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Are you going to a Halloween Party and need a tasty vegan treat to bring? Get ready to share these deliciously moist cakes that hide some real autumn goodness.

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Making the most of my autumn bounty part 2: I’m still on the look out for tasty ways to combat my ‘Monster’ Mother Hubbard squash. Back in the summer I was researching an article for Cook Vegetarian magazine about butternut squash (September issue). Whilst looking for a fun way to incorporate silky smooth squash puree I discovered how to add an extra twist to scrumptiously spiced cupcakes. My recipe is coming in very handy right now and I can’t wait to share these with sticky-fingered witches, ghosts and ghoulies.

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I like to think of myself as a ‘nutrition-aware’ kind of mum. And whilst I strive to give my two young boys a balanced vegan diet, I know that treats are just as important to them as they are to me. I LOVE cake!  By adding the squash and choosing unrefined sugar and some wholemeal flour, I can convince myself that these cute little cakes may almost be good for me. Better have another one then…

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Squishy Squashy Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

Makes 12-14
For the cakes:
325g squash, peeled
90g brown sugar
90g granulated sugar
125g self-raising flour
30g wholemeal flour
1 level tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground ginger
a generous pinch of cardamom and salt
1 tsp vinegar
80 ml oil
60ml soya milk

For the icing:
(use the full amount for big piped on icing swirls a la Ms. Cupcake. Half of this will be plenty for the Halloween cakes)
125g dairy-free cream cheese
25g margarine
425g icing sugar
a tube of black writing icing.

Cut the squash into small chunks and boil them until tender, then drain and set aside. Preheat the oven to 180˚C.
Mix flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda and the spices in a bowl (or should that be a cauldron?). Blend the squash with a handblender or liquidiser and add to the dry ingredients. Stir in the vinegar, vegetable oil and milk. Line a muffin tray with pretty paper cases and fill them about two-thirds with the cake batter. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

For the icing, combine the cream cheese and margarine. Gradually stir in the icing sugar until you get the desired consistency. Scoop into an icing bag and pipe onto the cakes. While the icing is still soft, use the black icing tube to draw 3-4 circles onto each cupcake (increasing in size). Drag the end of a toothpick from the centre to the edge of the cake to create the web effect.
Decorate with plastic spiders and whisper your magic spell!

I’d love to hear about your favourite ideas for fun Halloween treats 🙂

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