I come from a family that likes to be creative in the kitchen. I enjoy dreaming up new recipes, as well as putting a spin on old favorites.
The chilly air of autumn and wintertime always puts me in the mood for the flavors of things such as pumpkin and maple syrup. Pumpkin makes one think of desserts shared during the holidays, and maple syrup evokes thoughts of waffles and pancakes on wintry weekend mornings. I was thinking one day recently that I ought to try combining these two ingredients in a dessert; this cupcake recipe is the result of my endeavor. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. They are best consumed with your favorite hot beverage while curled up by a crackling fire with a good book in your hands.
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One dozen cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
- 1/4 cup salted butter, melted and cooled
- 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup milk
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For the frosting:
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons salted butter, softened
- 1/16 teaspoon salt
- 3 1/2 tablespoons milk
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare a muffin tin by placing liners in each cup and lightly greasing each one with cooking spray.
- Whip the butter, pumpkin, and sugars together in a large mixing bowl. Beat eggs and vanilla together in a separate bowl, then mix into the main bowl.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in a separate bowl. Add this flour mixture to the main bowl alternately with the milk until all the ingredients are well-combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tin, distributing it evenly among the cups. Place the tin on the center rack of the oven and bake for 17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool before removing them from the tin.
- Once the cupcakes are cool, prepare the frosting. Whip the powdered sugar, butter, syrup, salt, and milk in a small bowl (medium speed if using a mixer) until it is light and fluffy. It should not drip off the spatula at this point (see photo); if it does, add 1/4 cup more of powdered sugar. Spread or pipe the frosting onto the tops of the cooled cupcakes. Store the cupcakes in an airtight container if not serving immediately.
- Garnish the tops of the cupcakes with nuts such as walnuts or pecans, or a light dusting of pumpkin pie spice.
- A note to those who do not like much frosting on their cupcakes: the frosting recipe yields enough to cover 24 cupcakes with a thin layer of frosting.