Friday, October 30, 2015

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Happy Halloween, folks! And just like that, November will be here day after tomorrow and we will be THAT MUCH CLOSER to 2016. I feel like I comment every year (well, who am I kidding? More like every MONTH!) on how much faster time seems as I age, but I suppose I wouldn't comment if it weren't truer each year I live! Thankfully, cupcakes help to soften the blow.
I baked these for our annual charity fundraiser bake sale at work, and they completely sold out! I didn't even try one! #SelfControl #Willpower #NowIHaveToMakeThemAgain-- and on that note, SORRY for the weird photos. I made these at night and was photographing at like 10:30 pm, so I had to get creative with lighting since I don't have any fancy lighting equipment! Hopefully, you get the point here.

Work has been astoundingly busy these days, as well as life outside of work, so I wanted to make something delicious, but I didn't want it to be too complicated or take forever! You know how I feel about quick, easy, delicious recipes. Enter these cupcakes!
Yellow cake mix, pumpkin puree, some autumnal spices, and a luscious swirl of cinnamon cream cheese frosting make these cupcakes moist, delicious, and a big hit wherever you take them!

Side note: I absolutely despise candy corn. I think it's disgusting--waxy and too sugary and overall blech! But I had to buy a three-and-a-half pound bag of "Autumn Mix" including candy corn and Indian corn just so that I could get the candy pumpkins that I used to decorate these cupcakes! The things I do for you guys. So I dug through the bag and picked out every single pumpkin and then donated the remaining candy to charity, HA! Someone will eat it--just not me! Recipe adapted from Lil'Luna.
  • 1 box Yellow Cake Mix (plus ingredients listed on back minus the water)
  • 1 teaspoon Pumpkin pie spice (I didn't measure; this is a guess)
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon (or more to taste!)
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • Dash of ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 - 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
  • 1 package instant pudding mix (I used vanilla)
  • 1/4 cup water (if needed; I added it because my batter was a bit thick).
  • 1 block - 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (I never measure this)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar (approximate--I never measure this either!)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • Candy Pumpkins, cinnamon, or sprinkles for garnish
Preheat oven to 385 and line two cupcake tins with paper liners; set aside.

Prepare cake mix as directed on box and add pumpkin pie spice, pumpkin puree, and water if needed. (If your batter is too thick, add 1/4 cup water, don't use the full cup listed on the cake mix). Add vanilla and cinnamon and mix until just combined; be careful not to overmix.
Pour batter into cupcake liners in muffin tins; fill about 2/3 full. Bake at 385 for 5 minutes, then immediately reduce temperature to 350, rotate pans, and bake for another 10-13 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.

Combine ingredients for frosting in a medium bowl and beat until smooth. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes and garnish with a candy pumpkin, a dusting of cinnamon, or some colored sprinkles.

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