Pumpkin Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting

I know, I just posted a pumpkin recipe last week. But can you really have too many pumpkin recipes? I think not. Especially in the world of food blogging, there is always room for more pumpkin recipes.

Actually, I’m kind of surprised I’ve never posted a recipe for pumpkin cupcakes before. It’s well known on my dad’s side of the family that every year I will bring pumpkin cupcakes and/or cookies to the family meal. This year I am not able to make it in person, but I’m there in spirit and sending virtual pumpkin love.

This particular pumpkin cupcake recipe is actually different than the one I’ve used in the past. Once I tried it, I knew my old recipe was old news. This recipe creates a perfectly domed cupcake, with a moist interior, and the perfect cupcake crumb. I made this particular batch for a work party at Jesse’s office and I heard that they were a huge hit. He certainly didn’t bring home any leftover cupcakes for me…. Good thing I got my taste tests in before he took them! 🙂

 

 

Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes




How about another sweet Friday? Sounds good to me. Get the weekend started off right with these customizable Funfetti Cupcakes!

It’s football season and regardless of whether or not you enjoy watching football games, I think that most people can get down with festive and spirited tailgate/party food. We are Bengals fans (Who Dey!) so for our Sunday radio broadcast streaming (no NFL cable package for us, we have to stream to hear the game) I went with black and orange sprinkles. But the beauty of homemade Funfetti is that you can use any color sprinkles you like! If you’re a Chargers fan all you need are blue and yellow (gold) sprinkles. If you’re not a football fan, you can go for traditional rainbow sprinkles or celebrate the season and stick with my black and orange and call it Halloween. It’s totally up to you!

As for the cake part of the cupcake, it was nice and sturdy and not overly sweet. The tops domed nicely and the middle was moist and light. I did use jumbo liners so mine took forever and I think the outsides might have been a little overcooked, but they still tasted great. I tried something new with my frosting and I didn’t love it so I won’t be sharing that today, but I think the Fluffy Vanilla Frosting I have already posted would be perfect.


Now onto cupcake size. The cupcakes I made were giant. You see, a few weeks ago I needed cupcake liners and sent the boys to the grocery to pick up white liners. They followed my instructions to a T and brought back the stores only white liners – jumbo size. I don’t have a jumbo muffin tin but the box of liners said they would fit in a regular pan, so that’s what I did. They had a heck of a time baking so I highly recommend sticking with regular size cupcakes or even minis, just not jumbos. They still tasted great but like I said, the outside was just a little overcooked.

Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes
(Adapted from Simply Scratch)

Ingredients
4 whole egg whites
1 cup whole milk
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups cake flour, sifted
1 1/2 cups sugar, sifted
1 Tbsp plus 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted Butter, softened
1/3 cup Sprinkles, plus more for garnish

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners.

In a large measuring cup or small mixing bowl, whisk together the egg whites, milk, and vanilla. Set aside.

Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and kosher salt, into the bowl of standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment*. Add the butter and half of the milk mixture and mix until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then, with the mixer on slow speed, add the last half of the milk mixture. Mix on slow-medium speed just until combined. Scrape down sides one more time to make sure it is thoroughly mixed. Now add the sprinkles and gently fold into the batter.

Divide the batter evenly into the cupcake liners, filling each one just a tiny bit more than halfway. Bake for 17-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Allow to cool all the way before frosting. Finish each cupcake with a few more sprinkles.

Sit back, enjoy, and cheer on your favorite team!

* Most cakes can be made without a standing mixer by using a large mixing bowl and a hand held mixer, just be careful not to over mix.

Cherry Coke Cupcakes

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I think that Fridays are a great day to share sweet treats. I know I do a lot of my heavy baking on the weekends, so a lot of you probably do to. If you’re looking for something to make this weekend you can stop right now. You are really going to want to try these cupcakes.

I made these cupcakes for one of Jesse’s coworkers birthday, but I think these would also make a great bring along dessert for the next party you go to. Chocolate and cherry are a pretty well received flavor combination and just look how pretty they are. If you’re worried about people not liking the cherry in the middle, you can make a few without cherries, like I did.
I will admit that the flavor reminds me more of a Black Forest cake than of Coca-Cola, but the Coke is a fun ingredient and really contributes to light spongy texture of the cake. I happened to have Cherry Coke on hand, but Annie made them with regular Coke. You can use whichever you prefer. Also, I used my new fluffy vanilla frosting instead of whipped cream for two reasons. One, it’s flavor is light and fluffy like whipped cream with maybe just a few fewer calories. Two, it is sturdier and held up well to being transported in the heat.

