Back to Josh... For his birthday, he originally requested chocolate whoopie pies with mint frosting. Sure, it's his call since he is the birthday boy but I wanted to try something new and take advantage of my pumpkin fever. Seeing as how he loves snickerdoodles and cream cheese, I figured I couldn't go wrong. Lucky for me I got to knock out two birds with one stone (no actual birds were harmed in the making of these cupcakes) and easily convinced him that I should make these instead.
The verdict? Yum!!! The cake is extremely moist and isn't overpowering with either the pumpkin puree or pumpkin pie spice flavors. To me, subtly is key when you're using such powerful spices. And while I'm normally not a fan of cream cheese unless it's thoroughly disguised, this frosting won me over. Josh requested I leave a few without the frosting so I just dunked the tops in the sugar/spice mix and served them at breakfast.
A few notes/variations I made on the recipe. 1) I used yellow cake mix instead of the alternative, white; 2) I opted to use oil instead of applesauce since that's what I had on hand; 3) I only used 3T of butter to coat the tops and it was more than enough; 4) Trying to keep my expanding waistline in mind, I went for reduced fat cream cheese; and 5) I found the right amount of powdered sugar for the frosting is 4 cups. Another change to the recipe is the oven temp; I've found that 325 for 20 minutes with each cup filled 3/4 full is the magic equation to perfect cupcakes. I'm also a big fan of baking with these party cups since they can be pulled apart easily, making eating a bit less messy. I still use a cupcake pan so that each cupcake bakes evenly.
|Pardon the day after iPhone photo.|
These cupcakes were a hit with Josh and his family and super easy to make. I'm always looking for new pumpkin recipes to try, any suggestions?