Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes

I started this blog a few months ago with every intention of blogging as I bake, but life got in the way and documenting my baking escapades fell to the way side. So, today I am sitting down and catching up.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I can’t seem to bake with enough pumpkin! Pumpkin muffins, pumpkin rolls, pumpkin breads, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin pies, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin soup, four-teared, elaborately decorated pumpkin cakes (okay, not really). But really. I love this time of year, and I love pumpkin. And I have a raging sweet tooth. What better way to satisfy it than with spiced pumpkin cupcakes topped with a tower of maple buttercream? I’m probably the only one in my family that can consume exorbant amounts of sugar without a second thought, but these little beauties will be making an appearance on the dessert table of our family Thanksgiving gathering anyway – even if I am the only one who eats them. 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 1 (15 ounce) can of pumpkin
  • 1 3/4 cup + 1 1/2 Tbsp. cake flour
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. salt

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line your muffin cups.
  • Blend the eggs, oil, sugar, and pumpkin together in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  • Sift dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.
  • Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture and beat until well blended. Pour into lined muffin tins, until 2/3 full.
  • Bake for thirty minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely on wire racks.

Ingredients for Frosting:

  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. maple extract
  • 1-2 Tbsp. heavy cream or whole milk

Method:

  • Cream butter and maple extract together until smooth. This is easily done with a stand mixer, but it can also be done with a hand mixer. Just prepare yourself a little bit by building up your forearms in advance. Maybe lift some weights or arm wrestle your super buff, fitness trainer neighbor. You’ll thank me.
  • Add powdered sugar 2 cups at a time, blending well after each addition.
  • Once all the sugar is added, beat on medium speed for 5-7 minutes. Around 4 or 5 minutes you will notice the icing becoming fluffy which means you’re almost done. Add 1-2 Tbsp. of heavy whipping cream or whole milk to reach desired consistency. Pipe one towering pile of buttercream on each cupcake and consume. 🙂

Recipe adapted from: Twiggie Makes

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Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

Chocolate. It’s a wonderful thing. It may, in fact, be my favorite thing in the whole world. Okay, maybe that’s a little extreme. But if I come across a chocolate recipe that I have not yet tried, it’s difficult for me not to drop everything and start baking! And, if you haven’t guessed already, that’s what happened to me today. Instead of paying bills and running errands, I baked 24 beautiful chocolate cupcakes with a decadent salted caramel frosting! They turned out beautifully. Now, my next challenge is not consuming them all in one sitting. 🙂

Makes 24 to 30 cupcakes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups flour (for these, I used all-purpose flour. But you can substitute cake flour if you wish)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (or milk with 2 tsp. lemon juice)
  • 4 tsp. vanilla extract

Frosting:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup salted caramel sauce
  • 4 cups powdered sugar

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 muffin tins and set aside.
  • Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
  • Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl at medium speed for 5 minutes or until light and fluffy (if you have a Kitchen Aid, fit it with paddle attachment).
  • Beat in eggs, one at a time.
  • Mix in sour cream, buttermilk, and vanilla.
  • Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until just blended.
  • Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each cup 2/3 full.
  • Bake 18 to 22 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean.

Frosting:

  • Beat the butter and cream cheese together for five minutes, or until light and fluffy.
  • Add salted caramel sauce and beat until combined.
  • Reduce speed to low and gradually add powdered sugar. I don’t always use the recommended measurements. I prefer to eye-ball it and add just enough to reach my desired consistency and sweetness.
  • Garnish with salted caramel sauce and sea salt.

Enjoy!

cupcake recipe adapted from: Carrot Top Mom

frosting recipe adapted from: Brown Eyed Baker