Recipe of the Week: Harvest Banana-pumpkin Cupcakes with Honey-cream Cheese Frosting

If you're looking for a fun activity to do with your family for Halloween or Thanksgiving, try these healthy-yummy cupcakes and decorate them together. Serve them up for a boo-tiful addition to your harvest party. This recipe also makes great mini loaves that you can wrap in foil and tie with a ribbon for a holiday Housewarming gift or serve at your Thanksgiving brunch.

Halloween Banana-Pumpkin Cupcakes
with Honey-Cream Cheese Frosting

3 cups flour (I use 1 cup unbleached white and 2 cups whole wheat or spelt)
4 teaspoons baking powder
4 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon flaxseed (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 15-oz. can pumpkin (100% pure)*
4 large eggs
1 cup honey or 1 1/4 cup organic brown sugar
2 medium mashed bananas
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 bag chocolate chips (optional)
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1 8-oz package cream cheese
1/4 cup honey (or until consistency you like)

1/2 bag chocolate chips
chocolate-covered sunflower seeds (They sell them at Whole Foods or Trader Joe's and they're a great alternative to M&Ms with no harmful dyes!)
mint leaves for the green pumpkin stem

Makes 24 muffins + 3 mini loaves or 2 large loaves (cook 1 hour).

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 muffin tins or use paper cups.
2. Mix eggs, butter, honey/sugar, pumpkin and banana.
3. Mix in dry ingredients.
4. Add chocolate chips & nuts. Do not overmix.
5. Pour into loaf pans and bake 25-30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
6. Cool completely on rack. Meanwhile, add softened cream cheese to mixer. Blend until smooth. Add a bit of honey to the consistency you want for your frosting - not too runny.
7. Frost with cream cheese frosting. Garnish with chocolate-covered sunflower seeds or remaining chocolate chips used to make jack-o-lantern faces. Mint leaves make fun all-natural pumpkin stems. (We skip the frosting for the mini loaves so they keep longer.)

*If you'd like to use real pumpkin, check out this technique.


heather said...

Dorina, I seriously don't even know what to say about your blog....I am so impressed!!!! I really, really, really want to eat dinner at your house this week! Do you really like spending hours in the kitchen preparing all this awesome looking stuff? I know you are going to say yes....but the thought of the prep and the clean up just seems exhausting. I hope I am not raining on your parade :) ...I just really am curious. Gotta keep it real, right? :)

Allison Vasquez said...

Have you tried real pumpkin instead of the canned puree? I was thinking I might try that, but I'm not sure if there's any reason I shouldn't . . .

The Gilmores said...

Thanks for the suggestion, Allison. I'm sure real pumpkin would work if you have it on hand and want to spend time cooking it up. (Great way to use your leftover Halloween pumpkins!) I have read that 100% pumpkin puree in a can actually has more nutrients just because it's so concentrated. Both work obviously.

nates5bs said...

Made these tonight and the whole family thought they were yummy! Yippee! Love it when I find a new recipe that is well received and healthy to boot!

The VM Family said...

I'll add my "Yes, these were delicious" comment to the throngs. I made them last week and everyone I shared them with was grateful! The honey/cream cheese frosting is the best part! :)

Jenn said...

I just made up a batch of these and we LOVED them! I didn't put any frosting on top...we just ate them like muffins. The were delicious!

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