Tuesday, November 2, 2010

a little piece of pumpkin heaven

Okay, so I haven't shared a recipe on my blog in quite some time, but based on the overwhelming response I have received and the many pleas for this particular recipe, I figured I would post it on my blog for the world to see.

This recipe is super simple and I must give credit where credit is due so special thanks to Kori and Lyric for sharing this on their respective blogs. I've made a minor tweak or two, but it's pretty much the same.

Before I go any further, I feel compelled to throw in the following disclaimer/confession: I am a big-time baker and a strong believer in doing everything from scratch, BUT I have found I can never make cakes from scratch that are as good as those from a box…true story. Homemade icing/frosting is an absolute must and a non-negotiable, but when it comes to the actual cake, I prefer using a box and just tweaking it with extracts, liqueurs, etc. That being said, the these cupcakes are made from a box with a few tweaks and the icing is my recipe.

Pumpkin Cupcakes

1 box butter recipe yellow cake mix
3 eggs
½ C oil (I always add an extra tablespoon or so for extra moistness – hate that word btw)
1 15-ounce can of pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 T cinnamon

1. Preheat oven and prepare pans based on the directions on box.
2. Combine cake mix, eggs and oil in a large bowl and beat with a mixer for about 2 minutes.
3. Stir in pumpkin and cinnamon with a large spoon or spatula.
4. Pour into cake pans of fill cupcake liners and bake according to the chart on the box.

Cupcakes are done when they spring back when touched. (I’m a very hands-on baker and like to feel everything to test the doneness. I’m sure you could use a toothpick, but I prepare the touch test.) Allow cupcakes to cool completely before icing them.

Cinnamon cream cheese icing
1 block of cream cheese
1 stick real salted sweet cream butter
~4-6 C powdered sugar (about ½ or ¾ of a bag)
2-4 T half ‘n half or milk
1 t vanilla
1 T cinnamon (or more depending on your preference)

1. Combine cream cheese and butter in a large bowl. Cream together with a mixer until fluffy. Add in vanilla and cinnamon.
2. Add in powdered about ½-3/4 cup at a time, mixing after every addition.
3. Add in half n half or milk about a tablespoon at a time (you don’t want runny icing so it’s always best to add a little at a time b/c you can always add more, but you can’t take away) in combination with adding the powdered sugar

Once you have the desired consistency for your icing, I recommended “man-handling” it with a spatula, i.e. stirring it rather briskly by hand making sure there are no lumps and it’s smooth

To ice my cupcakes, I spoon the icing into a ziplock bag and cut a small hole in one of the corners. I then pipe it in a circular motion to create a swirl effect. Once they are iced, I add a sprinkle of cinnamon and a border of sugar crystals; however, you may wish to add a single candy corn to the top which is also cute.

Whew! So there it is…I hope it all makes sense and if you like pumpkin, I hope you make these soon and that you enjoy every delicious bite!!!

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