Makes: 30 cupcakes
Difficulty Level: Pretty Easy
Every year, my job holds a Chili Cook-off to raise awareness for the Combined Federal Campaign, a Campaign that allows federal employees to make a one time or recurring donation to a charity of their choice. This year, I chose a charity close to my heart and my family the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
I volunteered to make desserts for the hungry employees but was unexpectedly tapped to bake a “specialty dessert” to be auctioned off. This was both flattering and stressful! Now my dessert had to be pretty & delicious enough to sit on a table full of lovely desserts made by some of my Offices baking MVP’s. While deciding what to make, I was struck by a thought instilled in me by the great Yotam Ottolenghi: when you’re cooking (or baking) for others, it’s not the time to try out new, complicated recipes. Bake what you know. Impress them with recipes you’ve perfected. For me, this meant the humble cupcake. Cupcakes served as my original foray into baking, so I figured I’d choose a fun, seasonal, recipe, and bake to impress. I strayed a bit from the Ottolenghi gospel and tried a new recipe I felt confident I could follow through on. I was inspired by a recipe on one of my favorite blogs, the Cake Blog. This great blog, filled with recipes for super impressive cupcakes, cakes and more, had a recipe for these pumpkin cupcakes with cinnamon frosting.
I topped them with fancy little pearl sprinkles I found at Safeway, took a few glamour shots, and got them to the auction. I think these cute little cupcakes held their own on a table full of impressive desserts!
For the cupcakes
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ginger
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp.
- 4 eggs, room temp.
- 1 cup milk
- 1 and 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (I used the boxed organic pumpkin puree from Whole Foods)
For the frosting
- 3/4 cups of unsalted butter, softened
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- Little white pearl sprinkles
- Preheat the oven to 350 F & line your cupcake tin with liners
- Get out your large bowl and combine your dry ingredients: Flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. I like to sift all of my ingredients into the bowl and whisk it for a few seconds. This makes for a smoother batter.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer with a paddle attachment, mix butter, sugar and brown sugar until creamy and well combined.
- Add eggs, one at a time & beat well after each addition. TIP: Crack the eggs into a separate bowl beforehand to avoid any shells in the mix.
- Add your dry ingredients one cup at a time, alternating between dry ingredients and milk. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down sides as needed.
- Mix in pumpkin puree
- Fill liners 2/3 full & bake for 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean
- Let those cute little cupcakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes & then transfer to a wire rack.
- Once the cupcakes are completely cooled, frost them.
- If it’s not too much of a pain, sift your powdered sugar into a bowl. This helps create smooth frosting. If, like me, you get impatient after a few cups, just try not to add too many lumpy pieces of sugar in the bowl, OKAYYYY?
- In the bowl of a standing mixer equipped with a whisk attachment, whisk the butter and cream cheese.
- Add powdered sugar one cup at a time. Scrape down bowl as necessary. Try to get those lumps out. Lumpy cupcakes are not cute.
- Add cinnamon and vanilla and mix until combined.
- Place your icing in a piping bag equipped with a large tip. Round is best. I think the one I used was too narrow.
- Sprinkle on the little white pearls.
- Refrigerate! These have cream cheese!