Home > bake sale, cake, cupcakes, dessert, dessert > Pumpkin Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

I know the main ingredients of these cupcakes are not entirely dissimilar to our last posting – but there really is no resisting the combination of pumpkin and cream cheese at this time of year! Maressa made these cupcakes for a Halloween party a few years ago and they were a smash success. It was one of those times where Emma copied her the next day and then brought them in to work.  Nothing like stealing a good recipe. Today we decided to make them together for a Halloween party we are going to tomorrow, but when we went back to get the recipe for it from Martha Stewart it was gone! Well, it turns out that it is not exactly gone – but the recipe is hard to find and bears the same name as another recipe that is both easier to make, and less good.

The thing about these cupcakes is they do take some preparation: but are totally worth the forethought. You will need to grate your own pumpkin- we generally just cut a cooking pumpkin in two and put half in the oven to mash up with a fork once cooked and meanwhile peel and grate the other half in a food processor. Depending on the size of your pumpkin, this may leave you with far more than you need for this recipe. With our babies approaching food-eating age, we are only too happy to have the extra puree in the freezer.  The grated pumpkin also freezes well should you wish to repeat this recipe later on in the season. And you will. They are that good.

The recipe calls for mixing all ingredients in a food processor – if you double the batch like we often do this is prohibitive and so you may just want to put it all together in a large bowl and be sure to mix thoroughly. Additionally, the food processor really does puree the grated pumpkin a bit too much – we think it is nice to have the larger pieces of pumpkin in the finished product – so you may want to consider mixing the ingredients by hand even for a single batch.

We are no Martha Stewart – so there was no way that we were going to be making our own marzipan pumpkins for people to coo over and then throw in the trash! We put little pumpkin jujubes on top – but really any Halloween based treat would be good. In fact, these are great with or without icing – you could even call them “muffins“ and serve them for breakfast…or at least I sometimes do.

Mom-O-Meter : 3  (but make em anyway – they are worth it!!)

For the prepared mom, these are a snap to make. You simply need grated pumpkin and pumpkin puree ready to go in the freezer. Most of us normal, not-prepared people do not  have this – so they do require some forethought – we might suggest doing the grating and cooking of puree the night before.  Also, make sure that your spice drawer is fully stocked –as you will need all the pumpkin pie spices you would usually use for Thanksgiving pies.

Pumpkin Cupcakes – Adapted from Martha Stewart`s Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes


21/2 cups grated pie pumpkin
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs


8 ounces (usually 1 package) cream cheese
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 cups sifted icing sugar (adjust to taste)
1 ½ – 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (adjust to taste)

1. Preheat oven to 350 and line muffin pan with paper liners. Whisk together dry ingredients in a bowl or food processor (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves). Add oil and eggs – beat until smooth and then add the two types of pumpkin. Spoon 1/3 of a cup into each cupcake cup and cook for approximately 23 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.

2. Beat cream cheese in/with electric mixer on medium until smooth, then add butter and continue beating. Turn mixer to low and add icing sugar gradually, followed by vanilla.

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