisk to blend them in, not a mixer. Once the mixture is combined, add the chocolate chips.

Divide the batter between your 12 cupcake liners. Bake for 22 minutes, but I always set the timer for 20 and see how they are before setting an exact time. Cool on a wire rack and let fully cool before frosting.


Chocolate buttercream frosting...oh yeah.

2 sticks of Earth Balance butter
6 oz of 70% chocolate
3-1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
3 Tbs coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Melt the chocolate over a double boiler, and let cool. Cream together with the butter until well mixed.

Add the powdered sugar in 1 cup increments and beat well, adding a little splash of milk after each addition.

When all ingredients have been combined well, add the vanilla and beat until light and fluffy—about 3 minutes with a mixer.


22 Responses to “Pumpkin Chocolate-Chip Cupcakes”

  1. An Unrefined Vegan March 31, 2012 at 7:34 pm #

    They look wonderful! I love pumpkin in baked goods. Cats…what do they know ;-)?

    • tinykitchenstories March 31, 2012 at 8:02 pm #

      I was hoping you would like this one! I was thinking of you as I baked them. 🙂
      And cats don’t know much–the dog ate up the last bits of the pumpkin in her food and loved it!

  2. girlinafoodfrenzy March 31, 2012 at 7:42 pm #

    Wow! This looks like a perfect recipe for kids and adults alike! You can actually hide veggies inside and the little ones wouldn’t know (same as my guy!!!) I don’t know if it’s the ‘best’ way to get your daily nutritional intake, but it’s surely one of the yummier options! I’ve never tried making vegan cupcakes before but I promise, I will try one day 🙂

    • tinykitchenstories April 1, 2012 at 11:10 am #

      Vegan cupcakes are even easier than their regular counterparts. These would be great for the kids! And no, it’s probably not the ideal way to get your veggie intake, but I’m not telling… 😉

  3. Thoughts in Little Boxes April 1, 2012 at 2:53 am #

    I LOVE pumpkin. I’ve forced everyone to celebrate Thanksgiving over here just so I can have a pumpkin pie.
    These look amazing! I’ve never tried vegan cupcakes but I think I’ll give them a go!
    Pink Velvet sounds yummy too!
    I think I might get some of my brother’s recipes and whip something up soon.

    • tinykitchenstories April 1, 2012 at 7:47 am #

      I love explaining Thanksgiving to English people! And man, explaining pumpkin pie to them is tough. The Thanksgiving meal itself they get, but not the pie. The “pink” of the pink velvets has turned out a bit mauve because of the chocolate in the batter, but I’m sure my niece will still like them. I’ll post a few shots. 🙂

  4. Shira April 1, 2012 at 8:36 am #

    I bet these are rich and moist – so wonderful you wouldn’t need the real butter! They look fabulous!

    • tinykitchenstories April 1, 2012 at 11:09 am #

      They did turn out very moist, and the buttercream was nice and light–not too heavy so you can pile it on! 😉

  5. Choc Chip Uru April 1, 2012 at 1:04 pm #

    These little cupcakes look full of delicious flavour – love them 😀
    And great frosting too!

    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Bleeding Jam Marbled Mudcake

  6. filingawaycupcakes April 2, 2012 at 1:29 am #

    What a great idea. I have never thought to mix pumpkin and chocolate. I love the two, so I am sure I would be addicted.

    • tinykitchenstories April 2, 2012 at 1:58 pm #

      Me neither, but once I heard it I realized it would be magic. Not *quite* as good as chocolate and peanut butter, but what can you do?

  7. debbrunson April 3, 2012 at 8:57 am #

    These look absolutely perfect! You are hilarious… agreed 12 is generally more than plenty. And I love the combination of pumpkin and chocolate… and always love the posing kitty shots 😉

    • tinykitchenstories April 3, 2012 at 9:46 am #

      Lenin was a born model! Even at 13, he’s a looker (although everyone thinks he’s a girl and the dog’s a boy…oh well!)
      And yes, there’s still 3.5 cupcakes left, even though I gave 5 away to the neighbors!

      • debbrunson April 3, 2012 at 10:56 am #

        Lenin… cute 😉 I can’t believe he’s 13! I’m impressed with your cupcake discipline… don’t think I’d still have 3.5 left…

        • tinykitchenstories April 3, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

          They’re actually pretty rich. Maybe that’s just the amount of frosting I put on…? 😉

  8. After Taste April 7, 2012 at 11:15 pm #

    Yum! They look fantastic.


  1. I’m Joining the Automattic WorldWide 5k Challenge. Are you? « tinykitchenstories - April 10, 2012

    […] Read more… 527 more words I'm up for this! I'm actually going to be running 11 miles that day, training for the OC Half Marathon on May 6, so I can count 5k of that to this fun, global goal. Challenge accepted! (Besides, I've got to work off those pumpkin chocolate chip cupcakes…) […]

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