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Filipino Folklore Pumpkin Cupcakes

with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

Pumpkin Cupcakes:
1 cups AP flour [120 g]
1/4 cup granulated sugar [50 g]
1 tsp baking powder [4 g]
1/2 tsp baking soda [2.5 g]
1/2 tsp salt [2.8 g]
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice [1.9 g]
1 tsp ground ginger [1.6 g]
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon [1.3 g]
half of a 15-oz can pureed pumpkin [212.6 g]
1/2 cup vegetable oil [120 mL]
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar [110 g]
2 large eggs [100 g]
2 tsp vanilla extract [10 mL]

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 stick unsalted butter [113.6 g]
8 oz cream cheese [226.4 g]
3/4 cups powdered sugar [90 g]
1/8 cup pure maple syrup [30 mL]
1 tsp vanilla extract [5 mL]
1/4 tsp salt [1.4 g]
1/2 tsp green gel food coloring [2.5 mL]
1/2 tsp orange gel food coloring [2.5 mL]

Black Frosting:
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips [175 g]
2 tbsp black cocoa powder [10 g]

candy eye treat toppers
chocolate Wafer Sticks cut into 2" pieces (cigar for Kapre)
white chocolate chips (teeth for aswang)
red fruit roll-ups cut into 2" pieces with a tapered tip (tongue for aswang)

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Prep: Set 1 stick of unsalted butter and 1 bar (8 oz) of cream cheese aside at room temperature to soften. These will be used for the frosting later.

Pumpkin Cupcakes:

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper cupcake liners.

In a large mixing bowl with a sieve, add 1 cup AP flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice, 1 tsp ground ginger, and 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon. Sift these into the bowl to combine.

In a medium mixing bowl, add in half of a 15-oz can of pumpkin puree (about 7.5 oz), 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1/2 packed cup of light brown sugar, 2 large eggs, and 2 tsp vanilla extract. Whisk these together till everything is well combined.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and whisk together till everything is well combined.

Distribute the batter evenly between the 12 cupcake liners, about 1/4 cup of batter for each cupcake.

Bake the cupcakes at 350 F for 18 - 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a metal rack and let it cool completely to room temperature.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

In the bowl of your stand mixer, add in the 1 stick (8 tbsp) of unsalted butter and 1 bar (8 oz) of cream cheese that had been set aside earlier. With the paddle attachment, beat these on medium speed till the butter and cream cheese are incorporated and look fluffy.

Turn down the mixer to low speed, and slowly add in 3/4 cups of powdered sugar, careful so it does not fly everywhere.

When all the powdered sugar has been added, turn the speed back up to medium, and add in 1/8 cup of maple syrup, 1 tsp of vanilla extract, and 1/4 tsp of table salt. Stop the mixer, and scrape down the bowl and paddle attachment as needed. Continue mixing until the mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes.

Take approximately one-third of the cream cheese frosting, add 1/2 tsp of green gel food coloring to it, and mix to combine. This will be the base of the Kapre cupcakes, as well as the skin of the Pugot Mamu cupcakes. Take approximately one-third of the cream cheese frosting, add 1/2 tsp of orange gel food coloring to it, and mix to combine. These will be used for the base of the Aswang cupcakes. The remaining white frosting will be used for the hair of the Aswang cupcakes, and teeth for the Pugot Mamu cupcakes.

Leave the cream cheese frosting in the fridge till you're ready to use them.

Black Frosting:

In a microwave-safe bowl, add in 1 cup of bittersweet chocolate chips. Microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds, in 30 second increments. Stir the chocolate in between the blasts in the microwave. Once hot, mix with a spoon so everything is melted and smooth.

When the chocolate has fully melted, add in 2 tbsp of black cocoa powder, and whisk to combine.

Kapre Cupcakes:

Smear a base layer of green frosting onto 4 cupcakes.

Add 2 candy eyes. I like to use a toothpick to adjust the positioning. Then insert a 2" piece of chocolate wafer stick where its mouth should be, pressing into the pumpkin cupcake so the wafer stays in place as the "cigar"

Fit a piping bag with a #233 grass tip, and add some black frosting into the bag. Pipe frosting to create hair around the eyes and a mustache/beard around the cigar. Hold the bag straight and just slightly above the surface of the cupcake, squeeze, then pull up and away when the strand is about 1/4" long. Pull the strands right or left to create a natural pattern and directionality to the hair.

Do this to make 4 Kapre cupcakes.

Aswang Cupcakes:

Smear a base layer of orange frosting onto 4 cupcakes.

Place 2 candy eyes.

Then press a 2" piece of red fruit by the foot (with the tip cut so it's tapered) as the tongue of the Aswang.

Then place 2 white chocolate chips as teeth on either side at the top of the tongue.

Fit a piping bag with a #233 grass tip, and add some white frosting into the bag.

Pipe frosting to create long white hair for the aswang. I like to make the hair strands long and flowy. Start piping towards the top of the cupcake (above the eyes), and let the long white strands flow down towards the bottom of the face.

Do this to make 4 Aswang cupcakes.

Pugot Mamu Cupcakes:

Smear a base layer of black frosting onto 4 cupcakes.

Fit a piping bag with a small round tip, like a #3, and add some white frosting into the bag. Pipe the outline of the Pugot Mamu's mouth with the white frosting at the center of the cupcake. Then create the teeth by piping small dollops of frosting along the outline of the mouth pointing in.

Fit a piping bag with a small open star tip, like a #21, and add some green frosting into the bag. Pipe dollops of frosting all over the surface of the cupcake, avoiding the mouth and teeth that have already been piped.

Do this to make 4 Pugot Mamu cupcakes.

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