Pumpkin season is awesome! OK, you already knew that, and not that I didn’t but I always felt my pumpkin-ness was limited to the recipes in one cookbook I got several years ago which, unfortunately has proven to be quite disappointing. Given that particular disappointment, I turned to the Internet. A simple Bing search for pumpkin recipes resulted in websites from the typical big guys: Food Network, Allrecipes.com and Cooking.com. Sorry to say, but I’ve had some less than stellar experiences with these sites in the past, so I ignored them and went “indie.” I turned to Pinterest and my own inbox from a couple of food blogs I follow. Best. Decision. Ever.
While most of the recipes I found are sweet, rather than savory, there are plenty to choose from and try. I have a board on Pinterest called “Deliciousness” which is now updated with pumpkin recipes and while I need more pumpkins to get trough them all, I do have a list and plan to try as much as I can even if it takes me into November. So far the family isn’t complaining.
My indie search led me to a three-layer pumpkin cake. I love cake. Typically though, I am not very good at making it unless it comes in a box. Thanks to my sister, I follow a food blog called Cooking Classy, and my inbox is loaded with saved recipes. Aside from the gorgeous photography, I can now vouch for at least one of the recipes, Pumpkin Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting. As luck would have it, I was missing my ground ginger (I know it’s in my cabinet somewhere, but couldn’t find it) and I don’t have three cake pans the same size. So I had to make some adjustments here with the spices and I made cupcakes in various sizes instead of cake, but this is one of the best recipes I have ever made thanks to Jaclyn and her amazingness with food. In lieu of having layers, I went with stuffing the larger cupcakes because there is nothing better than biting into a cupcake and getting a little surprise.
Stuffed Pumpkin Cupcakes
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil, divided
4 large eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup (15 ounces) fresh pumpkin puree
1/2 cup milk
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3-4 cups powdered sugar (we wanted a less-sweet version)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line regular or jumbo muffin tins with paper liners.
- In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice for 20 seconds, set aside. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and 3 tablespoons of the vegetable oil until pale and fluffy (occasionally scrape down sides and bottom of bowl throughout mixing process). Mix in remaining 1/4 + 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Blend in eggs one at a time, adding in vanilla with last egg. In a bowl or large liquid measuring cup, whisk together pumpkin with milk. Working in three separate batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture, add 1/3 of the flour mixture alternating with half of the pumpkin mixture and mixing just until combined after each addition.
- Divide batter among paper lined cups in a muffin tin and bake for 22-24 minutes.
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together cream cheese and butter until smooth and fluffy. Add cinnamon, vanilla and powdered sugar and mix on low speed until combined, then increase to medium and whip until pale and fluffy (if frosting is runny, cover and refrigerate just until it no longer is runny before spreading on cake).
- To stuff the cupcakes (which is completely optional) place icing in a squeezable container or pastry bag fitted with s medium sized tip. Insert into middle of cupcake and squeeze.
Notes from my experience:
The most important thing is that for a non-baker, this is a very easy recipe to follow and so absolutely delicious that I have decided this is the official Thanksgiving dessert for others like me who do not eat pumpkin pie.
I used varying sizes of cupcakes tins for a couple of reasons. The jumbo sized tin made the cupcakes seem more like small cakes and closer to the original recipe. And if I’m honest, one regular sized cupcake is rarely enough, so it just made sense to go larger and enjoy the “mini cakes” the first time around. Bake times are roughly 22 minutes for 12 jumbo cupcakes or 12 regular sized cupcakes and about 15 minutes for minis, but always check for done-ness since ovens vary.
The recipe made a lot of cupcakes so I shared with neighbors and friends and even froze some for later. I found out later that a friend has three cake pans of the same size and I could have borrowed them and made the cake, but then I’d be having cake for breakfast, so maybe this was better anyway.
And if you need an easy way to make the pumpkin puree for this recipe, watch our video.