Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ok, this post is short and very sweet:  I know I just did a pumpkin bread post not so long ago, but it was so yummy I had to try it in cupcake form.   Terrific!  Perfect complement to the fluffy cream cheese frosting.  And so quick and easy!

Here's the recipe again.  It makes 2 loaves, or about 36 cupcakes, or about 120 mini-cupcakes  (I made 1 regular loaf, 1 mini-loaf, 24 mini-cupcakes, and 6 regular-size cupcakes; update:  another time I made 72 mini-cupcakes and 12 regular-size cupcakes).

Pumpkin Cupcakes (adapted from here)

1 can (about 2 cups) canned pumpkin (or homemade pumpkin puree)
3 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 cup Canola oil
4 eggs
3 1/3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¾ teaspoon ground cloves

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray muffin pans with baking spray.

Combine pumpkin, sugar, water, oil, and eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl if you'll be using a hand mixer).

Whisk together dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and cloves.

Slowly mix in the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Divide the batter evenly between the muffin tins - each one should be about 2/3 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean (minis should take about 10 minutes, but keep an eye on them). Cool in pan for about 10 minutes, then tip each cupcake over, so it's on its side to cool completely.  Frost cupcakes when they are completely cool.

This cream cheese frosting is a little thicker and a little sweeter than this.  The more powdered sugar you add, the easier it will be to frost - but too much powdered sugar, and it's too sweet.  It also seems that the environment plays a role too - if your kitchen is warm, you should probably refrigerate the frosting for an hour or two before piping.

Cream Cheese Frosting (adapted from Martha Stewart)

16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 sticks butter, room temperature, in small pieces
3-4 cups powdered sugar

Beat cream cheese on medium speed for several minutes, until creamy.  It's hard to get out all the lumps, but keep beating!  

Add vanilla.

Gradually add butter while beating on medium speed.  This will take several minutes.  Turn up to high speed for 30-60 seconds; frosting should be smooth.

On low speed, add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time.  If the frosting is stiff enough to pipe, you can use it now, but depending on the temperature in your kitchen, you may want to refrigerate it before using.  

If it's too stiff after refrigeration, just mix again for 30 seconds or so.

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