Well, it was inevitable, Pumpkin spice had to hit the blog sooner or later. Halloween is just around the corner and some folks are frantically looking for new treats to try out. These might not have an obvious Halloween theme, but they are totally worth trying anytime of year. I've made these at least a half a dozen times and they never disappoint.
How does everyone feel about Halloween? As a kid, I loved it, of course. I mean what kid doesn't love dressing up and getting candy? Well if you find one that doesn't, let me know. So, being a kid at Halloween is fun.
Sliding into my teen years, I kind of thought it was a tad lame and hid in the house until the day passed me by. Admittedly, I was quite happy to eat the leftover candy or steal from my little brothers and watch non stop fright movies until I was too terrified to sleep. My twenties slipped by with not a ghoul in sight. Then I hit 30, became a mom and Halloween was rejuvenated!
Rejuvenated to the point where I found my inner Halloween something or another. I discovered not only did I like dressing the kids up, I started putting on a costume or two myself. Yea, it is fun even as an adult.
So, for the past number of years, I have decked the Halloween Halls with cobwebs galore, vampire bloodied punch, far too much fake blood, and have listened to Thriller more times than I would like to admit. Yes, there have been no holes barred. One year, I even went to the extent of making half a dozen paper maché heads and building dummies in my front garden to look like dead bodies. Yes, in Spain that may have stuck out a little. Lucky for us, everyone has walls around their gardens, so you only get to see it if you dare go beyond the gate.
I've hosted a Vampire themed Kid's dinner party, made a pumpkin piñata, decorated one too many Halloween cookies, spray painted tree branches black, spooked out neighbours kids with the sound of a running chain saw and too much more to recount. One year recently, we moved on Halloween and I even managed to fit in a kids' party that night. Yes, I have succeeded in embracing Halloween to it fullest.
Now Halloween is upon us once again and I have been itching to break out the cobwebs. Until. Yes, the dreaded words from my 12 year old, "I don't want a Halloween party.". What? How could it possibly be? What has happened to the Halloween spirit? Am I going to have to hold down the fort alone, eating candy into the wee hours and waiting for something terrifying to happen all alone? Possibly yes.
I was told by the 12 (almost 13 year old), that he is too old and Halloween parties are for kids. Oh. When did they grow up and how can I make it stop?
More on Halloween tomorrow when I am back with a proper Halloween treat. For now, a little about the cake squares.
Okay, first of all, I always make my own pumpkin puree. Not that I make it often, because I don't cook or bake with pumpkin often. But when I do, it's the real deal. You may say "Why?". Again, it simply came down do more products that I couldn't buy so I resorted to making my own. I recently read an article on things you don't need to make at home because store bought is just as good. Guess what? Pumpkin puree was on that list. Well, maybe if I could buy it in the supermarket, I would. But for now I will continue slaving away and making my own. You can find out how to do that here.
Apart from that, these cake square are so easy. I made them into a large sheet cake this time around but have even made them in cupcakes in the past. Either way works. In the recipe below you will see I said 24 cake squares. Well, this will vary from person to person depending on how big for small you like to cut them. I personally, like them on the small side. You could cut them into cake size portions as a dessert if you like.
Happy Baking and go on and embrace the spookiness!
Pumpkin Spice Squares
Makes 24 Squares / Prep time: 20 minutes / Bake time: 30 minutes
For the muffins:
1 1/2 Cups/200 grams of flour
1 Teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 Teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 Teaspoon of salt
1 1/2 Teaspoons of cinnamon
Pinch of ground ginger
Pinch of nutmeg
1/2 Cup/110 grams of butter
1 1/2 Cups/150 grams of sugar
1 Teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 Cup/240 ml of pumpkin purée
For the frosting:
1 Cup/225 grams of cream cheese
1 Tablespoon of butter
1 Cup/125 grams of icing sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and line with parchment paper a 12 x 8 inch baking pan.
In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Set aside.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, mix the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix well.
In three additions, add the flour and the pumpkin purée to the butter mixture, starting and ending with the flour. Stir just to combine. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Place on a wire rack to cook for about 5 minutes. Invert cake onto a cooking rack and remove the parchment paper. Leave to cool completely.
To make the frosting, mix the butter and cream cheese until combined. Sift in the icing sugar until smooth.
Put the cake on a serving plate and smooth over icing. Cut into desired cake sized squares. Will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
Click the downloadable link below to print recipe!
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