September 22, 2016

High-Rise Pumpkin Cupcakes

Recipe: Angela Liddon

Angela Liddon shares a recipe from her cookbook Oh She Glows Everyday.

These irresistible pumpkin spice cupcakes are amazing in the fall or winter months — but I certainly don’t hesitate to make them in the summer, too! The cupcakes are surprisingly light and fluffy, and if you’re anything like me you might scream with delight when you see how much they rise while they bake. I use white (or light) spelt flour to give these a wonderful, moist, and light texture. If you can’t find any, you can use whole spelt flour in the recipe, but be aware that the cupcakes will be more dense (yet still tasty!). A big thanks to Dreena Burton, talented cookbook author and blogger at, for inspiring this recipe!

Tip 1: Feel free to substitute 2 cups all-purpose white flour instead of spelt flour.

Tip 2: I use grapeseed oil in this cake because it’s neutral, with virtually no flavor. I don’t recommend using a strong-tasting oil like extra-virgin olive oil. If you don’t have grapeseed oil or refined coconut oil (which is also flavorless), you can use melted virgin coconut oil. Just note that the cake will have a light coconut flavor. When using melted coconut oil, make sure the rest of your ingredients are at room temperature to prevent the coconut oil from solidifying.

Make it nut-free: Swap the almond milk for coconut milk or another nut-free milk of your choice.

Make it soy-free: Use soy-free vegan butter for the Spiced Buttercream.


  • 2 1/4 cups white/light spelt flour (see Tip)
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons natural cane sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened pumpkin purée
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil or refined coconut oil, melted (see Tip)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) pure vanilla extract
  • Spiced Buttercream Frosting (recipe here)


Yield: Makes 12 Cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin with oil or line it with nonstick paper liners (I prefer If You Care brand Large Baking Cups, as I’ve found other brands, such as Reynolds, can stick).
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt, allspice, and cloves until combined.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the pumpkin purée, milk, maple syrup, oil, lemon juice, and vanilla until smooth.
  4. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir until combined. Stop mixing as soon as there are no dry patches of flour, on the bottom of the bowl; it’s important not to overmix spelt flour as it can result in a dense cupcake. The batter will be quite thick (like a muffin batter), but this is normal.
  5. Scoop the batter (I like to use a retractable ice cream scoop) into each well of the prepared muffin tin, filling them two-thirds to three-quarters full. Smooth out the tops a bit. Bake for 24 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cupcake comes out clean and the cake springs back — very slowly — when touched. The cupcakes rise beautifully — you might actually scream with joy when you see the beautiful rounded tops!
  6. Let cool in the pan on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes. Gently transfer the cupcakes to the rack and let cool completely. (Be sure the cupcakes are not warm when you frost them, or the frosting will melt.)
  7. Frost the cooled cupcakes with Spiced Buttercream Frosting. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also freeze the cupcakes: Place the frosted cupcakes on a plate and freeze, uncovered. Once the frosting has hardened, remove the cupcakes from the freezer and wrap them individually with plastic wrap. Transfer them to an airtight container and freeze for up to 1 month. To thaw, unwrap the cupcake and place it in the fridge or on the counter until thawed throughout.

Excerpted from Oh She Glows Every Day by Angela Liddon. Copyright © Glo Bakery Corporation, 2016. Photography, Food and Prop Styling by Ashley McLaughlin. Lifestyle Photography © Sandy Nicholson. Published by Penguin, an imprint of Penguin Canada Books Inc., a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. All rights reserved.