Inspired, I set out to create a pumpkin cupcake with cream cheese icing that would look something like a pumpkin. My version is a little more rustic, but I like it.
Thanks to the wonders of StumbleUpon (follow me!), I found this great pumpkin cupcake recipe at the Stir, as well as a great one from Joy of Baking. I modified these two recipes a bit, and added my own little twist with food coloring, pecans, and candy melts. (Recipe appears at the end of this post.)
First up, I whipped up some pumpkin cupcake batter. Yum. Here's a shot of these babies before I popped them in the oven, as well as the finished product.
The finished product was pretty cute, if I do say so myself.
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
adapted from the Stir
and Joy of Baking
For the cupcakes:
1-1/2 cups plus all purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/8 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
For the frosting:
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1 1-2 cups powdered sugar (plus extra as desired)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Yellow and red food coloring
For the stems:
12-16 pecans (or pecan halves)
Green candy melts
- Sift together flour, spices, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
- Beat 1/2 cup butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and blend into mixture, followed by vanilla extract. and pumpkin puree.
- Alternate adding flour mixture and pumpkin puree in 3 additions. Begin and end with the flour mixture. Mix until just incorporated.
- Pour the batter into lined muffin cups. (I used cupcake papers that were sort of a creamy orange color, but feel free to go another direction.)
- Bake cupcakes for 18-20 minutes at 350 degrees (or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean). Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then cool completely on rack.
- While cupcakes cool, make the frosting. Beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Add 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar a little at a time and beat until incorporated. Add vanilla extract and cinnamon and beat until fluffy.
- To turn the icing orange, add 12 drops of yellow food coloring and 4 drops of red. Beat until incorporated. If you would like to create a more intense color, add more food coloring at a ratio of 3 drops of yellow to one drop of red. You can then add additional powdered sugar until frosting is desired consistency.
- To create stems, heat green candy melts according to package instructions. Dip pecans to coat, and allow to dry on wax paper or parchment paper.
- When cupcakes are cool, frost them and then add a stem.