Monday, October 10, 2011

October's Cupcake Of The Month: Pumpkin Cupcakes

It's finally starting to feel like autumn now! Well, at least where I live. Last week, we had our first rain of the season, and after so many months of 90+ temperatures, it was really nice to be able to put on a jacket and a scarf. I didn't really appreciate that it rained two days after I washed my car though... but that always happens to me, so I don't really know why I'm surprised anymore.

In other news, I start my volunteer work with Reading Partners tomorrow! It's a program in California, New York, and Washington, D.C. that offers free tutoring to elementary school children who are behind in reading or are reading below grade level. I'm going to be tutoring twice a week, Mondays and Wednesdays, and I'm so excited! I have two students and I'm going to meet both of them this week. I'll only be spending an hour a day though so that means I'll only see each student once a week. But hopefully, my time spent with them will make a small difference. 


These cupcakes came out way better than I expected. They were moist and soft, even after spending a night in the fridge! And they smelled heavenly while they were baking. The cream cheese frosting that I made to go with it paired perfectly too. Sweet cinnamon with a slight tang from the cream cheese, and then this rich spicy goodness from the cake. Mmm... autumn at its finest.

The Ingredients (makes about 2 dozen):
For the cupcakes:
-2 cups flour
-3 tsp baking powder
-2 tsp baking soda
-1/4 tsp salt
-2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

-1 tsp ground cinnamon
-2 cups sugar
-1 1/4 cups plus 1 tbsp vegetable oil
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-2 cups pumpkin puree
-4 eggs
For the frosting:
-16 oz cream cheese, softened
-1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
-2 cups powdered sugar, or to taste, sifted
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1 tsp ground cinnamon

The Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line your muffin pan.
2. Sift together the flour, powder, soda, salt, pumpkin spice, and cinnamon and set aside.
3. Combine the oil and sugar in your mixing bowl. Blend in the vanilla and pumpkin. Then the eggs one at a time.
4. Add in the dry ingredients in increments, thoroughly mixing and scraping the bowl between each addition. Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Rotate the pans halfway through to ensure even baking. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
5. Cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth and combined. Mix in the vanilla and then slowly, about a tablespoon at a time, add in the sugar. Then add the cinnamon.
6. Frost cupcakes and garnish.
7. Consume and enjoy!