Pumpkin and California Walnut Cupcakes

Light and full of flavour, these punchy pumpkin cupcakes are a great idea for National Cupcake Week (18th-24th September)! 

Brought to you by California Walnuts

These pumpkin cupcakes from California Walnuts are a great addition to afternoon tea (and perfect eaten on their own, too).

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For the base

  • 80g California Walnuts
  • 40g brown sugar
  • 20g butter, melted

For the cupcakes

  • 200g nutmeg pumpkin, peeled and chopped
  • 140ml orange juice
  • 200g low-fat cream cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • small pinch of ground nutmeg, cloves, allspice and ginger
  • 80g sugar
  • 1 packet of vanilla sugar
  • 30g flour
  • 40g breadcrumbs
  • ½ tsp baking powder

For the topping

  • 75g California Walnuts, chopped
  • whipped cream
  • 1 tsp cinnamon


  • 12 cupcake cases


Preheat the oven to 175°C.
Grate the pumpkin, then place into a medium saucepan along with the orange juice and cover leaving to simmer for 15 minutes. 
Next, place the contents of the saucepan into a blender and whizz to create a puree, then leave aside.  
To make the base, toast the California walnuts in a dry pan over a low heat until golden brown, stirring frequently. Then crush the California Walnuts into smaller pieces, place into a medium sized bowl and mix with the brown sugar and melted butter. 
Line a 12-hole muffin tray with the cupcake cases. Divide the base mixture between them and push down firmly.  
Beat the cream cheese with the eggs, sunflower oil, spices, sugar, vanilla sugar and pumpkin puree until you get a smooth mixture. 
Add in the flour, breadcrumbs and baking powder and beat together. 
Divide the mixture between the cupcake cases. Bake in the oven for about 30-35 minutes or until risen, and a skewer comes out clean. 
Leave the cupcakes to cool, then place in the fridge for around 2 hours to set.  
For the topping, add whipped cream to each cupcake, along with a pinch of cinnamon and a sprinkle of chopped California Walnuts. 

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