Sunday, 21 October 2012

Baking Adventures: Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes!

Well, fall is absolutely here. It's undeniable. I put away my summer dresses and shorts and bought some cute sweaters and lace-up combat boots. Tis' the season.
And inevitably, as it happens every year, everything is now available in "pumpkin spice" flavour. Your Starbucks coffee, your muffin, you candles. Yes, everything can be delightfully orange, this time of year.

So I thought now would be a good time to share an amazing recipe for pumpkin spice cupcakes!
All credit here goes to Juicystar07 or Blair Fowler on Youtube. Let's be real, if you read my blog but don't know who she is (she has over 1 million subscribers!) you are insane. 
Anyway she posted a video about how to make these amazing, delicious cupcakes along with a great cream cheese icing that I use for everything now. I've suggest a few tweaks along the way, but mostly the recipe is the best cupcake recipe I've ever tried. I suggest watching the video because she explains everything and demonstrates making them. 

**Warning: If you have never used/smelled uncooked pumpkin puree before (which I had not before tasting these) do not expect it to smell like pumpkin pie. It does not. It smells gross. It makes the batter smell gross. But it tastes amazing once cooked- so don't be frightened. 

So on to the recipe!

Ingredients for pumpkin cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup (75 grams) solid packed, canned pumpkin puree
Garnish & decorations (optional) :
chopped nuts, cinnamon, and/or candy pumpkins

 The batter is a little thick which is normal. I remade these recently and I used almost double the amount of pumpkin puree that the recipe calls for. That just makes them double the delicious- so I would suggest that. Plus it keeps them really soft and moist. Aaaaand, pumpkin is a vegetable so you can totally (kinda) claim these are healthy. Except they're not. 
I also HIGHLY suggest the addition of some nuts or cranberries into this recipe! Nuts give it a great crunch that compliments the softness of the cupcake. I think almonds or walnuts would be best. And cranberries can provide a tart contrast to the sweetness of the icing.
Lastly I suggest increasing the amount of cinnamon suggested and adding nutmeg! When I bake, I never measure spices, I always eyeball them. Nutmeg is really good in these and I usually just add as much as I think I need. Smelling the batter is a good way to tell if you need more. 

Please attempt to ignore the ghetto mess that is this picture. I figured out too late that I didn't have muffin liners and had to butter the pan so... don't hate.

Instructions for pumpkin cupcakes: 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Place rack in the middle of the oven. 
Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners or spray each cup with a non stick vegetable spray.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, ground spices, and salt. 
In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
Beat in the vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. 
With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and pumpkin puree, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. 
Fill the muffin cups evenly with the batter using two spoons or an ice cream scoop. 
Place in the oven and bake for about 18 - 20 minutes, or until firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center of one of the cupcakes comes out clean. 
Place on a wire rack to cool.

And voila! 

Again, they're kind of stumpy and wonky because of the whole liner situation but they taste so so good!

And the icing... *drooooool*
This is the best cream cheese icing EVER and I use it for almost everything I bake! I featured it on my first baking post- Santa Hat Cupcakes! 

Ingredients for cream cheese frosting:
4 ounces (113 grams) cream cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons (25 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (175 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted

Instructions for cream cheese frosting: 
In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. 
Add the butter and beat until incorporated and smooth. 
Add the vanilla extract and confectioners’ sugar and beat until fluffy (2-3 minutes). 
Pipe or spread the frosting on the cupcakes.
Garnish and decorate using nuts, cinnamon, or pumpkin candies (optional).

I used a plain old sandwich bag with a corner cut off to make a piping back and just piped the icing right on top! I added a little candy pumpkin for decoration but sprinkling cinnamon or some nuts on top would be great too!

These are a really great, seasonal treat! If you take the time to ice and decorate them, they make a really great impressions at holiday parties! 
Please try out the recipe and let my know if you liked it!
As always, thanks for readin!

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