Pumpkin is totally underrated.  I look forward to pumpkin pies, pumpkin cheesecakes, and pumpkin cupcakes every holiday season.  I completely understand that pumpkins are an autumnal crop, but unless you’re pureeing your own pumpkin for your desserts–there’s no reason to limit pumpkin to just the end of the year.   Okay, okay…I concede that pumpkin pie doesn’t necessarily do anything for me in May, but throw pumpkin into a cheesecake or cupcake and I’ll be all over it.  There’s just something about the wonderful spices that always seem to accompany pumpkin–nutmeg, allspice, and even clove.

We’re always looking for desserts to be sweet (I’m always looking for desserts to sweet and À la mode).  While pumpkin certainly encompasses all that, I always feel like pumpkin imparts such a great savory aftertaste that makes it so unique.  That’s why pumpkin is part of my usual dessert rotation.  So, if you don’t want to wait until October to have the sweet scent of nutmeg in the air, try these pumpkin cupcakes.  They’re moist, flavorful, and delicious! Pair these cupcakes with some cream cheese frosting…and well…could anything be better?

I top my cupcake with a mini Oreo and some Almond Roca crumbs–beautiful!

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

makes about 18 cupcakes

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together, brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and eggs. Add dry ingredients, and whisk until smooth. Whisk in pumpkin puree.
  3. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about halfway. Bake until tops spring back when touched, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pans once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.
Adapted from Martha Stewart

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 sticks (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and brought to room temperature
2-3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Beat butter and cream cheese with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add sugar, 1 cup at a time (until you reach the level of sweetness to your liking)  and then vanilla; mix until smooth.  Frosting can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

***I’m sorry my frosting recipes always vary in the amount of sugar.  When it comes to frosting, I never use a standard amount.  I always adjust the level of sweetness based on the actual dessert.  I honestly think that’s the best solution for everyone.  The same goes for the amount of vanilla.

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