Monday, November 11, 2013

Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

It's that time of the year, y'all. Time for cold, wintry days and the opportunity to snuggle in at home with a cup of hot chocolate and the fireplace hearth.

Okay, that's a myth. At least, here in Southern California. 

But one can dream, right? The holidays are coming up, and what better way to celebrate the season with seasonal food items? 

This is my first time ever working with pumpkin, and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it turned out well in the cupcake. Granted, it took longer to bake than I thought, but the end result was this rich, moist, earthy cake that I wanted to smush my face into. 'Cause it was that good. Here is a twist on the classic pumpkin pie, baked into a cupcake!

Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
(adapted from Kim M. on "Key Ingredient")
makes around two dozen cupcakes

1-1/2 sleeves of graham crackers, crushed (around 20 crackers)
1-1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, melted

one 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup evaporated milk
2/3 cup flour
1 tsp each of ground cinnamon and ginger
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp each of salt, baking soda, and baking powder

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 packet of cream cheese (around 8 oz.)
1 tsp vanilla extract
3-4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2-3/4 cup confectioner's sugar

1. Mix graham cracker crumbs and melted butter together until the mixture resembles wet sand. 
2. Line cupcake pan with liners sprayed with cooking spray. This helps prevent the cupcake from sticking to the liners later on.
3. Press two teaspoons of the graham cracker mixture into the bottom of each cupcake liner. Set aside.
4. For the cupcake, combine the pumpkin puree, both sugars, eggs, vanilla extract, and evaporated milk.
5. Add in the flour, spices, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix until all is combined.
6. Fill each liner three-quarters of the way up with the pumpkin batter. Bake at 350­­°F for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely.
7. Prepare the frosting. Combine the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract. Slowly add in the confectioner's sugar and mix until smooth.
8. Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes. Dust with some additional spices and serve.

Have a Wonderful Holiday Season!

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