Cherry Coke Cupcakes
(Cupcake adapted from Annie’s Eats, frosting as I previously posted it here)

Ingredients:
For the cupcakes*:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup sugar
8 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup Cherry Coca-Cola
1 tsp maraschino cherry juice
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Maraschino cherries, stemless

For the glaze (optional):
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 Tbsp Coca-Cola

Frosting recipe below

* As is, this recipe makes 12 cupcakes, for 24 cupcakes double this recipe

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350° F and prepare a muffin pan with foil or paper liners.

In a medium bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. In a bowl or large measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, Cherry Coke, maraschino cherry juice, and vanilla extract; stir to combine. (At this point the mixture was foamy and looked a little curdled, don’t be scared)

Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the butter and mix on low speed. Add half of the liquid and continue to mix. Repeat until all of the dry and liquid ingredients are combined (the last addition should be the dry ingredients), scraping down the bowl as needed.

Fill each muffin cup 2/3 full. Drop 1-2 maraschino cherries into each cupcake and push them down into the batter. Bake for 17-19 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely before frosting.

To make the glaze, whisk together the confectioners sugar and Coca-Cola until smooth. Drizzle a little bit over each cupcake and allow to set, frost as desired. Top each cupcake with a maraschino cherry.


Fluffy Vanilla Frosting
Ingredients
5 Tbsp Flour
1 cup Milk
1 tsp Vanilla *
1 cup Butter, softened
1 cup Granulated Sugar

* For an extra kick add an additional teaspoon of maraschino cherry juice to the frosting when you add the vanilla
Directions
In a saucepan, whisk together the flour and milk and cook over medium heat until the mixture thickens (I would compare it to mashed potatoes). It is very important to whisk continuously so clumps don’t form. This took me about 4-5 minutes, but it’s best to go by texture.

Set milk mixture aside in an ice bath and allow to cool completely.

In a medium bowl, (or bowl of a standing mixture fitted with a whisk) beat together the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and beat for 1 minute. Add the cooled milk mixture and beat on high for 3-5 minutes. If it looks separated, keep beating.

Strawberry Lime Cupcakes

I’ve already posted 2 awesome snacks from our Bayday (Soft Pretzel Bites and Veggie Pizza Appetizer) but we certainly couldn’t survive the hours at the beach on salty, savory, treats alone. Nope. We needed something sweet. Usually when I think about a sweet dessert to share with a group my mind jumps straight to chocolate. And don’t be fooled, last minute I did whip up some brownie bites, but for the main attraction I had a vision of a light and summery cupcake. From there I decided on Strawberry Lime Cupcakes.

The recipe I used for the cupcake caught my eye right away (well, pretty much anything that uses cream cheese does that). You might be skeptical, but I used cream cheese in a coffee cake once and the result was a moist and tender crumb, I figured that would be perfect for my cupcake base. I made a few changes to really up the strawberry flavor and sub lime for lemons and I think that was a good decision.

Strawberry Lime Cupcakes

(Cupcake adapted from Cooking Agents; Frosting Sunny Side Up Original)

Cupcake

Ingredients

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 tbsp lime zest
1 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs
1/3 cup strawberry puree* **
1/4 cup whole milk
2 cups cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

*I used a pint of strawberries which made about 1 cup of puree. I processed the strawberries in my food processor and then pressed through a mesh sieve to remove the seeds. This process really helped to concentrate the strawberry flavor (more so, I think, than fine chopping alone)

** The original recipe called for 1/4 cup of vegetable oil instead of strawberry puree. I accidentally poured a little too much (1/3 cup) which is why my measurement reads 1/3 instead of 1/4. If you live in a really humid environment maybe cut it back to 1/4.

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare cupcake pan with liners.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt, set aside. In a measuring cup combine the strawberry puree, milk, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla, set aside.

In a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle, beat the cream cheese and butter with sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Gradually add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the liquid ingredients in 2 additions, ending with the flour mixture. Careful not to over mix.

Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire cooling rack before frosting.

Strawberry Lime Frosting

Ingredients

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3-4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup strawberry puree
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 tsp lime zest
1/4 tsp salt

Directions

Beat together the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add the rest of the ingredients and beat until smooth, adding more powdered sugar to achieve desired consistency. (Just be careful not to cover your kitchen in powdered sugar, which has never happened to me)

Garnish cupcakes with chopped strawberries and lime zest.