Fall is officially here where we live. The days are warm and sunny but the evenings and mornings are cool, and I can't seem to walk anywhere anymore without hearing the crunch of leaves under my feet. The change from summer to winter has us saying goodbye to many warm-weather foods but saying hello to many delicious fall flavours, like pumpkin and spice! Don't get me wrong, I'm not a Starbucks addict but I absolutely love the flavours of pumpkin and spice at this time of year. These Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes are the perfect introduction to fall: They've got a rich pumpkin flavour with a spicy kick but the cream cheese frosting is light and fluffy and oh so creamy. If you like anything pumpkin spice, you're going to love these cupcakes!!
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp sea salt
For the frosting:
6 oz low fat cream cheese (at room temperature)
1/3 cup unsalted butter (at room temperature)
4 cups icing sugar
2-3 tsp whole milk
turbinado sugar for garnish (optional)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare one 12-cup muffin tin with some paper liners.
Combine the pumpkin puree, eggs, sugar and oil in a large bowl and whisk everything together until combined.
In a separate bowl whisk together all the dry ingredients (the flour, baking soda, spices and salt) and then dump the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
Using a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon, combine the wet and dry ingredients until they're just combined and the flour just disappears.
Spoon the mixture evenly into the 12 muffin cups lined with paper liners until all the batter is distributed evenly.
Bake the cupcakes at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of one of the cupcakes comes out clean.
When they're done they'll be nice and puffy and a gorgeous brown colour.
Remove the cupcakes from the tin and place them on a wire rack to cool completely while you prepare the frosting.
Mix the room temperature cream cheese and the room temperature butter on high speed in the bowl of your stand mixer (a hand-held mixer works just fine for this job too!). Add the icing sugar one cup at a time, scraping down the bowl between each addition to make sure it's incorporated evenly. Once all the icing sugar is added add the milk one teaspoon at a time, making sure to watch the texture of the frosting carefully. If your frosting is quite soft you may only need to add 2 tsp of milk. Once the milk is added, continue to mix on high speed until the frosting is light and fluffy (about 2 more minutes).
Once the cupcakes have cooled completely to room temperature, pipe the frosting in a circular motion on top of each cupcake using whatever tip you wish (or simply spread it, if that's more your style). I decided to depart from my love affair with the large star tip and use a large open tip this time (and I'm glad I did!). Sprinkle some turbinado sugar over each cupcake to garnish, and serve!
Don't these look absolutely delicious?? This frosting is as fluffy as a cloud and it's the perfect match for the deep, rich flavours of the pumpkin cupcake base. I just love the look of these cupcakes...they're so beautiful and simple!
Adding pureed fruit or vegetables always increases the health-value of desserts like this but these cupcakes are still 13 Weight Watchers PointsPlus each, so it's best to save them for a treat!
I hope you enjoyed this recipe! Let me know in the comments below, what's your favourite fall pumpkin-flavoured treat?