It's the fall season - my favorite time of year - and that also means it's pumpkin season, too! From PSL to pumpkin pie, you really can't escape this hallmark flavor of fall. So what better way to embrace the trend than with some pumpkin spice cupcakes!
This recipe comes from the cupcake sisters at Georgetown Cupcakes and I think it comes pretty close to the ones you'd find in their shops.
I brought these to work and to a church function and to show just how crazy people are for pumpkin, their reactions went a little something like this:
"These are little morsels of happiness. I think these are my favorite thing you've made."
"Oh my goodness...I love you. Like, I loved you before this, but now I really love you and will follow you anywhere."
"These taste just like these pumpkin squares I have my mom make every year for my birthday...so good! It brings me right back!"
So what are you waiting for? Let's get baking!
PUMPKIN SPICE CUPCAKES
adapted from FoxNews Magazine
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree (pure pumpkin not pie filling)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/3 cup hot water
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 8 cups (roughly 2 pounds) powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup apple cider
Preheat oven to 350. Line two 12-count muffin tins with paper liners.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, spices and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
In a large bowl or bowl of your mixer, beat butter and sugar until light yellow and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time until well incorporated. Beat in pumpkin puree and honey.
On low speed, slowly add a third of the flour mixture followed by a third of the hot water. Repeat until all the flour and water have been incorporated, scraping down the bowl as needed. Do not overmix.
Use an ice-cream scoop or spoon to fill muffin tins two-thirds of the way full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before frosting.
Note: this recipe makes for a lot of batter - so I was able to get 2 dozen full-size cupcakes plus a dozen or so mini cupcakes (what is pictured above).
For the frosting:
In a large bowl or bowl of your mixer, beat butter and cream cheese until well combined. Add vanilla. Add about half of the powdered sugar and mix on low speed. Add about half of the apple cider (you can also use milk or maple syrup for extra flavor) and mix well. Add the remaining powdered sugar and enough of the apple cider to reach your desired consistency (should be soft enough to pipe and frost but not too runny that it doesn't hold it's shape).
To assemble, fill a piping bag fitted with a wide tip (or a ziploc bag with a corner snipped off) with frosting. Starting in the middle of the cupcake, make a swirl motion around the cupcake using constant pressure. As you make your way back to the middle, gently push down with an extra burst of pressure and release. If you can't visualize, check out this video (the swirling demonstration happens around the 3:00 mark).
Top with sprinkles or a fondant shape or just leave plain - they'll taste delicious either way!