9.07.2011

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Rum Frosting

It’s here! It’s finally here! The calendar flipped to September and the temperatures dropped into the 60s. It’s FALL! I can finally break out my favorite black and red Miami University hoodie, not get overheated wearing cute scarves, stop sweating profusely on my non-airconditioned ride to work, and bake, eat, and drink all things pumpkin. It took one long hot summer to get here, but my favorite time of year has finally arrived. Oh Fall, how I love you so.


I kind of jumped the gun, and actually baked these cupcakes a few weeks ago, while we were still in the midst of summer, but I just couldn’t help myself. As the Halloween and Fall kids' books poured in at work, my coworker, Lisa, and I kept getting more and more excited about the upcoming season and the prospect of baking with pumpkin again! Finally we just couldn’t stand it anymore, and she invited me over for a pumpkin cupcake baking party at her house a couple weekends ago. So I packed up my stand mixer and half of my kitchen, and took my baking show on the road!

I’ve made pumpkin cupcakes before, with some delicious cinnamon rum frosting that I took to the second Cupcake Camp Columbus, but as a blogger, I have this terrible habit of never baking the same thing twice. So of course I had to find a whole new recipe. After comparing a couple different recipes, I ended up going with the always delicious Smitten Kitchen. Packed with spices, light with cake flour, and a bit more pumpkin than the other recipes, it just screamed, WINNER! to me. And it so totally was.


After a delicious dinner and my very first introduction to Jersey Shore, (now I know why I don’t have cable..), we hit the kitchen and started baking with the most adorable sous chef ever.

Chloe wants to help!
 The best thing about Lisa’s kitchen? Her oven has a window. I want a window for my oven! Although, I’d probably just sit and stare the entire time things are baking.. So maybe it’s better that I don’t.

Look how pretty they are already!

After an episode of Supernatural, the cupcakes were cooled and frosted, and ready to be devoured. And let me tell you, they’re complete heaven. They were moist and super soft, with just the right amount of spice. And the frosting is perfect. Not too mapley, not too rum flavored. Just perfect. We saved a couple for ourselves and Lisa took the rest to work the next day, where they were polished off before I even got there.

So the baking field trip was a raving success! And I may just have to amend my bad habits—these cupcakes deserve to be made more than once. With a couple months worth of prime pumpkin season, these will probably make an appearance several times!

You didn't save any for me?




Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Rum Frosting
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Makes about 2 dozen cupcakes



Cupcakes:
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 large eggs
½ cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ¼ cups canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)

Frosting:
3 egg whites
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon spiced rum
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
¼ teaspoon maple extract
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1.       Preheat oven to 350F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside.
2.       In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, salt, and pepper; set aside.
3.       In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add vanilla, mixing until combined. Add flour mixture, alternating with the buttermilk, in three additions, beating until combined. Add pumpkin puree and beat until smooth.
4.       Divide batter between prepared liners, filling each with about 2 heaping tablespoons, or 2/3 full. Bake, rotating halfway through, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool completely on wire racks before frosting.
5.       While cupcakes are cooling, make frosting: In a bowl set over, but not touching, a pan of simmering water, whisk together egg whites and granulated sugar until well combined. Whisking constantly, heat until sugar is completely dissolved, about 5 minutes, scraping down the side of the bowl as needed. (To test whether the sugar is melted, rub a bit of the mixture between your fingers. It should feel smooth, not grainy, and be warm to the touch, but not hot.)
6.       Pour the mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on high until the bottom of the bowl is cool to the touch and the whites have formed stiff peaks.
7.       Add the butter, a tablespoon at a time, beating until each is well combined before adding the next (about 15 seconds in between). If the mixture looks soupy after adding the butter, put it in the refrigerator to chill for about 5 to 10 minutes before continuing to beat.
8.       Once the butter has been added, switch to the paddle attachment, and beat on high until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. (The mixture will probably break and look curdled at one point—don’t worry it’s totally normal. Just keep beating away. It’ll come back together.) Once the buttercream is fluffy, add rum, maple syrup, maple extract, and cinnamon and beat until well combined and fluffy. Pipe immediately onto cooled cupcakes.
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5 comments:

Lisa said...

These were the best cupcakes I've ever eaten. Mmmm....

And it was a blast to make. We so have to make them again!

Also, Chloe looks adorable. I can't wait to show Coventry.

Rachel @ Baked by Rachel said...

pumpkin cupcakes and NO cream cheese frosting - thank you - where's mine? :)

The Mrs said...

I just stumbled across your blog and anyone who does pumpkin cupcakes at the flip of the calendar is okay by me!!

Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust said...

I am also so excited for Fall and all the pumpkin flavors. Unfortunately, it is 100 degrees here today. :( These cupcakes look so good.

I've started my own linky party, Crazy Sweet Tuesdays, and would love for you to join sometime!

Jess said...

Fabulous! Unfortunately, it's still about 80 here - in Maine, no less!

Here's hoping that the temperature dips enough to be crisp and I can bust out my own arsenal of pumpkin-laden awesome baked goods soon.

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