autumn, recipe, sweet

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Molasses Cardamom Icing

 Strap yourself in! We are officially entering the Winter Holiday Season.

We do seem to get excited a little earlier every year. I’ve seen Christmas decorations installed in September! Cities all over the world including Montreal have already lined their streets with light-decorated trees or a light tree. And this definitely happened before Hallowe’en. But I am very reluctant to appreciate them when I’m walking by in the balmy October air.  I believe mid-November marks the moment where I officially accept these decorations, firstly, and secondly, cherish them until the last pine needle falls.

I think Remembrance day, or Veterans day, on November 11th is the perfect mark for the transition from fall into winter here in North America. And come on, it’s just kind of polite to honor the soldiers who fell during the first and second World War.

And guess what? Today is November 12th! Have you started holiday shopping yet? You only have 6 weeks left!! 🙂 Here, calm your anxiety with a cupcake.
These cupcakes are a delicious blend of a healthy pumpkin muffin-like base, and a naughty icing flavoured with molasses and cardamom. If you choose to add the crystallized ginger pieces, get ready for deliciously sweet pockets of ginger sprinkled throughout your cake! Yum!

Pumpkin Cupcakes


– 1 and 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
– 1 tsp each baking powder and baking soda
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1 and 1/2 tsp cinnamon
– 1/4 tsp each ground cloves and nutmeg
– 2 large eggs
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 1/2 cup granulated sugar
– 1 cup pumpkin puree
– 1/4 cup grape seed oil
– 3/4 cup milk (or milk alternative like soy or almond)
– 1/4 cup crystallized ginger, chopped finely (optional)


1.  Preheat oven to 350F and line a muffin pan with butter or muffin papers.
2. Stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices in a medium bowl. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Add the pumpkin puree, oil and milk and stir together.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and fold just until combined. Fold in the crystallized ginger at the end if using. Divide among 12 muffins
5. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the tops bounce back when pressed lightly or a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
6. Cool entirely before adding the icing

Molasses Cardamom Icing


– 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
– 1 tbsp molasses
– 2 cups icing sugar
–  2-3 tbsp milk
– 1/4 tsp ground cardamom


1.  Using a hand mixer, combine the butter and molasses in a medium-size bowl. Alternate adding in the icing sugar and milk, being sure to end on the milk. Only add enough milk to have a nice icing texture (if it ends up being too liquidy, simply add more icing sugar).
2. Pipe it your preferred way! You can also sprinkle a bit more cardamom on the top if you like.

But do share: when do you think fall ends and winter begins? When do you begin to accept the Winter Holiday season? Share in the comments!