We all enter contests sometimes, and as a baking blogger, finding and entering contests is pretty much a part of my job. I found one such contest a few weeks ago. Giada de Laurentiis of Food Network fame ran a recipe contest asking people to put their spin on one of the recipes from her show of Halloween sweets. Four winners would be chosen, and they would be featured on the homepage of her website for a day. This was perfect for me.
So I went to the drawing board. The episode featured a yogurt and fruit parfait, chocolate cake pops, and pumpkin oatmeal raisin cookies. Hmmmmm . . . pumpkin oatmeal raisin cookies. What if I turned them into cupcakes?
That’s exactly what I did with the addition of a simple maple glaze. They were easy to make and fantastic on the first try, exceeding my expectations. I was super excited. I submitted my entry, following the rules to a tee and was even retweeted by a Giada fan Twitter.
The day for winners to be announced came. I was not one of them. Can’t win ‘em all; I understand that. But only two winners were chosen. Not four. Based on a Twitter search there didn’t seem to be many entries, but mine is clearly there. Since I know there were more than two entries, three (if there were only three) or four winners should have been chosen as stated.
I’m still a fan of Giada and her food, but this unfair contest has disappointed and upset me a great deal. It is so important that all contests, perhaps especially those from our food idols, be run properly. I can assure you all giveaways and contests here will be run exactly according to the rules specified.
The good news is these cupcakes are still amazing, healthy, and just in time for Thanksgiving. Moist pumpkin cupcakes get a bit of chewy texture from oatmeal, along with sweetness from raisins and a bit of spice. They’re topped with demerara sugar, giving great crunch and flavor. Though totally unnecessary, a maple glaze makes the whole thing irresistible. Make these a day or two before Thanksgiving as a power breakfast while making turkey, a snack for waiting and hungry guests, dessert, or as a treat just for you after all the company is gone. These will be a winner in your book, even if they weren’t in Giada’s.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup old fashioned oatmeal
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ cup demerara sugar, plus more for sprinkling
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (preferably homemade)
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup raisins
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2-4 tablespoons pure maple syrup.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 11 cups in a muffin tin with paper liners.
- In a medium bowl, stir together flour, oatmeal, salt, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and cloves. In a large bowl, stir together sugar, syrup, eggs, pumpkin, oil, and vanilla. Pour flour mixture into sugar mixture and stir just to combine. Fold in raisins until evenly distributed.
- Using a regular sized ice cream scoop, scoop batter into paper liners, filling all the way to the top. Sprinkle with demerara sugar. Bake for about 20 minutes, rotating halfway through if necessary, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out with only a few moist crumbs. Cool completely in pan.
- When the cupcakes have cooled completely, make the glaze. In a medium bowl, stir together sugar, vanilla, and syrup, until a thick yet spreadable glaze has formed, adding more sugar or syrup as necessary. Drizzle over cupcakes immediately. Cupcakes with glaze may be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days, or frozen without glaze wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 4 months. Thaw at room temperature for a couple hours, or in a 350 degree F oven for about 20 minutes.