Pumpkin-Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

I needed to make something pumpkin.  Every magazine, food blog – everybody is all about pumpkin and I was feeling left out.  But then I made these, and now I’m not feeling that way.  And I have lots of leftover pumpkin which I will use this weekend to make Pumpkin Donut Muffins and then I’ll feel like I totally belong to the Pumpkin Club.

In fact, I think I should be President of the Pumpkin Club because I didn’t take the SHORTCUT that everyone else is taking buying pre-mixed pumpkin pie spice.  I made it myself.
Take that, Pumpkin Club.

There were good, but really – when was something with cream cheese icing NOT good?   I know.

Pumpkin-Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting


For the pumpkin pie spice:
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice or ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
(This makes one teaspoon – you need to double this for this recipe.)

For the cupcakes:
1 cup pure pumpkin puree
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs

For the icing:
12 ounces of cream cheese, room temperature
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons of while milk for thinning, if necessary
(This makes 3 cups of icing, which is WAY more than I think you need.  You could eat the remaining with a spoon or I’d half this.)

Preparation Instructions

For the pumpkin pie spice: combine all the ingredients.

For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350F.  Lightly coat muffins tins with cooking spray or line with papers.  In a medium bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, buttermilk and vanilla.  In another medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and pumpkin pie spice.  In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugars on medium-high until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed.  With the mixer on low, beat in the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with two additions of the pumpkin mixture, until combined.  Spoon 1/4 cup of batter into each muffin cup.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through.  Let cupcakes cool in pans for 15 minutes.  Remove the cupcakes from the pan and let cool completely on racks, 10 minutes.  (Store cupcakes in airtight containers for up to 2 days.)  To serve, spread icing onto cooled cupcakes.  Yield: 24 cupcakes.

For the icing: In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth – about 4 minutes.  With mixer on low, beat in icing sugar and vanilla until smooth and fluffy.  Thin with whole milk if necessary.  Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 day, bring it to room temperature before using.


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