So it’s been nearly a month since my last update. I wish I could tell you I had a good reason for it – like rescuing pooches from dog fighting rings – but my excuses are pretty lame, and basically boil down to “not having a cable for the camera” and “I decided to watch The Hobbit for the billionth time instead,” so let’s just pretend my excuses are good ones.
I’m about to make up for the slacking, though. With cupcakes.
With maple cream cheese frosting.
I hope you’re not pumpkin’ed out – I mean, come on; we’ve still got another week till Halloween, the most pumpkin-tastic holiday of them all, and then we’ve got November, which is pretty gourd-errific. Fall is in full swing, and I’m enjoying it, save for crying a little inside when I had to put a jacket on yesterday morning. But, cardigans and scarves and pumpkin spice coffee, oh my! It’s pretty great, and it certainly doesn’t hurt that the leaves are taking their sweet time changing colors. As long as we don’t get bombarded with another October superstorm, or snowstorm, I’ll put Fall 2013 in the ‘win’ column. (Too bad the Giants can’t do the same.)
The recipe comes from the Barefoot Contessa’s cookbook Foolproof. While I don’t have any other pumpkin cupcakes to compare them to, my coworkers gobbled them up and wanted the recipe, which is a good enough endorsement for me.
Contessa’s pumpkin cupcakes with maple cream cheese frosting (Makes about 12 cupcakes)
For the cupcakes:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup canned pumpkin purée (8 ounces), not pie filling
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup vegetable oil
For the frosting:
6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush or spray the top of 12 muffin tins with vegetable oil and line them with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, sift together your flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. In a large bowl or stand mixer, mix your eggs, pumpkin purée, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vegetable oil. Add the flour mixture a little bit at a time and mix until combined.
Divide the batter among the prepared tins (most people use an ice cream scoop. I would if I had one) and bake for 20 to 25 minutes (mine only took 20), until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool completely.
While the cupcakes are baking, get your frosting ready. Wash your stand mixer bowl/paddle (or, get a clean bowl). Cream the cream cheese, butter ,vanilla and maple syrup on a low speed until very smooth. Slowly add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until smooth.
Foolproof suggests topping the cupcakes with crumbled Heath bars. I’m sure that would be delicious, but it’s definitely not necessary.
Enjoy while doing fun fall things, like crunching through some leaves! Or like…sitting on your couch, drinking tea and playing video games. Whatever floats yer boat.