Oh. My. Cupcake. Goodness.
These are, in the words of my friend Boo, “out of control!” I made them last weekend, just because. I was torn between two recipes and went with this one first – it just sounded good and I was intrigued by the addition of black pepper. Actually, as I was pouring in the pepper, I was convinced the cupcakes would be ruined… But fear not! These cupcakes are nicely spiced, light and moist. And the frosting really is amazing!
We ended up being invited to the girls’ friends’ impromptu lemonade stand (it still feels like summer here folks!) and I brought a plate of these for our little hostesses. We ended up selling one for $5 (!!) to a generous passerby and I sincerely hoped he thought it was worth his money…
Now, having sampled a few of these, and given the reaction of friends and family, I have to think he was pretty darn happy with his purchase! 🙂
Pumpkin Cupcakes With Maple–Cream Cheese Frosting
Yield: 18 cupcakes
For the Cupcakes:
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for greasing pans
1 cup firmly packed dark-brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk mixed with 1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin
For the Frosting:
Two (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
To make the cupcakes:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a cupcake pan with 18 liners.
2. In a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugars on medium speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt, and pepper into a medium bowl.
4. Add the eggs one at a time to the mixer, scraping down the sides after each addition. Alternate adding the flour and milk mixtures, beginning and ending with the flour. Beat in the pumpkin until smooth. (The batter is thick…)
5. Divide the batter among the cupcake liners — you’re looking to get them 3/4 full. Rap the filled pans once on the counter to release any air bubbles. Bake the cakes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool the cupcakes on racks completely.
To make the frosting:
1. In a stand mixer beat all the frosting ingredients on medium until fluffy.
2. Frost cupcakes as desired.
Smitten Kitchen says to refrigerate for 30 minutes to set up frosting, but I didn’t need this step…