Yummo! I wanted to make something in the spirit of Halloween so started poking around for a cupcake recipe involving pumpkins. I found this one on Sweetopia and am so pleased with the results, especially since this was my first go using pumpkin in something sweet. The recipe (American) called for canned pumpkin puree. Not for the life of me could I find any in the supermarket, not even in the baby food section (there was a combo of pumpkin, potato and beef, but that seemed a touch risque). I ended up making pumpkin puree the old fashioned way... with an actual pumpkin. I like to think that this fact negates all the sugar and white flour in the recipe. "They're healthy, guys, they have an actual pumpkin in them!" The cupcakes were meant to be decorated little fondant pumpkins on top, but this was my first time working with fondant and my pumpkins were turning out black and red. They were looking very scary, but not in a good way. So instead, these turned out like posh Halloween cupcakes from the land of No Imagination, designed for folk who frighten easily. Anyway, they taste lovely!

Have you noticed that Halloween is becoming more of a "thing" in Australia? Or at least, there's been more junky Halloween merchandise in the shops than before? When I was a kid I think it was hardly a thing at all. One year I made my parents buy lots of lollies for us to give to trick-or-treaters and no one came. Not a single solitary knock. What a sad little story!

We received a note in the letterbox a few days ago from a fellow neighbour, inviting the children in the street to congregate at one of the houses on the 31st to go trick-or treating together. They included an orange balloon with the note, saying that if you're happy to have trick-or-treaters visit your house you should tie the balloon to your letterbox, but if there is no balloon they will respect your privacy. What a great idea. (This is probably a very old idea and I have been living under a rock since my Hallo' disaster of '93.)

If Halloween had fallen on the same night as The Bachelor that little balloon might never have seen the light of moon, but the TV schedge is all clear and that should be a little bit of fun for the little and big kiddies!

Cuppy notes: You can safely halve the amount of icing in the recipe on Sweetopia, unless you want to have 4 spare cups of icing to nibble on. I also used a quarter olive oil as I was oil of vegetable oil... next time will try all olive oil, as vege oil is not so great for you!

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