RECIPE: Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Filling and Maple Pumpkin Frosting



Well, of course it's pumpkin season, and maybe you are getting sick of pumpkin this and pumpkin that? But Thanksgiving is around the corner, and if you are having a ton of kids come over, this recipe is the ticket for them. It seems inspired by a well-loved dessert my husband pines for that his mother makes called "Pumpkin Roll". I decided to make these for his birthday last week in honor of that recipe. It has a great seasonal flair but is still a cupcake that makes it great for small hands and finger food desserts. The frosting has a maple flavor that is a great compliment to the creaminess of the cupcake itself. Decorate them with Halloween candy corn or orange colored sugar. If you need something for the kids to do on Thanksgiving, have each child decorate their own! Oh, and the base of the cupcake recipe I found on Rachel Ray's website (I know....hard to believe..not a big fan...a discussion for another time...) but the frosting is all mine, and I think "makes" the cupcake (not to toot my own horn).

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Filling and Maple Pumpkin Frosting

Ingredients:

Filling:
1 8oz. package of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 egg white
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Cupcake:
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla

Frosting:
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/8 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
2 Tbsp. flour
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla
dash of ground cinnamon
dash of salt
generous 1/2 tsp. maple flavoring
fall decorations or colored sugar, optional





Preheat oven to  350˚ and make sure you have your rack in the middle third of the oven. Line 12-15 cups in a muffin pan (s) and set aside. In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth and add the sugar, egg white and vanilla. Continue beating until smooth. Set aside.





In another medium bowl, whisk together with a fork the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and salt. In a larger bowl, whisk the eggs with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the pumpkin puree, oil and vanilla. Whisk until combined and fluffy, then whisk in the flour mixture. Whisk until just combined-don't over mix.






Layer in each cupcake liner with a generous tablespoon of batter, followed by 1/2 tablespoon or so of cream cheese filling with another tablespoon of batter on top. Bake until springy to the touch, about 25-30 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.



While baking, prepare the frosting. In a medium bowl, whisk the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the pumpkin puree and powdered sugar and whisk until combined. I then add the flour to thicken things up a little so I can pipe the frosting through a pastry bag. Add the vanilla, cinnamon and maple flavoring and dash of salt. Whisk to get things fluffy and whipped. Pour into a pastry bag with a the tip you desire, and pipe the frosting around the tops of the cupcakes. Decorate as desired. Store in the fridge and let warm a little to room temp when serving.


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