Monday, October 1, 2012

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream Frosting

When I think of October, I can't help but think of sweaters, crisp morning air, colorful trees, apples, and, of course, pumpkin.   I have always been a huge fan of pumpkin-themed baked goods, spreads, and breakfast foods.   However, since it always feels wrong to eat pumpkin after Christmas, I have to pack all of my pumpkin eating into the few short months between mid-September and the end of December, which is not always an easy feat. 

In case you are just as obsessed as I am, I will be posting a new pumpkin recipe each day this week in order to help you make the most out of this year's pumpkin season.  I will be writing about pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin cream cheese, pumpkin cranberry bread, and pumpkin cream cheese bundt cake.  But today we will be starting with a recipe that is near and dear to me as I made it for my son's first birthday--pumpkin cupcakes with maple buttercream frosting.

These cupcakes are fluffy and moist, slightly spicy, and taste like pumpkin.  In other words, they are everything you would want in a pumpkin cupcake.  The recipe originally called for cream cheese frosting, but I wanted to try something a bit out of the ordinary and paired it with maple frosting.  This worked out beautifully as the taste of the maple acts as a perfect foil to the spices in the cake. The best part is that both recipes are super easy to make.

Pumpkin Cupcakes
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Yield: 12

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground allspice
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup  granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 can (7.5 ounces) pumpkin puree

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line pans with paper liners, and set aside.  Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices in a medium bowl.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, butter, and eggs.  Add dry ingredients and whisk together until smooth.  Whisk in the pumpkin puree. 
  3. Divide batter among liners.  Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.  I rotated the pan halfway through baking.
  4. Let cool for ten minutes in the pan.  Then remove and place cupcakes on wire rack until they have cooled completely.  Do not frost them while they are still warm.

Maple Buttercream Frosting
Slightly adapted from  Allrecipes

2 cups confectioner's sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2-3 tbsp half-and-half
1/2 tsp maple extract

  1. Beat the butter, confectioner's sugar, 2 tbsp of half-and-half, and maple extract in a bowl until smooth.
  2. If you find the mixture too thick, add more half and half until you have reached your desired consistency.
Calories for one iced cupcake: 313

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