Food Friday: Spiderweb Pumpkin Ginger Cupcakes


Okay, so I’ve been holding off posting these because I do like to actually post things I HAVE ACTUALLY MADE. But since this last week or so has been exceptionally busy, if I posted things I have actually made recently you would be reading about oatmeal and grilled cheese right now.


So let’s assume that this gorgeous recipe from this gorgeous book (Cupcakes by Eleanor Klivans or the companion Cupcake Deck) is amazing. Everything else I have made from this collection is yummy and fantastic, and if I actually do get to make them YOU WILL BE THE FIRST TO KNOW. Or maybe second or third.

I am looking forward to a quiet moment in my kitchen with this seasonal cupcake recipe, but if you get to it first I will gladly help you critique the recipe.

Spiderweb Pumpkin Ginger Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
3 large eggs
1/4 cup crystallized ginger, cut into 1/8 – 1/4 inch pieces

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
6 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 – 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 – 2 tsp. whole milk

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Sift all the dry ingredients together and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar, and pumpkin until smooth. Mix in eggs and crystallized ginger, and then slowly mix in the dry ingredients until everything is incorporated. Spoon batter into your muffin tin. If you are using a silicone one, you can fill the cups all the way to the top. If not, place cupcake papers into a metal tin and fill halfway. Bake until firm, about 20 minutes or so. Cool on rack.

Beat butter, cream cheese, and vanilla until smooth. Add powdered sugar until frosting is smooth and light.
Set aside 1/4 cup of frosting, and mix cinnamon into this until it turns a light brown color. Add a touch of milk, so frosting is thick but pourable. Place in a sealable freezer bag with all air pressed out, and cut a tiny hole in one of the bag’s corners. This is now a makeshift pastry bag.

Frost cooled cupcakes with white frosting then, using the brown frosting, pipe a dot in the center of the cupcake, and two concentric circles around the dot. Drag a toothpick from the cupcake center to the edge to create the spiderweb pattern.

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Anna Sawin

Anna Sawin is a Connecticut-based portrait, wedding, and editorial photographer. She lives in the shoreline town of Stonington with her family and has discovered the perfect cupcake. Just ask, she is willing to share her secret.


  1. Christine Koh on November 7, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    As you may have seen from my FB Election 2008 album, I am a CUPCAKE FREAK (re: cupcakes piped with Obama’s red, white and blue logo). Anyway, these are beautiful; clearly, it’s time to get baking again! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Mike on November 8, 2008 at 7:47 am

    Again with the cupcakes. Are we ever going to get to taste any of these cupcakes?

  3. Christina on November 8, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    Yummy. They do look divine.

  4. itsallabouthallie on November 9, 2008 at 9:35 pm

    These look so good! I might have to try them, and if i do i promise to bring some to work!!

  5. thelandofka on November 10, 2008 at 10:34 am

    Look yummy! I heard that there are now stores/bakeries that only sell cupcakes and the lines are around the block. $4.00 for a cupcake…Seriously!

  6. JenBun on November 12, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    YUM! I’ve made, if not these exactly, then something similar, and they were DELISH!! 😀

  7. Chelle on November 16, 2008 at 5:49 pm

    Thank you for sharing this. Hallie made these and they were amazing. She left you one, but someone else in the office ate in while you were away… Wasn’t me…


  8. Ally on October 20, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    I made these cupcakes two years ago and lost the recipe and a friend of mine wanted a good fall/halloween baking project and these came to mind immediately. they are superb tasting and look awesome for being relatively easy to decorate. thank you sooo much for posting this recipe i couldn’t find it ANYWHERE!

  9. mike on November 11, 2009 at 10:19 am

    Absolutely divine. Added a bit more pumpkin and had to substitute brown sugar for white (don’t you hate looking for a staple item and finding that it’s not there?). However I think that the brown sugar added a caramel-like depth so it worked out in the end. Thanks for posting this!

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Anna Sawin is a Connecticut-based portrait, wedding, and editorial photographer. She lives in the shoreline town of Stonington with her family and has discovered the perfect cupcake. Just ask, she is willing to share her secret.