Enjoy a treat that’s light on sugar but heavy on yum.

A Semi-Healthy Treat for Halloween: Pumpkin-Carrot Cupcakes

My son has been invited to his first Halloween party. Since he’s only 13 months old and doesn’t really understand the joy of candy yet, I’d prefer not to introduce him. Instead, I’d like to bring a treat to share that resembles something healthy. Don’t get me wrong, as a former pastry chef I’m all for delicious desserts, but if I can limit some of the sugar with something homemade, why not?

A few years ago, while working on a carrot story, I created a whole-wheat carrot muffin recipe. I decided to use that recipe with one seasonally appropriate tweak and a cream cheese pumpkin frosting for the top.



We called this recipe ‘Miracle Carrot Muffins’ (click here to see original recipe) because they were so moist and very easy to make. The trick is to simmer the shredded carrot and spices before you mix it into the flour. However, for the cupcakes, I replaced the raisins with 1/4 cup of canned pumpkin purée.



Then, I used cupcake liners in the pans. I like to make small ones for the kids and then a couple of larger ones for any adults who can’t resist the temptation. Also, I think it looks nice on a display to have a choice of sizes. For one recipe, you’ll get 24 mini cupcakes and about 9 regular size cupcakes. (Note: The minis only take about 5 minutes to bake.)



Once they’re out of the oven and cooling, I made up some cream cheese frosting using a recipe from the Sunset cookbook and adding 2 to 3 tbsp. of pumpkin purée and a little orange zest. I used a large star tip to pipe the frosting one, and voilà!



Delicious homemade Halloween treats.





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