Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes

These Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes are one of those recipes where I really don’t know what to tell you about them. I had the thought to come up with some sort of pumpkin cupcake for Halloween and did a quick Google search for Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes and this is the recipe I found.

I finally got some cool frosting tips so I could properly decorate a cupcake after seeing Jamie’s video on different piping techniques. I picked out the Closed Star Giant Pastry Tip from Bake It Pretty because I love the big swirls that some people get on their cupcakes.

Pumpkin and Chocolate Cupcakes

The kids and I geared up for a project. They’re always a little over-enthusiastic about baking cupcakes. I don’t know what it is about them that sends them into fits of giddiness. For me, personally, I prefer cupcakes to layer cakes because I don’t have the patience to do a nice job (or if I’m being honest, even a decent job) at frosting all the layers without getting cake crumbs all over the thing, breaking one of the layers, or making the entire thing lopsided. Cupcakes are just easier for me, especially now that I know how to properly frost one. It really is all in the tip.

Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes with Citrus Pumpkin Frosting

These Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes are perfect for Halloween with the dark chocolate cake and the orange frosting, but they’d make a really good alternative Thanksgiving dessert as well. I think my kids would much rather have a cupcake for Thanksgiving dessert than pie. I know Logan would for sure. All in all, this is a great fall cupcake. They don’t taste strong of pumpkin, but there are those great spices in the background and the pumpkin certainly gives the cakes a nice moistness. If you really wanted to get creative you could decorate the tops to look like pumpkins. I am most definitely not that patient.

Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes with Orange Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting

adapted from Country Living
makes approximately 36 cupcakes

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups good-quality cocoa
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon fresh-grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon cardamom
3/4 cups buttermilk
1 - 14.5 ounce can pumpkin purée
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 sticks (10 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups (firmly packed) dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs
Orange Cream-Cheese Frosting, recipe follows

For the frosting:
1 package (8-ounce) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons pumpkin puree (reserved from the cake recipe)
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/8-1/4 teaspoons orange food coloring, optional

Directions:

For the Cupcakes:

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Line the pans with cupcake liners. Set aside.

Make the batter: Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cardamom in a large bowl and set aside. Set 3 tablespoons of the pumpkin puree aside for the frosting. Combine the buttermilk, remaining pumpkin, and vanilla in a medium bowl and set aside. Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl, with an electric mixer set on medium speed, until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, until the mixture is smooth and light. Alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture, blending well after each addition.

Divide the batter among the cupcake liners (about 1/4 cup batter per cupcake) and bake until a wooden skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean -- about 18-22 minutes. Cool the cakes in the pan for 7 minutes. Remove cupcakes and cool.

For the Frosting:

Blend the cream cheese, butter, pumpkin puree, orange zest, and vanilla in a large bowl, using an electric mixer set at medium speed, until smooth. Add the sugar and continue to beat until light and creamy -- about 3 more minutes.

Add the food coloring and gently stir until the color is uniform. Chill the frosting until ready to ice the cupcakes. When cupcakes are cool, frost according to your preference. I used a Closed Star Giant Pastry Tip from Bake It Pretty in a disposable pastry bag.