Sunday, October 19, 2014

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Buttercream

My love of pumpkin is such that I always keep several cans of it on hand after winter is over, just in case.  Throughout the spring and summer they sleep, tucked away in the back of the cupboard, but not quite forgotten.  I might bake something pumpkin when least expected, but then again, I might wait for fall.

And when the nights become cool and crisp, a confetti of leaves crunch underfoot, and the afternoons are dappled with the golden glow of earlier-than-usual sunsets, there is no more quiescence, and my kitchen is longing to be filled with the scent of something sweet and pumpkiny.

Pumpkin and cream cheese are made for each other - like a cool autumn day and brown boots - and a little maple extract in the buttercream made them taste like pancakes.  I dipped each rounded cap of maple cream cheese buttercream into toasted coconut or a mixture of crushed salted pecans and toffee bits.

I couldn't decide which topping I liked best, because they both complemented the soft, spiced pumpkin cake so beautifully.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Buttercream

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups, plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple extract
  • toasted coconut
  • crushed toffee, pecans and sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350 and line a muffin pan with 24 paper liners.  In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars for 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla.

In a bowl, whisk together the pumpkin and sour cream.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.  With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the pumpkin/ sour cream, starting and ending with the flour.

Divide between the cupcake liners and bake for approximately 15 minutes, until the centers spring back when lightly touched.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter for several minutes until smooth.  Combine the powdered sugar and meringue powder and with the mixer on low, add by spoonfuls until combined.  Add the extracts and beat the frosting for several minutes until light and fluffy.

Yields 24 cupcakes

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen

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