Friday, October 31, 2014

Pumpkin Chocolate Cupcakes

Happy Halloween

I waited until the last minute to get my candy but I am prepared for the barrage of trickers that will inevitably be knocking on my door tonight.

I've got my chocolate bars and lollipops in a bucket beside my front door and right beside the candy, I have a tray of pumpkin cupcakes that I will be passing out to the more "mature" trick or treaters. 

It's not that kids won't appreciate a cupcake now and then but lets face it, tonight is all about filling their jack o'lantern with raw sugar.  And, after years of tricker treating with my own kids, I know that sometimes the parents need a little sugar energy halfway around the neighborhood. 

So if you happen to live in my neighborhood and you are out trick or treating with your kids tonight, make sure you stop by for a pumpkin cupcake.  You don't even need a costume.

Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes

2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
2/3 cups sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
3 large eggs
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup sour cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt) in a large bowl and set aside while assembling the wet ingredients below.


In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment beat together the sugars and oil until well combined on medium speed, about 2 minutes.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the eggs and beat the batter on medium speed for 2 minutes more to combine well.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl again, then add the pumpkin puree and vanilla and beat 1 minute on low speed before stirring in the sour cream.

Scrape down the sides one more time, then add the dry ingredients on low speed and stir in until just combined. Add the chopped chocolate and fold it in to the batter, scraping down the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is mixed in.

 Fill pans 3/4 full with batter. Bake 25 minutes at 350.

Frost with cinnamon cream cheese icing.

I think the perfect little costume for these little cupcakes is an orange colored white chocolate pumpkin. 


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pumpkin Nutella Swirl Cupcakes

Our pumpkins have been carved - and then eaten by a very large Weimeriner.  (All within a 12 hour period.)  The costumes pieces have been gathered up, the candy has been bought (and not COMPLETELY eaten) and we are officially ready for Halloween.  Bring on the trick or treaters!!!

We live in a neighborhood that is absolutely loaded with trick or treaters on Halloween.  I love it.  I sit on my front porch with a cup of hot coffee and pass out candy to each princess and Ninja turtle that walks up my sidewalk.  Mia sits beside me and it might be the only night that she allows strangers to walk into our her yard without threatening to eat them.  To be honest, any small child who walks up carrying a wand or a sword or wearing any sort of mask causes my large grey dog to hide behind me in terror.  (Its actually quite hilarious to see her cower before Elsa the ice princess.) 

In preparation for Halloween, I am getting my pumpkin cupcakes ready as well.  (To hand out to the adults of course.)

Pumpkin Nutella Swirl Cupcakes
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup Nutella

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-count standard muffin pan with baking cups or grease.
In a mixing bowl, blend together the pumpkin, sugar, eggs, oil, water, and vanilla until combined. 
In another bowl, mix together the dry ingredients - flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Slowly add dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mixing until smooth {make sure not to overmix}. 
Pour batter into the baking cups, until approximately 2/3 full.
Put the Nutella into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 20-30 seconds or until it thins out just enough to swirl. Using a spoon, drop a small spoonful or two of Nutella onto the top of each muffin and swirl using the tip of a knife.

Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Frost with whipped cream cheese.

OK, NOW I'm ready for Halloween.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

What happens when you fuse a snickerdoodle and a pumpkin cupcake?  A pumpkin snickerdoodle cupcake happens - that's what. 

A moist, cinnamon spiced pumpkin cupcake brushed with melted butter, dipped in a cinnamon sugar coating, topped with whipped cream cheese icing and a crunchy snickerdoodle cookie - now that's what I call Fall cupcake perfection.

It just doesn't get any more perfect than this.

Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cupcakes
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour (not self- rising), sifted
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, plus 1/2 teaspoon for dusting
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for dusting
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin

Combine flours, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a bowl.

Beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time.  Add vanilla.

Add dry ingredients, alternating with pumpkin. 

Scoop batter into muffin cups and bake 25 minutes at 350.  (For jumbo size cupcakes.)

Melt 2 Tablespoons butter in a small bowl.  Combine 2 Tablespoons sugar and 1 Tablespoon cinnamon in a small bowl.

Brush the top of each cupcake with butter and then dip in cinnamon sugar.

 These really are good - just like this.  You can stop here OR add a swirl of cinnamon cream cheese frosting and a mini snickerdoodle cookie if you like. 

The epitome of Fall in a cupcake!  Enjoy!