Saturday, November 3, 2012

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

It's fall.... and therefore, anything pumpkin is fair game!  Pumpkin spice coffee, pumpkin candies, pumpkin pie, pumpkin gnocchi, pumpkin rolls.... you get the idea, I'm sure!

One of my favorite pumpkin treats is pumpkin cake.  What's better than pumpkin cake, you ask?  Pumpkin cupcakes of course!

Cupcake Ingredients:

4 large eggs
1 and 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup canola oil
 15 ounces (or 1 standard can) pumpkin puree
2 cups unbleached flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (fine crystals) OR 1 teaspoon table salt

Frosting Ingredients:

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 cups confectioners sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Cupcake Instructions:

1. The oven should be preheated to 350° Fahrenheit.  Line your muffin tin with cupcake liners.
2. Using an electric mixer on low speed, beat the eggs, oil, applesauce, pumpkin puree, and sugar until well mixed, about 30 seconds.
3. In a separate bowl, stir together the baking soda, baking powder, flour, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and mix on medium speed for about 2 minutes.
5. Pour the batter into your cupcake liners, using a 1/3 cup measuring cup to keep things neat and even.
6. Bake your cupcakes for 20 minutes in your preheated 350° oven.  After they are done, remove your cupcakes from the oven and them allow to rest (remaining in the tin) on a baking rack until they're completely cooled.

Frosting Instructions:

1. Using an electric mixer on low speed, mix the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until they are well blended.  Slowly add the confectioners sugar while continuing to mix at low speed; once the sugar has been blended into the frosting, turn the mixer up to medium speed and continue to mix the frosting for an additional 30 seconds.
2. Frost your cupcakes!  Feel free to decorate them however you like- I used little pumpkin candies, but sprinkles, candy corn, and caramel candies would all work as well!  You can also just leave them plain if you prefer to keep it simple.

Last step... devour them!  And don't forget to share with a friend! :)

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