Monday, November 29, 2010

One Cupcake, One Can of Pumpkin, One Satisfied Fall Craving

Around November I start to crave pumpkin-flavored treats. Whether it’s pumpkin pie, a pumpkin spice latte, or a pumpkin muffin: I can’t resist. I normally make a pumpkin pie for my family’s Thanksgiving dinner. But this year I decided to try something a little different. This was an exercise in bucking tradition in favor of a different kind of dessert-morsel. Don’t get me wrong, I love pumpkin pie, and these cupcakes don’t replicate the specific textures and flavors of that tried-and-true favorite. What they do have is the sweetness of maple, the slight sugary tang of cream cheese icing, and all the richness of pumpkin spice. The cake is moist and soft. I highly recommend these: everyone I’ve given them to responded with a resounding “Mmmm, pumpkin!”

Try my recipe for delicious Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting!

Batter Ingredients
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature 

1 cup dark-brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs

1/2 cup milk mixed with 1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin

Frosting Ingredients

16 oz cream cheese, softened

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter and sugars until fluffy. Combine and sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Add eggs one at a time to the butter, then alternate adding the flour and milk. Beat in the pumpkin until smooth. Fill cupcakes liners about ¾ full. Bake cupcakes about for 25 minutes. Makes 18. For the frosting, combine all ingredients and beat until fluffy.

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