Pumpkin Cupcakes / Muffins

I found this recipe off of my regular haunt of tastespotting and since I love anything that contains pumpkin and cinnamon I had to try it. The Author of the recipe is Cynthia Furey, she had this recipe recently published in OC Register. Anyways, I made them today and thought they were delicious (especially the cinnamon cream cheese frosting mmmmm) and really easy. I like them both as muffins and as cupcakes.. Oh and I cut the frosting recipe in half, and it still covered 3/4 of the cakes. I recommend them to any pumpkin lover like me!

Cynthia Furey's Pumpkin Cupcakes

My photos did not compare to Furey's so I'm using her amazing photo instead.

Pumpkin Cupcakes (OR muffins) with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: 16 to 18 muffins

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 1/2 cups light brown or golden brown sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
1 cup vegetable oil
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 cup (or more) walnuts or chocolate chips (optional)

For frosting:
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch cloves
5 cups powdered sugar

Optional garnish for cupcakes: ground nutmeg

Procedure:
NOTE: If making cupcakes, start with frosting. If making muffins, skip to step 3.

1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, unsalted butter and brown sugar until mixture is light and fluffy, about three to five minutes.
2. Add vanilla, cinnamon and cloves, and slowly beat in powdered sugar one cup at a time, until incorporated. Cover and chill while you make and cool cupcakes.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place muffin cups in muffin tins and set aside.
4. In a medium bowl, combine or sift dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger and cloves.
5. In a large mixing bowl, mix together brown sugar and eggs. Add vegetable oil, pumpkin puree, sour cream, vanilla and zest. Mix until all ingredients are combined.
6. Add half of flour mixture to wet ingredients and mix on low speed until just combined. Repeat with second half of flour mixture. Mix in nuts or chocolate chips if using.
7. Spoon or pour batter into prepared muffin cups, a little over 3/4 full. Bake muffins for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in muffins comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
8. Using a spoon or knife, spread frosting on the top of each muffin to make cupcakes (You can also use a pastry bag to pipe frosting). Sprinkle tops of cupcakes lightly with nutmeg. Serve.

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