Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes or Muffins w/ Optional Cream Cheese Frosting

pumpkin spice cupcakes2

Its sunny and warm in Los Angeles right now but it felt like fall in my kitchen when I was making these pumpkin spice muffins. It’s only been over the last couple of years that I have really begun to enjoy pumpkin flavored dishes. I remember when I was living in Australia, a fellow classmate who was Australian, brought a can of pumpkin soup to school for lunch. I thought it was the weirdest thing. I mean, pumpkin in my mind was not a standard food item that we had during any other part of the year except the holidays and it was typically in a dessert.  Here we were in March and she was eating a can of pumpkin soup. Does pumpkin soup even come in a can in America? I do not know but I think the differences in culture and food are truly fascinating and watching my friend eat pumpkin soup from a can opened my mind to a whole new view of what pumpkin dishes could be.

pumpkin spice cupcakes

These cupcakes could be muffins if you omit the cream cheese frosting. I was making these for a cheese lover which is why I choose to make the frosting. I myself limit the amount of dairy in my diet so much that it is almost non-existent but I will say this frosting was really good and super easy to make. The muffins/cupcakes are dairy, soy, gluten free and can be vegan if you use an egg substitute. Be creative and make this recipe work for you! 
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What you need:
1 1/2 cups almond meal
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup pureed pumpkin (I used canned)
1/4 cup coconut nectar
1 egg or egg substitute
1 tbsp coconut oil
3/4 tbsp arrowroot powder
1/2 tsp of each cinnamon, nutmeg & ground cloves
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch pink salt

For the Frosting (optional)
1 8oz container of cream cheese
1/2 cup xylitol
5-7 drops liquid stevia

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.
3. In a different bowl mix all the wet ingredients until emulsified.
4. Combine the dry and wet ingredients until smooth consistency is reached
5. prepare a muffin/cupcake tray by coating with coconut oil, i use spray. Then evenly disperse the batter in the tins. about 3/4 full for 6 regular sized muffins/cupcakes.
6. Bake for 15-20 minuets. poke with tooth pick to make sure in comes out clean which means they are done baking. Let cool completely

For the Frosting: 
1. Combine everything in a bowl and whip together using an electric hand mixer. taste it and adjust as needed.
2. Put in a plastic ziplock and put in the fridge while the muffins/cupcakes bake. 
3. After the muffins/cupcakes cool completely, cut a small hole in the corner of the back and squeeze out the frosting on to the cupcake turning the cupcake by hand to frost in a circular way. 

Enjoy!
xx
Cara

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