Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes

November 04, 2010

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“I’m doomed. One little slip like that could cause the Great Pumpkin to pass you by. Oh, Great Pumpkin, where are you?” -Linus

I feel you Linus. Where is the Great Pumpkin? Actually where are any of the pumpkins in Austin? Ever since Halloween ended, Walmart, HEB, and any locally owned pumpkin patches have disappeared. What are people going to use for Thanksgiving? Pumpkin pie?? If you know of any that still exists, please let me know! The weather in Austin has dropped significantly and I have to admit… I’m a baby when it comes to cold weather. BRrr! The only good thing about Fall? Fall dishes! And I am obsessed with pumpkin. I’ve made these pumpkin cupcakes 3 times in the past two weeks and I just can’t get enough. There will be a blog post coming up next week on pumpkin baked ziti as well!

Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes.
Williams Sonoma
Yield: about 24-30 cupcakes

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
¼ tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. salt
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup canola or vegetable oil
4 large eggs

For the frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese
5 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract (I prefer clear)
2½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

  • To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. 
  • In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Set aside. 
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, blend together the pumpkin, granulated sugar, brown sugar and oil. 
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
  • With the mixture on low speed, add the flour mixture in two additions, mixing just until incorporated.
  • Fill the cupcake liners about three-quarters full. Bake until the cupcakes are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 18-20 minutes. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes, then remove the cupcakes from the pans and let cool completely.
  • To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes. 
  • Mix in the vanilla extract. 
  • Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until totally incorporated, increase the speed and then beat until smooth. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.

Decorating tips: I made these for my students on the week of Halloween so to make them ‘Spooky cupcakes’, I used black icing to draw spider webs, piped a tall dollop of cream cheese to make the ghosts and used Trolli brain gummies.

What is your favorite fall dish or dessert?


Jane Ko is the Austin blogger behind A Taste of Koko, Austin's top food and travel blog featuring the hottest restaurants and weekend getaways. Jane has been a speaker at South by Southwest (SXSW), Texas Conference for Women, BlogHer, and more on entrepreneurship and social media. She lives in Austin Texas with her dog and cat.