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Recipe of the Week: Harvest Banana-pumpkin Cupcakes with Honey-cream Cheese Frosting

Posted Dec 18 2008 7:31pm

If you're looking for a fun activity to do with your family for Halloween or Thanksgiving, try these healthy-yummy cupcakes and decorate them together. Serve them up for a boo-tiful addition to your harvest party. This recipe also makes great mini loaves that you can wrap in foil and tie with a ribbon for a holiday Housewarming gift or serve at your Thanksgiving brunch.

Halloween Banana-Pumpkin Cupcakes
with Honey-Cream Cheese Frosting

3 cups flour (I use 1 cup unbleached white and 2 cups whole wheat or spelt)
4 teaspoons baking powder
4 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon flaxseed (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 15-oz. can pumpkin (100% pure)*
4 large eggs
1 cup honey
2 medium mashed bananas
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 bag chocolate chips (optional)
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1 8-oz package cream cheese
1/4 cup honey (or until consistency you like)

1/2 bag chocolate chips
chocolate-covered sunflower seeds (They sell them at Whole Foods or Trader Joe's and they're a great alternative to M&Ms with no harmful dyes!)
mint leaves for the green pumpkin stem

Makes 24 muffins + 3 mini loaves or 2 large loaves (cook 1 hour).

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 muffin tins or use paper cups.
2. Mix eggs, butter, sugars/honey, pumpkin and banana.
3. Mix in dry ingredients.
4. Add chocolate chips & nuts. Do not overmix.
5. Pour into loaf pans and bake 25-30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
6. Cool completely on rack. Meanwhile, add softened cream cheese to mixer. Blend until smooth. Add a bit of honey to the consistency you want for your frosting - not too runny.
7. Frost with cream cheese frosting. Garnish with chocolate-covered sunflower seeds or remaining chocolate chips used to make jack-o-lantern faces. Mint leaves make fun all-natural pumpkin stems. (We skip the frosting for the mini loaves so they keep longer.)

*If you'd like to use real pumpkin, check out this technique.

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