What I do while I figure out what to do next . . .

Archive for the tag “pumpkin”

Fabulous Pumpkin Cupcakes

Let me just start off my saying that these will now be my go-to fall cupcakes.  They are sort of a combination of sweet muffin and cupcake and they are absolutely fabulous!  I have used browned butter in my blueberry muffins and have completely fallen for the wonderful and deep flavor that it adds to baking and these cupcakes are no exception.  Combined them with a cinnamon cream cheese frosting and pretty much YUM is all I have to say.

adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe


  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
Preheat oven to 325F
Line muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.  Batter will be enough for 12 cupcakes.  You could possibly make more if you do not eat as much batter as my family did.  It was worth it – I don’t think it is possible to ever make more than 12 in my family.
Brown butter.
Melt butter in small saucepan or medium heat.  This will take some time.  Expect around 10 minutes.  The first time I browned butter I kept wondering “is this it?”  You can walk away but the first time I would hang out stirring gently with a wooden spoon.  First the butter will foam up and then go clear.  When it is ready you will start to smell a wonderful nutty smell.
Then small rust-colored flakes will appear on the bottom of the saucepan. You are done. Skim foam from top, and remove from heat. Pour into a bowl to stop the cooking, leaving any burned sediment behind; let cool.
Grate the fresh nutmeg.
Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
In another bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, both sugars, eggs, and brown-butter mixture.
Add the flour mixture, and whisk until just combined.Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full.
Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes.Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
recipe from Baked Perfection

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Beat butter and cream cheese with a mixer on medium-high speed with whisk attachment until fluffy

Reduce speed to low. Add sugar, 1 cup at a time, and then cinnamon and vanilla; mix until smooth.

Put in pastry bag with large star tip and frost in a circular motion beginning on outside of cupcake and finishing in center.


A theme a theme. My country for a theme

I’m pretty much all about the theme.  I learned it from my mother.  You don’t just clean your house before a party.  You change all the light bulbs from 100w to 25w because it really is all about creating the illusion.  And with a theme it just looks like you are so much more pulled together than you necessarily are. When you have twins born the day before Halloween, I figure you have a built in theme every year.  So, whatever they chose to be for Halloween – poof we had a cake.  This year was one of my personal favorites.  They were supposed to be Grumpy and Happy from the Seven Dwarfs (I was the magic mirror – and I felt I was going to be seriously cool 🙂

Happy to be a pumpkin!

But then Eleanor derailed me and decided to be a pumpkin.  I don’t know why.  I’m not sure she felt a need to justify her reasoning to me.  Threw my theme for a loop.  But then it made me feel like a good mother when I let her out of the theme obligation and into the cutest pumpkin costume ever!  I feel like this birthday was well in advance of my experiments with fondant (therefore I cannot guarantee that the stem and leaves are not in fact play doh – actually looking carefully, that is definitely a play doh rolling pin to the right :-)).  It was also the first time I tried free hand drawing of a character.  I still love it!

Only downer of the whole event was that everyone kept telling Grace what a cute Santa Claus she was!  Hello . . . her hat SAYS GRUMPY!  She will actually get quite up in arms about the whole things still today.






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