Sunday, October 27, 2013

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Sometimes you wanna bake just because. Yesterday was one of those times. Earlier this month I got the urge to bake cupcakes while watching Cupcake Wars (honestly, this never really happens). I decided on Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese frosting since it's fall and I kinda prefer pumpkin-flavored things to apple-flavored things (cream cheese frosting just sounded like a good partner for pumpkin). So while I was looking for cupcakes for my grandma's birthday, I kept an eye out for pumpkin ones. I had to wait a few weeks because my parents (although it might just be my mother) fulfilled a long-time wish and got granite countertops in our kitchen (with subway tiled-walls to match), leaving the kitchen unavailable for baking. Finally the kitchen was (somewhat) back to normal by this weekend so after a little searching par deux, I found a unique recipe in Taste of Home's Cupcakes for Every Season (released in spring 2011).

Pumpkin Cupcakes (pg. 34; picture on pg. 33)

  • 2/3 cup shortening (I used butter instead. According to's substitute guide, 1/2 tsp of salt should be eliminated)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk (I used fat-free instead. I don't think it made a difference)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (as explained above, I had to eliminate this)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple, drained (Not a fan of pineapple so I left this out)
  • 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • (I added the chocolate sprinkles just because :))
  1. In a large bowl, beat shortening until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition (mixture will appear curdled). Beat in the syrup and milk. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, ginger, and allspice; add to the shortening mixture and beat just until moistened. Stir in the pumpkin and pineapple.
  2. Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350* for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to a wire rack to cool completely.
  3. For frosting, in a small bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add confectioners' sugar; beat until smooth. Frost cupcakes.

I seem to have the worst luck with making frosting on my own. My main problem seems to be powdered sugar. I learned the hard way a couple years ago when I only mixed in the amount on the recipe. Nothing more. Yesterday, I added in at least 2x the amount on the recipe but as I was frosting the cupcakes with the pastry bag, found out that it STILL wasn't enough. I'm gonna try the pastry bag one more time with a can of frosting and then just stick to a can and a spreader.

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