Pumpkin Pie in Cupcake Form
There are many things close to my heart when it comes to the holiday season. The brisk cold, family dinners, old movies, snowflakes, pine trees, pumpkin spice lattes, scarves—and to no one’s surprise baking. In fact, this is the one time of year in which I choose another dessert over chocolate. The holiday favorite: pumpkin.
Growing up it was the only pie I would eat. (I know, weird kid that didn’t want apples or berries in pie form). I’d have my share of pumpkin pie, leaving the crust behind for my dad to eat. My mom would tell me that her dad only ever ate the filling as well. In fact, he would even get his own crust-less pie. One pumpkin pie baking day my mom made me my own mini-crust-less pumpkin pie. While delicious, I felt a special bond with my Grandpa who passed when my mom was eight as I enjoyed my personal spicy, sweet, crust-less pumpkin pie. In my family, there tends to be a bond formed around a shared love for food. That is my bond with Grandpa Way, crust-less pumpkin pie.
This recipe is not for pie, but the key ingredient in my favorite holiday treat—pumpkin, in cupcake form. I’ve already had the opportunity to make these cupcakes three times in three weeks. In embracing Julie Child’s mantra “No excuses, no explanations,” I’ve stopped explaining and apologizing for my baked goods. In fact, these ones I’ll even brag on. They are wonderful! Especially in mini-cupcake form.
Pumpkin Cupcakes adapted from My Baking Addiction
Yield: 20 Regular Cupcakes or 72 Mini-Cupcakes
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup (1 stick) salted butter, melted and cooled
½ cup unsweetened apple sauce
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg; set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together, brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, unsweetened applesauce and eggs. Add dry ingredients, and whisk until smooth. Whisk in pumpkin puree.
3. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about halfway. Bake until tops spring back when touched, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes for regular and 8-12 minutes for minis, rotating pans once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.
Spiced-Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
1 (8) ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 stick salted butter, softened
1 lbs. confectioners’ sugar
1 TBS ground cinnamon
1 TBS maple syrup
1 tsp ginger
¼ tsp salt
Using a mixer, blend the butter and cream cheese together until well combined. Gradually add in the confectioners’ sugar until fully incorporated. (My measurements may be off, but look for a thick consistency, which will come from first whipping the butter and cream cheese for about 5 minutes). Finally mix in maple syrup, cinnamon, ginger and salt.