Sunday, September 11, 2011

Pumpkin Cupcakes -- Perfect for Fall

This weekend I had the pleasure of hosting my first Bridal Shower for my dear friend, Lindsey.  Her wedding is this October and she is, appropriately, going with a fall theme so I decided to do the same for her shower.

Her engagement story is a wonderful one.  Fall is her favorite time of year because she loves absolutely loves pumpkins. So last October, her now-fiance took her to a local pumpkin patch to pick out her own. She chose one, and he asked her:

"Don't you want to keep looking?"

She responded no, but he encouraged her and so she did.  After a few minutes, she stumbled upon pumpkin wrapped in ribbon which had "Will you marry me?" carved in it's face. She turned and saw her best friend down on his knee.  She said yes.

So yesterday, we showered her with blessings.....and, of course, pumpkin cupcakes!

Lindsey's favorite celebrity is Ina Garten, so I channeled my inner Barefoot Contessa for the day and adapted my own version of her Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Frosting.

Here's what you'll need for the cupcakes:

1 stick of unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons potato starch
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/4 cup canned pumpkin purée (10 ounces), not pie filling
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line one full muffin tin with 12 baking cups. 
If you have one, place a large baking stone in your oven as you preheat.  When you bake your cupcakes on top of the stone, it does wonders for helping your cupcakes to rise more evenly.  Just look!

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, potato starch, cinnamon, ginger, marjoram and nutmeg. Set aside. 
In your mixing bowl, cream your butter until smooth, then add the eggs (one at a time), pumpkin purée, granulated sugar, and vegetable oil. Add the flour mixture and stir until combined.
Divide the batter among the prepared tins (I use an ice cream scoop to ensure even distribution), set on your baking stone and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool completely.

Here's what you'll need for the frosting:
1 8 oz package of cream cheese, room temp
1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
1/4 teaspoon maple flavoring (extract or natural flavoring works best)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2-3 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese and butter on low speed until smooth. Stir in the maple flavoring and vanilla extract. Slowly add the confectioners' sugar 1/4 cup at a time and mix on medium until it reaches your desired texture.
Frost your cupcakes and top with whatever garnish you choose!  Ina used crumbled Heath Bars which I thought would have been delicious.  I wanted something orange, so I chose simple jimmies.

These cupcakes were perfectly appropriate for a pumpkin lover's shower, but are also great for any fall occasion. They were a hit!  

I hope you try them out at your Halloween Parties or next fall gathering!  Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Your cupcakes are ALWAYS a hit! These were super delicious and I know all my co-workers were champing at the bit to try one after seeing your other masterpieces. They loved them!