November 7, 2012

Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes

I couldn't not bring pumpkin cupcakes to work on Halloween, so I reached into the Betty Crocker Big Book of Cupcakes for these treats. I modified the frosting recipe a bit, and I could devour that with a spoon. They are great served with pumpkin ice cream (or on their own).

Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes
2 1/3 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 cup pumpkin
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup milk
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
3 to 4 Tbsp. milk
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
3 Tbsp. sugar

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line 24 cupcake tins, and set aside.

Combine flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat butter 30 seconds on medium speed. Gradually add sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat 2 more minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in pumpkin and vanilla. On low speed, alternately add flour mixture and milk, starting and ending with flour mixture.

Fill cupcake liners evenly. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool in pans 5 minutes, and then cool completely on wire racks.

To make garnish, heat a skillet over low heat. Add the pecans and 2 Tbsp. sugar. Stir often, and cook until sugar melts. (Note: I added a sprinkling of water to help the process.) Transfer onto wax paper, sprinkle with remaining sugar and cool completely.

To make frosting, beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Add vanilla, pie spice and 2 Tbsp. milk. Beat well. Gradually add powdered sugar. Add more milk as needed to reach desired consistency. Pipe frosting on top of cupcakes or spread on cupcakes. Top with candied pecans. Make 24 cupcakes.

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