With All Souls Day looming, I thought I'd put my Libby's canned pumpkin to good use and make some spiced, autumnal cupcakes. These turned out well - really moist with a subtle chai flavour resulting from the mixture of ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg (yes, I made the same sponge batter a year ago in November).
In terms of decorating, I planned to use Betty Crocker's cream cheese frosting (rather than making my own) to create a two-tone orange and white piped effect (to give the desired Halloween-y feel). I mixed my own shade of "orange" by combining using a red and yellow food dye but the result was a delicate peach hue. Gorgeous but not very Halloween-y - note the contrasts in shades of orange below!
I must say, Betty Crocker's frosting isn't a patch on home-made cream-cheese frosting. It's overly-sweet, somewhat artificial tasting and rather looser in consistency than I am used to. I have another couple of tubs to get through, as they were on offer (3 for 2) which incentivised me to bulk buy, but going forward, I will definitely be making my own frosting. That said, I appreciated the ease of being able to simply spoon the product straight into the piping bag without first dispersing icing sugar all over my kitchen and living space as is customary with making one's own from scratch (it literally goes everywhere, doesn't it?!)
So... over all, even though these cakes didn't come out quite as intended, I did like the two-tone effect, and I plan to try this piping technique to create roses on top of some future cupcakes. Watch this space...