Over the years, many recipes have been shared with us by bloggers, readers, cookbook authors, and food manufacturers. And once in a great while, it turns out that their recipe doesn’t quite work out as written. When that happens, I try to set aside some time to dive in and fix it. That’s how these decadent chocolate pumpkin tartlet cupcakes came to be.
This recipe makeover was sponsored by Enjoy Life Foods, but I do LOVE and buy their products for easy, allergy-friendly treats. Plus, the photos and overhaul into chocolate pumpkin tartlets were all my doing.
The original recipe for pumpkin tartlets had a wonderful crust, but the filling wasn’t smooth and refused to bake up (despite tripling the baking time!). I wanted to keep the recipe vegan, gluten-free and top allergen-free, so I grabbed my Enjoy Life supplies and started brain-storming.
I jotted down several ideas, but I knew that going chocolate was the best solution. I mean, how can you ever go wrong with chocolate? Plus, I remembered how amazing Dreena Burton’s Recipe was for chocolate pumpkin pie. I followed my friend’s lead and these delicious fudgy tartlet-style cupcakes emerged from my oven.
The pumpkin helps to soften the dairy-free chocolate just enough, but it also adds depth to the flavor. And although the recipe sounds quite sweet, it’s actually got a rather mature, rich flavor. The sugar cookie crust is just sweet enough to compliment the indulgent dark chocolaty filling.
You can eat these pumpkin chocolate tartlet cupcakes at room temperature, but I prefer to chill them for at least an hour or longer. This firms them up more and allows the spices a little time to develop. They don’t provide a punch of seasoning, but rather little nuances of warmth in the aftertaste.
Special Diet Notes: Chocolate Pumpkin Tartlet Cupcakes
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, vegetarian, and generally top food allergy friendly.
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour or gluten-free all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup finely crushed crunchy sugar cookies* (I use Enjoy Life Sugar Crisps)
- 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if using regular all-purpose flour)
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Big pinch salt
- 2 tablespoons palm shortening (like Spectrum or Nutiva)
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- ⅔ cup dairy-free semi-sweet mini chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life Mini Chips) + additional for garnish
- ⅔ cup pumpkin puree
- 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
- ½ tablespoon non-GMO cornstarch or arrowroot starch
- ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Preheat your oven to 350°F and line 6 muffin cups with cupcake liners.
- To make the crust, place the flour blend, crushed cookies, sugar, xanthan gum, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk until well combined.
- Add the shortening and maple syrup and whisk until well dispersed and the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
- Add 2 level tablespoons (not packed) of the crumb mixture to each of the cupcake liners. You should have some leftover for the topping. Pack the crumb mixture very firmly into each cupcake liner.
- For the chocolate pumpkin filling, melt the chocolate chips in a medium bowl. Whisk in the pumpkin, brown sugar, starch, spice, and salt. If the pumpkin is cool at all, heat the mixture just a bit to keep the chocolate from seizing up. It should be very thick, but creamy and easy to stir.
- Divide the filling evenly atop the crusts and tap or shake the muffin cups to level the filling.
- Top each with the remaining crumb mixture and a smattering of chocolate chips. Very lightly press the crumb mixture just a little bit into the tops.
- Bake for 25 minutes.
- The tartlets can be enjoyed at room temperature, but I prefer to chill them in the refrigerator for an hour or more. I like the taste and texture better once cool. Gently peel off the cupcake liners to serve. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They can also be frozen.
Can something be subbed for the shortening? Dairy free butter perhaps?
Yes, that should work just fine!