Oct 10, 2011

Recipe: two-ingredient carrot-pumpkin cupcakes

I've never really been a dessert person, but Pinterest has introduced me to all sorts of tantalizing baked goods, like these no-bake sinful Cookies & Cream bars. I've never made fudge in my life, but this Orange Creamsicle fudge is enough to make me want to try! And then I remember that I'm sometimes a lazy cook, and 7 ingredients is really way too much. :)

A recipe that's gotten a lot of air time on Pinterest, and also among my online friends, is the two-ingredient pumpkin cake with apple cider glaze. I had actually tried this months ago with chocolate cake mix, but I was using it as a vegan cake, so was trying to hide the pumpkin. This recipe makes the pumpkin the centre stage, which makes it a much more autumny recipe. I have been itching to try it again with a different cake mix, and decided carrot might work. But you could use anything really. Yellow seems to be most popular.

I, as usual, prefer to put my own spin on the recipe. I find glazes too sweet (and unnecessary sugar/calories), but the cake would be probably a bit too simple on its own without the glaze. A friend of mine said she added pumpkin spice to the mix, so I opted in that direction by adding a few spices. The cardamom was a flash of inspiration because I used cardamom in an indian-flavoured creamed spinach recipe last night. That said, I'm still calling it two-ingredient because the spices really are optional. The cake would be quite simple/subtle-tasting on its own, but it would still be decent. And if you're a glaze/icing fan, you could do the apple cider glaze from the original recipe, or some cream-cheese icing if that's your bag.

The original recipe is for a sheet cake, but I went with cupcakes. One could also do those oh-so-trendy mason jar cakes, and apparently one commenter made cake cookies. The cookies made me curious so I tried those with the mix that didn't fit in my 12 cupcake pan + 3 mini-cake pans.

How did they turn out? Well.... they weren't the best cupcakes I've ever tasted. They were more like muffins, they definitely had a lot of spice to them, and they were VERY MOIST. Almost like they were undercooked, but since there's no egg to cook I didn't worry about it too much. I double-checked the recipe and apparently I used nearly DOUBLE the amount of pumpkin that you're supposed to use. I thought it was easier to mix than my previous chocolate attempt. Le sigh. In any case, I probably won't make these exactly like this again even if I do adjust the pumpkin amount, but I think it's useful to share my failures too. Next time, I'll use yellow cake mix, less pumpkin, and probably only make the cake cookies - I like my dessert in bite-sized pieces. The recipe I've provided below is how I should have made it; not how I did make it.

Two-ingredient Carrot-Pumpkin Cupcakes (and Cake Cookies)
Ease: 1 very easy
Time: 1 very quick
Ingredients: very easy
Source: Big Red Kitchen

  • 1 box carrot cake mix (other cakes can be used, see notes above)
  • 1 15oz / 443mL can of pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling! and not a 796 mL can of pumpkin!)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp ground allspice (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp ground cardamom (optional)

  1. Add cake mix (and spices) to a bowl.
  2. Add pumpkin.
  3. Mix well (dry cake mix tends to hide at the bottom). Note that the mixing can take a long time and is quite tiring. But it does mix, so do not add extra liquid!
  4. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  5. Grease cupcake pan / cookie sheet.
  6. Spoon mix into pan / sheet.
  7. Cook for cupcakes for ~20 minutes, cookies for less. (I don't know the exact time since my recipe was wonky).

1 comment:

Stephie C said...

Mmmm I love cardamom so that my dear was a very nice touch!