Pumpkin Cupcakes!


New England fall is absolutely my favorite time of year. I love when the days cool down and when the nights get crisp, I love the array of earthy oranges, reds, and golds the leaves turn, and most importantly, I LOVE fall baking. Especially pumpkin, and especially these cupcakes. These little cuties have become a staple dessert for me, and they represent the kickoff of the fall and holiday seasons. I have not altered the ingredients in the cupcake recipe from Martha Stewart because I think they’re perfect, but I’ve perfected baking times and a cream cheese icing recipe that never fails.

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Makes 24-30 small cupcakes

Stuff You’ll Need

• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 1tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 tsp ground cinnamon
• 1 tsp ground ginger
• ¼ tsp ground allspice
• 1 cup packed light brown sugar
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
• 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
• 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree

Tip: Make sure that the butter is cooled. You will be adding the butter and eggs to the recipe at the same time, and if the butter is still hot, it may partially cook the eggs and leave small pieces of egg in your batter. It makes a not-so-pretty batter.

How to Do It

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and line cupcake pans with paper liners. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together your flour, soda, baking powder, salt, and spices.
2. In a large bowl or stand-mixer bowl, whisk together your brown sugar, granulated sugar, melted butter, and lightly beaten eggs. Gradually add dry ingredients, and whip until smooth. Add pumpkin puree, and whisk until blended.
3. Divide batter among liners, and fill each cup no more than half way to two-thirds. Bake until cake tops spring back when touched, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pans once if necessary. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.

Recipe courtesy of www.marthastewart.com.

Tip: Use a small to medium ice cream scoop to measure out your batter when filling the cups. You’ll always have a consistent size, which will guarantee even baking, and cleanup will be easy.

Extra Tip: I’ve found that these cupcakes bake perfectly at 22 minutes in my gas oven. I let them bake for 11 minutes, rotate the pan, and bake another 11 minutes. They are perfect every time. For those of us who don’t have convection ovens, it bakes the cupcakes more evenly.

Why is it best to cool on a wire rack instead of a sheet pan? By cooling your goodies on a wire rack, you’re encouraging air to circulate all around the treats. This helps the treats cool faster, and as a result, you can eat them sooner.

Cream Cheese Icing

Frosts 3-4 dozen cupcakes

Ingredients

• ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
• 2 8 oz containers of cream cheese
• 1 tsp almond extract
• 4 cups confectioner’s sugar

Directions

1. Cream together the butter and cream cheese until well-blended and smooth in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or with a hand mixer.
2. Add almond extract, and blend.
3. Gradually add confectioner’s sugar. Generally, 1 cup at a time works best, and whip until creamy between each addition.
4. For a fun, polished fall look, add a few drops of orange gel coloring, and use a decorating bag with a star tip to apply the frosting.

Tip: Soften the cream cheese and butter by placing them on your stovetop while your cupcakes are baking. This eliminates the use of a microwave and cuts the time the products are out of the refrigerator in half. It will save you time, cut the risk of bacteria from the dairy products at room temperature, and save you electricity. 🙂

Lighten It Up! Use a combination of reduced fat, fat free, and regular cream cheese, and you’ll save some calories. Use vegan-friendly buttery sticks, and you’ll save even more. Sweet!

Comments

  1. Oooh, I also love fall baking! And since I’m so obsessed with pumpkin, I’m gathering every recipe I can find. These sound great. I’ve baked a few varieties of pumpkin cupcakes this year and have loved them all (and been popular with friends and family!).

    • They are delicious! Such a wonderful texture. My next plan with them was to cut them into squares, make the cream cheese icing a bit thicker with more cream cheese and sugar, and piece them together to make a little pumpkin parfait! Fall desserts are such a great way to impress loved ones; they’re so comforting and yummy!

  2. Yum! I’m going to try these for Thanksgiving!

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