Life & Play

Spider Pumpkin Cupcakes to Boost Eye Health

October 27, 2016

With Halloween just around the corner, I thought an eye-healthy Halloween treat was in order. I hope you’re not tired of pumpkin yet because these pumpkin spider cupcakes are sure to be a hit for Halloween! You can use any cupcake recipe you’d like, but I think this recipe is great because the cupcakes are quite domed and not flat – making for a more impressive final result.

For the base, I used my whole grain pumpkin cupcake recipe, which has long been a favorite of mine. Nobody ever knows that they’re 100% whole wheat – including picky kids! These pumpkin cupcakes are a great way to get some whole grains into little ones and are so incredibly moist and flavorful. But they’re not just delicious. They’re quite a bit healthier than your typical dessert!

I’ve mentioned this a few times, like in this nut-free granola bar recipe, but whole grains are awesome for your overall health – including your vision. And you know what else is somewhat of an eye superfood? Pumpkin.

It’s rich in carotenoids, including beta-carotene, which is converted in the body to a form of vitamin A that’s beneficial for your vision. Not only does it promote good vision, but it’s been found to help slow the progression of retinal function in those who suffer from the eye disease retinitis pigmentosa.

Studies also indicate that vitamins C and E, also found in pumpkin, can help prevent degenerative damage to your vision.

There’s also a full cup of olive oil in these cupcakes. Although you can taste the olive taste in the batter, once baked, it’s undetectable! Like I wrote in this lemon zucchini muffin recipe, olive oil is also great for your eye health.

Considering these are 100% whole wheat and made with olive oil and pumpkin, I know I’ll feel good about serving these eye-healthy treats at the next Halloween party!
~ Erin @ Texanerin Baking




  • 1.5 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup olive oil or canola oil


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar


  • 20 Oreos
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 40 candy eyes


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Line two muffin pans with 20 paper liners. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. In a larger bowl, whisk the eggs, pumpkin puree, sugar, and oil.
  2. Add the dry mix to the wet and stir just until combined. Do not over mix! Divide the batter among the liners, filling each one almost full, and bake for about 20 – 24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for 3 minutes in the pan and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
  3. Once the cupcakes have cooled, prepare the frosting. Beat the butter and cream cheese until soft and smooth. Add the salt and vanilla and beat until combined. Add in the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, and beat until fluffy. Spread about 1 ½ tablespoons of frosting over each cooled cupcake.
  4. Twist the Oreos apart and place the side without frosting face up on the cupcake. You can also use whole Oreos if you prefer. Melt the chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until melted. Pour into a piping bag. Pipe 4 legs on both sides of the Oreo. Pipe a tiny bit of chocolate on the bottom of two eyes and place on the Oreo
  5. Keep decorated cupcakes refrigerated for one day until ready to serve. Keep undecorated cupcakes at room temperature for up to 3 days. The Oreos get slightly soft over time so decorate just a few hours before serving, if possible.