Thursday, October 14, 2010

I {HEART} Fall

There are so many wonderful things about Fall...crisp weather, colorful foliage, Halloween, apples and PUMPKINS! Love everything squash or pumpkin related - from roasted butternut risotto to THESE beauties - Pumpkin Cupcakes!

So easy to make from scratch and very tasty! Here's how:

Pumpkin Cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup solid packed, canned pumpkin puree

Cream Cheese Frosting
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners or spray cups.

In a large bowl sift together flour, baking soda, spices and salt.

With your mixer cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each one. Beat in the vanilla extract. Scrape sides of bowl. With the mixer on low, alternately add the flour mixture and the pumpkin puree in 3 additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.

Fill the muffin cups roughly 2/3 full using 2 spoons or an ice cream scoop. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until firm and a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Cool.

In your mixer beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the butter until incorporated and smooth. Add the vanilla extract and the powdered sugar. Beat until fluffy (2-3 minutes). Pipe or spread frosting onto cooled cupcakes and garnish with toasted nuts
(as I did: Spread walnuts onto baking pan lined with foil and bake for 8-10 minutes until brown and fragrant) or with toffee bits.

These are quick and so delicious. I put walnuts on some but not all, as I have some finicky eaters but they're just as yummy with frosting alone.

Welcome Fall and thanks for bringing with you that beautiful pumpkin. {wink}

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