Monthly Archives: October 2012

Pumpkin + Spice = Everything Nice

I’ve been doing a lot of cooking, and writing, but my writing has had to do with schoolwork rather than pleasure. As for the cooking part, it’s been improvisational with very little time to take notes, photos, modify a recipe, etc., for my blog. You see, I committed to a writing intensive course, for fun (yes, for fun…I’m twisted like that), which began on September 5th and doesn’t end until December 19th. I have multiple research papers due throughout the course. I’m carefully parceling out my time between the commitments, and the important people in my life; hence, my silence. That being said, writing recipes, and sharing them, is my absolute favorite activity and I’ve been missing putting words on paper with no intention other than pure joy.

This weekend our home will be filled with the dazzling joie de vivre found only in the pint-sized body of a 2 1/2 year old girl. In celebration of her arrival tomorrow morning, I’ve made a batch of pumpkin and spice cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Since Halloween is right around the corner, of course, I had to purchase theme doo-dads to dress up the miniature cakes for the holiday. We’re eagerly awaiting the many belly laughs and the many smiles that are flying our way.

Here’s the recipe for the cupcakes:

  • 4 oz sugar
  • 8 oz unbleached AP flour
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 6 oz organic canned pumpkin (I used Trader Joe’s)
  • 2 oz whole milk, cold
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. allspice
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

I used the creaming method for this recipe, so you’ll need two bowls: one medium and one large.  Preheat your oven to 350°.

First I melted my butter.

Once the butter has browned, remove the pan from the heat and add it to the sugar in the mixing bowl.

Next, add the pumpkin and the milk to the sugar/butter mixture to help it cool down prior to adding the eggs (you don’t want scrambled!). Once the mix has cooled down, you can add your eggs.

Once the eggs are integrated, you can now add the spices.

Once your wet ingredients are combined, add the flour, salt, and baking powder to a another bowl. Mix these three ingredients together. I have a giant measuring cup that I use for this purpose and it makes adding the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, while the mixer blade is turning, a lot easier, and cleaner.

Mix your wet and dry ingredients until they are well combined.

Bake until a skewer comes out of the center, clean.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Cut your room temperature butter and cream cheese into small pieces and drop them into a mixing bowl. Add your vanilla.

Sift a cup of powdered sugar into the mixing bowl with the cream cheese and butter.

Mix well.

I have a reusable pastry bag, but I find it to be such a pain to clean (and dry!) that I use the plastic disposable bags more often. I find it works best to fill my pastry bag with the frosting and then put it in the fridge for about 15 minutes prior to using. It will firm up a bit more, which is helpful if you’re using a star-tip applicator. It makes the lines in your frosting much sharper. You also don’t need to get fancy, you can just spread the frosting on with a knife.

Once your cupcakes have fully cooled, you can begin frosting them.

I chose a small star tip and filled my bag with the frosting.

I think she’ll like them!!

Eat well,

April