Critter Cupcakes

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16 servings
Photo: Sugar Daze/Flickr

Photo: Sugar Daze/Flickr


  • 2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) each ground ginger, nutmeg and allspice
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/3 cups (325 mL) granulated sugar
  • large eggs
  • 1 cup (250 mL) canned pumpkin purée
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) milk
  • decorating supplies (see below)


  • Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 16 muffin-tin compartments with paper cupcake liners.
  • In medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice. Set aside.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat together butter and sugar until light and creamy – about 3-4 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in pumpkin purée. On low speed, alternately stir flour mixture and milk into butter mixture, starting and ending with the flour. Mix until just combined.
  • Pour the batter into prepared cupcake liners, filling each 3⁄4 full. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes; they’re done when a toothpick poked into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean, with no batter clinging to it.
  • Let the cupcakes cool for 5 minutes, then remove from pan to cool completely.
  • To decorate lion critter: Tint canned vanilla icing with orange food colouring. Smooth icing overtop cupcakes. Use toasted flaked almonds to create the lion’s mane. Then cut a gumdrop in half for cheeks, and create eyes with semi-sweet chocolate chips. Use a small pink candy for the nose and black licorice for whiskers. (Have fun creating your own critters by adapting these instructions.)
  • Makes 16 cupcakes.
  • In 1 cupcake: 271 calories, 3.0 g protein, 9.6 g fat, 44.2 g carbohydrates, 33 mg calcium