"The color, smell and taste of pumpkin equals fall." Says Jamie Lothridge, random person and avid baker, who evidently was in quite a panic at the thought of another year with a shortage of canned pumpkin (from USA Today Article). Jamie stockpiled over 25 cans of pumpkin and her ration was about up when the shortage finally came to an end. Phew! Crisis adverted for Jamie the avid baker. Now, I don't mean to make fun, because poor Alexa Gallagher, random person and Philadelphia resident, was forced to make her favorite fall desserts with butternut squash last year, and that's just wrong.
Now, I don't consider myself an avid baker. But I do agree with Jamie, pumpkin equals fall (not butternut squash). And Thanksgiving with no pumpkin pie would be a travesty. As Pia Rappaport, random person and pumpkin ravioli eater (?) says, "I would be worried if there was a shortage, it's not like there is this huge market you can turn to for canned pumpkins."
Well put Pia, well put.
So, to celebrate the ending of the pumpkin shortage and the beginning of fall, I made Pumpkin Cupcakes. And can I please tell you, these were the BEST cupcakes EVER! Please have a fall party and make them (since its been confirmed, in case you missed it, no pumpkin shortage).
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
From Brown Eyed Baker and Martha Stewart
4 cups cake flour (not self-rising), sifted
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 Tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2½ cups packed light-brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1½ cups canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices.
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and beating until just combined. Add pumpkin; beat until just combined.
Pour batter into cupcake pan, each about three-quarters full. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Remove from Oven and let cupcakes cool 10 minutes; remove cupcakes from pan and place onto racks and cool completely.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 pound (4 cups) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and cream cheese until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add sugar, a little at a time, and then vanilla, and mix until smooth and combined. Try not to eat the entire bowl.