“I WOULD RATHER SIT ON A PUMPKIN AND HAVE IT ALL TO MYSELF, THAN BE CROWDED ON A VELVET CUSHION.” Henry David Thoreau.
I often walk this fine line of trying to be creative or walking off of the deep end! And what I’ve learned is that sometimes you just have to leave well enough alone. Keep things simple and let the ingredients speak for themselves. And for me, this applies most of all to baking cupcakes. Maybe I’ve been watching Cupcake Wars too much! And if you’ve ever seen that show….they combine some funky flavors in one cupcake! But you will find this pumpkin cupcake recipe to be pretty straightforward. What works well with pumpkin? For me, it was the warming spices of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice combined with the cool tang of cream cheese, the toasty crunch of pecans and the sweetness of a drizzle of maple syrup. If these speak to you then…….
……..here’s what you need to do!
Yields: 1 dozen cupcakes
Level of Difficulty: Easy
PUMPKIN PECAN CUPCAKES:
- 1 cup of all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground allspice
- pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 cup of pumpkin puree
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 cup of toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line your standard muffin pan with some pretty cupcake papers.
In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and nutmeg and set aside. Next comes the wet ingredients. In another large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, sugar, oil, and eggs. Then add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and whisk to combine completely. Last, stir in the chopped pecans.
I used an ice cream scoop to divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups and to assure the cupcakes would be the same size. Fill the tins about three-fourths full. Bake for about 22-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack and let them cool completely before icing.
MAPLE CREAM CHEESE ICING:
- 2 (8oz) blocks of cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 stick of butter at room temperature
- 1/4 cup of maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons of maple extract
- 1 1/2 cups of confectioners sugar
In the bowl of your electric mixer beat the cream cheese, butter and maple extract together on medium high speed until light and fluffy. Add the maple syrup and beat until incorporated. Gradually add the sugar, mixing until combined, scraping down the bowl as needed. Use right away. If the consistency seems too soft, you may chill this in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.
The kiss of maple flavor really highlights this otherwise basic cream cheese frosting. And I topped each cupcake with a candied pecan (found at Trader Joe’s)!
Cupcake recipe adapted from Cupcakes.