Thursday, September 25, 2008

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

There it is: the first pumpkin of Fall 2008 (and certain not to be the last!) I thought long and hard about what pumpkin-y treat I wanted to bake first, and after seeing the maple cream cheese frosting on Culinary Concoctions by Peabody I knew that I wanted to incorporate it somehow.
I immediately thought of pumpkin cupcakes, because lately I've been very fond of cupcakes, but a search for the perfect pumpkin cupcake recipe left me feeling defeated. I didn't want anything too dense, I didn't want raisins, nuts or chocolate chips. I wanted my cupcakes to be simple - just pumpkin and spice, to provide a nice base for the main event - the maple cream cheese frosting.
I ended up with this recipe, which I am pretty happy with. It's delicate but intriguing, and the cupcakes are a beautiful light orange.  I decided to use real maple syrup in the frosting (instead of maple extract), so there is just a hint of maple flavor, but I like the way the cupcakes and frosting go together.  This recipe makes a LOT of frosting, which I love, but if you frost the cupcakes thinly you could easily make do with half a recipe.

2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup applesauce
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup canned pumpkin

Preheat oven to 350 and line a cupcake pan with paper liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, spices, and sugars.
In a medium bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients.
Gently stir the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, and pour into the prepared pan.
Bake for about 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool completely on a wire rack

4 tbsp butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 cups powdered sugar

With the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and cream cheese. 
Add maple syrup and beat on medium until combined.
Mix in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, then mix on medium-high until smooth.
Frost each cupcake liberally.


Joelen said...

Beautiful cupcakes and a sweet way to welcome the fall season!

Linds said...

I agree with Joelen- what a great way to 'ring in Fall'....these look delish!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Those muffins look like PERFECTION! YUMMMMM!!

Amy said...

Those look delicious. Now I want cupcakes!!

KMAYS said...

Now I will not be satisfied with my pumpkin muffin because I will wish it was frosted with maple cream cheese... Thanks. :-P

Colleen said...

These look great, Cate! I love the twist on the cream cheese frosting with maple!

Maria said...

Gorgeous cupcakes and perfect for fall!
I left you an award on our blog!!

RecipeGirl said...

A perfect fall goodie! Love it!!

That Girl said...

Sprinkles makes a fantastic pumpkin cupcake - sounds like the kind you would like. But I love the addition of a maple cream cheese frosting.

Ellen said...

Wow. I'd like to eat one of those. These'll be on my v. long list of things to try.

Vera said...

Cate, they are perfect! The frosting is so creamy!

Elly said...

Yum! These look so great. I think I need to make these soon :)

Lisa said...

I have been looking for a fall cupcake recipe. This is it!

jennrs said...

Oh lord those look good. Way to play up the pumpkin with that fab pic of the libbys can.

If only it would not be 90 degress and humid so I could get in the mood for all things fall.

Mom said...

It's a good thing you said to frost these liberally--just the thing when all us liberals get together for my election night party!