Fall Cupcakes with Heidi Leuszler

Here are all the recipes from our latest Fall Cupcake cooking class with Heidi Leuszler of Berries and Flour where we made delicious fall-themed cupcakes and hot toddy mocktails using seasonal and local ingredients! Learn how to bake their own Sweet Pumpkin Spicebush cupcakes with a spiced batter using roasted local sweet potato, local kabocha winter squash, and native Spicebush berries frosted with homemade cream cheese icing.


What you'll need:

  • (1) 12-cup cupcake pan, or a 9-inch round cake pan
  • Stove top and oven
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Whisk
  • Baking sheets
  • Hand mixer or stand mixer (optional)
  • Sieve for sifting flour (optional)
  • Piping tip & piping bags
  • Cupcake liners
  • Parchment paper


All-purpose flour
1 cup
Baking soda
1 teaspoon
Baking powder
1/2 teaspoon
Ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon
Ground spicebush berries
1/4 teaspoon
1/2 teaspoon
Fresh ginger, grated
1 tablespoon
Vegetable, canola, or sunflower oil
1/2 cup
Granulated sugar
1/2 cup
Brown sugar
1/3 cup
Cooked, mashed sweet potato
1/2 cup
Cooked, mashed winter squash
1/2 cup
Cream cheese, room temperature
4 ounces
Butter, room temperature
1 1/2 sticks
1 teaspoon
Lemon juice
1 teaspoon
Powdered sugar
1 pound
Natural food colorings
Hot Toddy Mocktail
Midwest Chai tea bag
Hot or boiling water
14 ounces
2 tablespoons
Lemon, squeezed
Lemon wedge
For garnish
Apple cider
8 ounces
Sweet Pumpkin Spicebush Cupcakes
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cut the winter squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place on a baking sheet along with the sweet potato and roast for 1 hour. Remove and let cool.
  3. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees F.
  4. Cut the sweet potato in half. Scoop out the insides and place in a large bowl. Using a potato masher or hand mixer, thoroughly mash the potato.  Repeat with the squash.
  5. Spray and line (with parchment paper) your pan of choice (cupcake, loaf pan, bundt pan, round cake).
  6. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, spicebush, and salt. Set aside.
  7. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, ginger, sweet potato, pumpkin, and eggs until well mixed and creamy.
  8. Add the dry mixture in three batches, mixing thoroughly between each.
  9. Spread into your prepared pan.
  10. Bake for:
    18 minutes for cupcakes
    25 minutes for round pans
    35 minutes for rectangular pans
  11. Before you pull the cake/cupcakes out of the oven, note: does it look wet on the top center? Does it jiggle at all? If not, use a toothpick or thin knife and slowly put it into the cake. If the utensil is clean when pulled out, your cake is done. If not, put it back in the oven in 3 minute increments until the utensil comes out clean.
  12. Cool for 10 minutes before turning the cake out, or cutting into bars.
  13. While the cake/cupcakes are cooling, make the icing.
  14. Place all ingredients into a mixing bowl and beat for 5-8 minutes until smooth and fluffy. Add food dyes as desired halfway through mixing.
  15. When the cake/cupcakes are cool, ice as you desire!


Hot Toddy Mocktail
  1. Using a saucepan, add 14 ounces of water and the 8 ounces of apple cider. Bring to a boil or near boil.
  2. Add the tea bag and steep for 5-6 minutes. Remove the teabag.
  3. Stir in 2 tablespoons honey and lemon juice.
  4. Pour into cups and serve with a lemon wedge.
  5. Serve hot and enjoy!