Pumpkin Cupcakes

by Beth on November 10, 2009

When I make something new, I don’t want just a recipe, I want the perfect recipe! My desire for a tried and true favorite helps explain why I often prefer to get my recipes from blogs and community-oriented cooking websites as opposed to magazine and cookbooks.

A pumpkin cupcake comparison from The Way the Cookie Crumbles popped up in my Google Reader a few weeks ago. In this post, Bridget details her experiences with three different pumpkin cupcake recipes. This recipe found on Smitten Kitchen was her favorite, and I have now fallen in love with it as well! This clearly is the perfect pumpkin cupcake recipe.

While I couldn’t justify making these for just me and my husband, a dinner at a friend’s house presented the perfect opportunity to whip up this fun fall treat. Pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, maple syrup… you can’t get much more fall-ish than this! The cupcakes have a light, airy texture and a flavor reminiscent of spice cake with a pop of pumpkin. Instead of using the original maple cream cheese frosting, I opted to use a maple butter cream frosting recipe from Annie’s Eats. It’s the perfect companion to the pumpkin cupcakes: smooth and sweet and fall-inspired.

Pumpkin Cupcakes
(From David Leite via Smitten Kitchen)
Yields 18 cupcakes

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup firmly packed dark-brown sugar (I used light brown)
? cup granulated sugar
2 cups cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
? tsp ground nutmeg
? tsp ground cloves
? tsp salt
? tsp freshly ground black pepper (I omitted)
2 large eggs
? cup buttermilk mixed with 1 tsp vanilla
1? cups canned solid-pack pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)

1. Preheat the oven to 350? and line cupcake pans with 18 liners.
2. Using a stand mixer, beat the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes.
3. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt, and pepper into a medium bowl.
4. Add the eggs 1 at a time to the mixer, blending well and scraping down the sides after each addition. 5. Alternate adding the flour and milk mixtures, beginning and ending with the flour.
5. Add the pumpkin and beat pumpkin until smooth.
6. Divide the batter equally between the cups. (They?ll be about ? full.) Rap the filled pans once on the counter to release any air bubbles.
7. Bake the cakes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool the cupcakes on racks completely.

Maple Buttercream Frosting
(Annie’s Eats)

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tbsp. maple syrup
1-2 tbsp. milk

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium-high speed until smooth.
2. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the powdered sugar. Beat on medium speed until well combined, then increase speed and beat until smooth.
3. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again and add the maple syrup. Mix until incorporated.
4. If the frosting is too thick, add 1-2 tablespoons of milk and beat until smooth and desired consistency is achieved.

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