Saturday, May 16, 2015

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cinnamon Frosting

I made these cupcakes to use up some pumpkin purée I had left in the freezer. I liked them, but I have to admit that my first impression was an overload of cinnamon. I’d definitely use less next time, because it was competing with the pumpkin and maple flavors, so I changed the amounts below. That being said, I kept the cupcakes in the fridge, and they really got tastier over time, as the flavors had a chance to meld. I also love that I had a vegan frosting, though I admit I wish there had been less sugar in it. The original recipe was for 18 cupcakes, and I got 16.

For the pumpkin cupcakes
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. ground cloves
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
½ cup butter, at room temperature (I used cold margarine)
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
¾ cup pumpkin purée
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk (i.e., lactose-free milk with a splash of lemon juice)

Preheat oven to 350 °F. Line 18 muffin cups with paper liners. (It turned out 16 was enough for me.)

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, followed by pumpkin purée and vanilla extract. Stir in half of the flour mixture, followed by the buttermilk. Stir in remaining flour mixture and mix just until no streaks of dry ingredients remain.

Divide batter evenly into 18 muffin cups, filling each about ¾ full (if you only have a 12 cup muffin pan, reserve the leftover batter and refill the pan once it has cooled to bake the remaining 6 cupcakes).
Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

For the maple cinnamon frosting
1 cup margarine, at room temperature
¼ cup pure maple syrup (preferably medium or amber)
½ tsp. ground cinnamon (optional)
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 ½ to 3 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
1 Tbsp. lactose-free milk, if needed

In a large bowl, beat margarine to soften. Blend in maple syrup, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla. Gradually blend in the confectioner’s sugar until frosting has a thick, spreadable consistency. (In my case, I used a scant 2 ½ cups of sugar and no milk at all; it was still a bit soft for my liking, so I would have needed more sugar, but this was so sweet already!) Spread or pipe onto cooled cupcakes.

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