Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

October 29, 2013 at 4:23 pm | Posted in cupcakes, sweet things | 14 Comments
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pumpkin cupcakes

Some days I do not know what the heck I’m doing.  I put toothpaste on my Clarisonic.  I almost forget the pumpkin in my pumpkin cupcakes.  Luckily, I usually realize something’s amiss before it’s too late, so both my face and my cupcakes wound up alright…this time.

Speaking of forgetting the pumpkin, I once had a British guy point out to me that all this “American baked pumpkin stuff” just tastes like spices, so why bother with the pumpkin at all?  I’d never really thought about that before, and I guess he was almost right about the taste, but I certainly do think there’s reason to bother.  Not only does pumpkin puree make quickbreads and cakes nice and moist, (and orange, of course), but I think that pumpkin has a bit of earthiness to it, keeping them from being just sweet spice cakes.  Also squash makes cupcakes healthier??  Maybe I’m kidding myself there.  I do happen to love the fall spices, though, and these cupcakes have just the right amount.  And what do I need to say about cream cheese frosting, except for “yes please”?

These are a great treat anytime in the cooler weather, but add a few black and orange sprinkles and they turn into Halloween cupcakesHappy Halloween!

Pumpkin Cupcakes- makes 18-20 cupcakes
from Leite’s Culinaria, but seen all over the interwebs in both cupcake and layer cake form

Steph’s Note:  Don’t need that many cupcakes?  Make a half-batch to get 9-10, and halve the frosting as well.

1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pans
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 cups cake 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
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk mixed with 1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin

-Preheat the oven to 350° (180°C) and prepare your cupcake tins with paper liners.

-In a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugars on medium speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt, and pepper into a medium bowl.

-Add the eggs to the mixer, one at a time, scraping down the sides after each addition.  Alternate adding the flour and buttermilk mixtures, beginning and ending with the flour. Beat in the pumpkin until smooth. Divide the batter equally between the lined cups–they should be about 3/4 full.

-Bake the cakes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 18 to 24 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the tins for 10 minutes.  Remove them from the tins and onto a rack to cool completely before frosting.

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
by me

Steph’s Note:  You can see from my photo that this frosting is soft…the kind to spoon on instead of pipe.  Using a small amount of natural maple flavor instead the larger amount of maple syrup helps, as does preparing the frosting while the cupcakes are baking and then refrigerating it until the cakes are cool.  Cutting back on the powdered sugar (oddly) also helps stiffen up a cream cheese frosting if that’s what you prefer..

1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese (full-fat or reduced-fat Neufchâtel), at cool room temperature
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/4 cup of maple syrup or 1 tsp natural maple flavor
pinch of salt

-In a food processor, zip the confectioner’s sugar first to break up any lumps.  Add the other ingredients and process until smooth, scraping as needed.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes before using.

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14 Comments »

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  1. Nice!

  2. Aww I LOVE the taste of pumpkin. But I agree in things like pumpkin spice lattes, you can really only taste the spice! These cupcakes look delectable :)

    Sues

  3. It wouldn’t be the same without pumpkin! It’s just so festive!!

    These look delicious!

  4. These look amazing! Pumpkin + Cream Cheese = Always a good idea! :)
    I make a pumpkin bread with a cream cheese filling that is to die for (not because I make it, just because the ingredients all together are amazing) I will have to try your recipe!

  5. You had me at maple cream cheese. Your cupcakes look delish. :)

  6. They look gorgeous! I’m going to try making them tomorrow!!

  7. Going to make these cupcakes this weekend with my daughter, I will take a pic and post:) Thanks

    • fabulous!

      • Where did the cupcake recipe come from?

      • i link to the source in the recipe section of the post. the frosting recipe is my own, but the cake part comes from a website called Leite’s Culinaria.

  8. Cream cheese frosting is my FAVOURITE!!! I add a little lemon zest to mine…mmmm. Yours sounds delightful!

  9. My mom and I love to make pumpkin bars and we notice too that it tastes like something similar to a spice cake. But I agree in that the pumpkin puree adds moisture to the breads and cakes, as well as a flavor different from that of a typical spice cake. Which there is something about the combination of the texture and the taste of the pumpkin that has me finding myself taking a fork to the whole pan of pumpkin bars. And by the looks of the ingredients and the maple frosting, I’m sure I would be doing the same to the cupcakes! My mom and I will definitely have to try and make these sometime!

  10. What kind of pumpkin do you use?

    • The easy kind–I used canned! I think it was an organic one from Trader Joe’s.


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