Friday, September 30, 2011

Pumpkin Cupcakes

I am finally going to admit that I am enjoying this weather. There's a chill in the air, and isn't it nice to greet some of your sweaters that have been hanging in your closet all summer long? Or what about wrapping up in a blanket with a nice hot cup of tea and a pumpkin cupcake?
A lady at work was having a birthday and this was a perfect excuse to volunteer to make some cupcakes! Even better, I had 2 pie pumpkins wasting away on the kitchen table to use! I mentioned in a prior blog how much I like squash and my first encounter with fresh cooked pumpkin was when I was living in Traverse City. I loved their farmer's market and I picked up a couple small pumpkins to make pumpkin butter. The flavor was so good you will never want to use that canned crap again! The recipe I used for the cupcakes called for canned pumpkin, but if you have the time, seriously consider using makes a world of difference. These little pumpkin babies are so sugar sweet yummy. Everyone at work today was telling me how good these are and I'm not going to lie, I fell in love with a cupcake! Don't tell my boyfriend! The smell when you peel down the cupcake wrapper is so intoxicating! The first bite is to DIE FOR! This cake is so moist and delicious, dust off those Kitchen Aid Mixers ladies and get baking!
I adapted this recipe from one I found on the Smitten Kitchen Blog.
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes about 18 cupcakes
1 Stick unsalted Butter room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon plus more for sprinkling
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 eggs
1/2 c buttermilk mixed with 1 tsp vanilla
1 - 1/3 cup fresh pureed pumpkin
2 bars of cream cheese room temperature
1 stick butter room temp
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 c pure maple syrup
Beat butter and sugar till fluffy, sift flour baking soda, baking powder, and spices in a med bowl.
Add eggs 1 at time to the sugar mixture scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Add a little of the flour mixture and then a little of the buttermilk till till all is combined. Beat in pumpkin until smooth. Fill each well of the lined muffin pan about 3/4 way full. Bake at 350 21-25 minutes until cake tester comes out clean.
Beat all ingredients till fluffy. Frost after cakes have cooled on wire rack. Store in fridge.
Roasting pumpkin: Chop the pumpkin in quarters or thirds scrape out strings and seeds and place cut side down on a sheet pan bake at 450 for 30-45 minutes or until its tender. Once its down the outer skin should easily peel away. Put in bowl of food processor and pulse till its pureed. Put into a fine seive and drain excess water about 30 minutes. You could do this step the day before and just let it chill in the fridge overnight. You could also do a big batch of this and freeze the extra for your Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie!

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