When I saw Sweetest Kitchen’s Mystery Box Cupcake Challenge for this month was “Orange,” I actually hesitated before deciding I’d enter. In fact I may not have entered at all if my friend Ale hadn’t placed an order with me for a dozen pumpkin spice cupcakes to have on hand for some weekend visitors. My main concern was that, obviously, it’s October and pumpkin is the flavor of the season, so everyone else would be entering pumpkin flavored cupcakes too. Then I realized, “so what?” No one would have these exact cupcakes, and I love making pumpkin-flavored things, and I would now be making these anyway.
I think it worked out for the best. This is the recipe I used for the bundt cake I made last year around this time. I halved the original recipe to yield a dozen cupcakes, but you could easily double it (or go to the original recipe at Taste of Home) to make 24, or a cake! It calls for cinnamon cream cheese frosting, which is the perfect topping for these yummy autumnal treats.
PUMPKIN PATCH CUPCAKES – Makes 12
- 6Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup (1/2 can) pureed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 cup plus 2Tbsp AP flour
- 1.5 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
for the frosting:
- 4oz cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
Start off by preheating your oven to 350ºF, and preparing 12 muffin cups with liners.
Then, cream together your sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add in your eggs and beat well. Then add in the pumpkin and mix completely.
In a separate bowl, combine your dry ingredients – flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mix, alternating dry-wet-dry with the buttermilk. Beat well to make sure it’s combined.
Fill the muffin cups about 3/4 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let them cool for a bit in the tins before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely.
While those are cooling off, you can start on your cream cheese frosting. Cream together the butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Add the sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon and beat until the mixture is smooth. Once your cupcakes are completely cool, frost your cupcakes however you like! As you can see, I chose to add some food coloring to mine and pipe out my little pumpkin design.
Look how cute they are together in my cupcake tote! You might say it looks like a pumpkin patch…
Make sure you keep these refrigerated, sealed in a container of some sort, so the frosting doesn’t go bad. These kept for a couple of days.
In other news, the response to these was overwhelming. I’m going to put them as a 2.5 on the evil scale, because they have pumpkin (and there for beta carotene) in them, and anything that’s good for your eyes can’t be that bad, but these are so tasty you’ll want multiples, and seconds are where it all starts…
One of the greatest compliments I received on these was when Ale’s friend said “Oh, you made those cupcakes? They were a revelation.”
You should whip these up and see for yourselves!
The winner of October’s Mystery Box Cupcake Challenge will receive prizes from:
- Angela’s Images; a selection of handmade crafts
- Bake It Pretty; a $5 electronic gift card
- Beanilla; 2-fold Madagascar vanilla extract & 3 Tongan vanilla beans
- Hello Hanna; a pack of Sweet Stands cupcake stands
- Lisa Orgler; an 8.5″x11″ original art print of your choice
- Miss Kitty Creations; a handmade cupcake charm of your choice
- Sweet Cuppin Cakes; a prize pack worth $25
- Tundra Books; a selection 3 very sweet children’s books
Thank you to all our prize sponsors, and to Jamieann for hosting!