Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Halloween Chocolate Bark

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It’s hard not to notice the growing presence and popularity of Halloween here in Australia. My American friend was shocked to hear I never went trick or treating, or carved a pumpkin. But now it’s everywhere! I don’t mind, but I know a lot of people are wary of being too ‘Americanised’ (despite Halloween not originating in America).

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So Halloween. Being relatively new to Halloween, I wanted to try my hand at some ‘traditional’ Halloween flavours. I love pumpkin, both savoury and sweet, so versatile and delicious. I’ve made pumpkin pie before but wanted to do something a bit different.

Over the past year I’ve become a big fan of Katharine Sabbath (@katharinesabbath on Instagram). I love her flamboyant style of baking and wanted to do something reminiscent of that. In particular I love how she makes chocolate bark, so I tried to do that for the cupcakes.

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This chocolate bark is melted white chocolate. I then dyed some white chocolate with Americolor purple gel and some Americolor Flo Coat to allow the water based gel to mix with the oil based chocolate. I didn’t add enough Flo Coat though so the chocolate still seized up; will have to experiment with that a bit more. Breaking the chocolate bark was a mission haha! I think I made it too thick.

My local IGA had candy corn in their imported section, so I threw that in along with some sprinkles! I’ve never had candy corn, and it’s delicious. And obviously very bad for you. But delicious.

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Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes
(Adapted from Wilton.com Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes)

Makes approx. 24 cupcakes
150g butter, softened
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
2 eggs
2 cups self raising flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp mixed spice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 cup pumpkin, boiled mashed and cooled
1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 180°C. Cream together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs and beat thoroughly one at a time.

Add dry ingredients and beat until combined. Add pumpkin until combined. Add milk until combined.

Spoon cake mix and divide into cupcake patties. Bake for about ten minutes or until cooked all the way through. Allow to cool on a cooling rack.

Top with cream cheese frosting and chocolate bark.

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Here is me co-ordinating my outfit with my cupcakes, hehe.

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Happy Halloween!

Wedding Cakes: Hannah and Anthin

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This weekend my good friend Hannah married the love of her life. I had the absolute honour and pleasure of baking a couple of cakes for their dessert selection. It was also a little nerve-wracking as the order was for two 30cm (12″) cakes, the largest I’ve ever done!

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The first was a simple vanilla cake with cream cheese frosting. I quadrupled a Women’s Day recipe and made a triple batch of frosting for the cake. The roses were piped on using a size 1M star tip.

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The second cake was a red velvet cake. I doubled this Donna Hay recipe and used store-bought Betty Crocker frosting to save time. This cake proved more finicky than the rose cake as the cake was drier and collapsed a little; and my smooth icing skills aren’t so great.

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A tip for large cakes which I was given by Anthin’s mum is to wrap a wet tea towel in tin foil and paperclip it to the outside of the cake tin; this insulates the outside and helps stop the cake from becoming too dry on the outside.

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The wedding itself was beautiful and lots of fun with good friends. So blessed to have such amazing friends!

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