Recipe | Mini Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple-Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting

October 25, 2013

mini pumpkin cupcakes with maple-brown sugar cream cheese frosting
I had been wanting to make a really good pumpkin cupcake since pumpkin season began, so of course I went right to the supreme source: Martha Stewart. See, I tried working out my first-ever cupcake recipes not too long ago only to be reaffirmed by what I already knew: that baking is much more science than art and concocting just the right flavor and texture requires a precision and baking know-how I just do not yet possess. So with my overly ambitious plans for treats for friends to enjoy while perusing our massive moving sale last weekend, I decided to go easy on myself and trust in a recipe I knew wouldn't let me down.

After tweaking the frosting to be a bit richer in flavor and a smidge less sweet, and making them the perfect bite-size treat (so you can't feel guilty for eating them in multiples), I think these are a definite winner to add to my autumnal cooking routine.

pumpkin cupcakes, salted turtle bites and marshmallow campfire corn

Mini Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple-Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting

for cupcakes:
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp coarse salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice*
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup/250g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
15 ounces/2 cups fresh pumpkin puree
extra butter and flour for greasing the pan

for frosting:
8 ounces/226g cream cheese, softened
1/2cup/125g unsalted butter, softened
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C. Butter and flour a mini muffin tin (since these are bite-size, they are much better without the hassle of the usual paper liners). In a medium bowl, whisk** together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, sugar, butter and eggs. Add dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Whisk in pumpkin puree. Add 1-1/2 tablespoons of batter, depending on the size of your mini muffin tin - or about 2/3 full. Bake until tops spring back when touched and toothpick comes out clean from the center, about 14-16 minutes, rotating pan if necessary. Transfer to wire rack and cool completely.

For frosting, beat cream cheese and butter together with a mixer until smooth. Add maple syrup, vanilla, powdered sugar and brown sugar until well combined and smooth. Frost cooled cupcakes and garnish with a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice and a roasted pumpkin seed.

*Allspice can be hard to come by in Germany, in which case you can make a substitute with equal parts cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.
**Use a heavy-duty wire whisk, as the batter gets really thick and goopy, and will become hard to mix otherwise.

Recipes adapted from Martha Stewart's, here and here

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