[Photographs: Elizabeth Barbone]

Forget the candy, my favorite treat at school Halloween parties were the frosted marble cupcakes decorated with a mellowcreme pumpkin. (I prefered the mellowcreme cupcakes because, to me, mellowcreme pumpkins tasted like giant pieces of candy corn. And back then I loved candy corn.)

Those schooltime marble cupcakes inspired this recipe. But instead of swirling vanilla and chocolate cake batter together, I combined pumpkin and chocolate batter; the spiciness of the pumpkin cake works really well with chocolate. It adds a subtle spiciness to the chocolate without overwhelming it.

Not only are these cupcakes flavorful, they're incredibly light. During baking, the batter just about doubles in size. So be sure not to fill the cupcake cavity more than halfway full with batter or you might need to deal with overflowing pans.

To finish the cupcakes, ice them with a simple cream cheese buttercream. If you want to keep the cupcakes dairy-free, use a dairy-free cream cheese replacement, like the one from Tofutti.

And if you'd like to decorate the cupcakes with candy corn or mellowcreme pumpkins, just a note that not all mellowcremes/candy corn is gluten-free.

About the author: Elizabeth Barbone of GlutenFreeBaking.com joins us every Tuesday with a new gluten-free recipe. Elizabeth is an alumna of the Culinary Institute of America and Mount Mary College. With her solid professional baking background, Elizabeth is known for creating gluten-free recipes that taste just like their wheat counterparts. She is the author of Easy Gluten-Free Baking.

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