Pumpkin Cupcakes

It’s already beginning to smell like Thanksgiving in my kitchen: the scents of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice swirling from my kitchen to the living room. I am making pumpkin cupcakes, and thinking that my little toddler is going to want a nibble, because I see that she’s already migrating to the kitchen, following the sweet aroma.

These cupcakes call for pumpkin spice, which is not readily available at all supermarkets. But fear not, it’s easy to make your own: mix ground cinnamon, ground ginger, freshly grated nutmeg and ground allspice. In fact this might be a better option since you can adjust to taste. I found the pumpkin spice at my favorite supermarket, which now offers online shopping: Fairway.

Here, the pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Although this is a baker’s cliché, it’s a combination that works for a reason: the tangy cream cheese complements the spice of the cake.


Pumpkin Cupcakes
Makes 18

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 tablespoon pumpkin spice (or make your own; see above)
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree

Make the cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice together.
In a large bowl, whisk together, brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and eggs. Add dry ingredients, and whisk until smooth. Whisk in pumpkin puree.

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, rotating pans once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely then frost with cream cheese frosting.

Cream cheese frosting

4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon high-quality vanilla extract (In general I use Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract)

Make the frosting
In a large bowl, beat together the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer. With the mixer on low speed, add the powdered sugar a cup at a time until smooth and creamy. Beat in the vanilla extract. Frost cupcakes then serve.