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Pumpkin Seed Cupcakes

Serve these moist cupcakes slathered with cream cheese frosting and covered in a riot of crunchy toasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds. The same cupcake batter can be baked in an 8-inch round cake pan as an impressive dessert, or in a 10-by-4-inch loaf pan as a lovely gift. If you prefer an unfrosted cake, generously sprinkle the batter with the raw seeds before baking; the seeds will toast into a delicious topping.

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  • Servings: makes 12 cupcakes

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pumpkin cupcakes
  • 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds (about 5 ounces)
  • 1 cup raw sunflower seeds (about 5 ounces)
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 scant cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup warm water
cream cheese frosting
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Toast the pumpkin and sunflower seeds on a large rimmed baking sheet for about 12 minutes, stirring once or twice, until they turn light golden. Let the seeds cool, then transfer to a small bowl.
  2. Lightly oil a 12-cup muffin tin. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, and cloves; stir with a whisk to combine. In another medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the granulated sugar with the vegetable oil. Add the eggs and beat at high speed until the mixture lightens in color. Reduce the speed to low and beat in the pumpkin puree and water.
  3. Whisk the pumpkin mixture into the dry ingredients, scraping the bottom of the bowl to incorporate the four. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups and bake for about 25 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer the cupcakes to a rack to cool completely.
  4. Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese with the butter until smooth. Beat in the confectioners' sugar and vanilla.
  5. Using a small metal spatula or a knife, frost the cupcakes. Roll the frosted cupcakes in the toasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds to coat the top, then serve.
Contributed By Published November 1997

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