Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

December 11, 2012

pumpkin cupcakes

I swear pureed pumpkin makes for the best cakes! I have never made a pumpkin cake that didn’t come out fluffy and moist. These cupcakes included.

I made these cupcakes as a last minute choice as to what to bring to a Thanksgiving gathering. I was in charge of desserts and wasn’t quite feeling the whole pie thing… I just don’t feel like they are the most popular desserts with crowds, Thanksgiving or not. If it is a simple family affair and you are aware of everybody’s pie preference, then that is a different story. But such is not the case when you get together with a big group of people for the Holiday. Regardless, I really wanted to make something with pumpkin since it was Thanksgiving- and who doesn’t love cupcakes? And for my second choice- you really can’t go wrong with good ol’ chocolate chip cookies. Both were a HUGE success.

What is great about pumpkin is that it truly works as a flavor all season long- October, November, AND December. You can pretty much get away with baking with pumpkin just as long as there is snow on the ground. Personally, I usually make a nice pumpkin roll for Christmas along with an apple pie for my Husband (his choice dessert). These Pumpkin Cupcakes are a great choice for the whole season though. Whether you are making them just for family or friends, or maybe an event/gathering, they will definitely be gobbled up!

pumpkin cupcakes

Ina Garten receives 100% of my trust when it comes to recipes, especially baking. I don’t know how she does it but she somehow knows how to formulate the most perfect textures and flavors. And wow, does she know how to create a cake recipe! They are always soooo good!! Her chocolate cake being one of my personal favorites. These Pumpkin Cupcakes were no exception. They were super moist and flavorful, with some spectacular maple-cream cheese frosting. Ugh, yummy! This was my first experience with maple frosting of any kind and it just totally blew my mind. It is the perfect combination with the pumpkin. Of course, I wouldn’t knock a traditional vanilla-cream cheese frosting with these cupcakes either. Super delicious either way.

There were only two things that I did differently from the recipe as written. I added 1 tsp vanilla extract. Why would she not call for that? Vanilla makes everything better. I also stretch the yield from 10 cupcakes to 12. Ina has a tendency to make very large cupcakes. I always worry that they are going to be too full and spread instead of rise, although when I do make the larger ones I never have that problem… (these rise amazing as large cupcakes). Oh, and I also didn’t have any Heath Bars to garnish with. I think that would be a wonderful topper though- I was pretty bummed when I couldn’t find any to use.

pumpkin cupcakes

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
Serves: 10 cupcakes
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin purée (8 ounces), not pie filling
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • For the Frosting:
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon Boyajian Natural Maple Flavor
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped Heath bars, for serving (2 1.4-ounce bars)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush or spray the top of 10 muffin tins with vegetable oil and line them with 10 paper liners.
  2. Into a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. In a larger bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin purée, granulated sugar, brown sugar, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and stir until combined.
  3. Divide the batter among the prepared tins and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool completely.
  4. Spread the cupcakes with the Maple Frosting and sprinkle with the chopped toffee bits.
  5. For the Frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese and butter on low speed until smooth. Stir in the maple flavoring and vanilla extract. With the mixer still on low, slowly add the confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth.
I made 12 cupcakes with this recipe and they baked for 20 minutes in a 325°F oven.

adapted from Ina Garten via House Beautiful


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