pumpkin pie cupcakes

pumpkin pie cupcakes

Well, you can call me Mrs. Cosgrove now because – as I shouted while jumping up and down in a long floral print dress and blue suede heels in the middle of the rotunda at San Francisco’s City Hall on October 20th - we did it!

And as promised, I made both of our cakes from scratch. They turned out amazing! I’d do it again in a heartbeat, all of it. Everything was ten times more perfect than I had imagined, which, as a person who finds wedding culture more than a little bit icky, came as a shock to me. Suffice it to say that my friends are my family and they made sure I felt that. Also that going into big events with low, or at least largely checked, expectations never hurt anyone. I’ll say more about the wedding when I post about making the cakes (!), but since that requires me to get my notes (ie., my shit/my life) together first, it may take a while.

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Plenty else has happened since then anyway – I ran the New York City marathon two weeks after, which (and I hope this is obvious) isn’t something I’d normally opt to do two weeks after my wedding. But I had signed up well before we decided to have the wedding this fall, and there was no deferral option, so we rolled with it. It was genuinely painful – a tough but INCREDIBLE 26.2 mile course through all five boroughs – and it took me forever to finish, but it was more than worth it. The little bit of time we spent in the city was magical enough that I even started getting amnesia about why we left NYC in the first place.  

Then after a month of what felt like nonstop milestones (not a complaint, I assure you) we were more than thrilled to do nothing but relax and do holiday things – two things my hyper ass is usually the absolute worst at in this life. We even got a little batty last weekend and put a Christmas tree up. Yes, a Christmas tree the weekend before Thanksgiving. We’re ridic. Though in all fairness, it was a practical decision more than anything since we’ll be in Europe(!) over Christmas break. And no Christmas music has been played yet, so let’s just pretend like that counts for something. I did contemplate putting on Sir Paul’s “Simply Having a Wonderful Christmastime” for tree decorating because: best xmas song ever.  But, I thought better of it and got my fall vibes right by making these pumpkin pie cupcakes while listening to a podcast, like a good millennial who minds her holiday calendar.

What initially drew me in about these cupcakes is that they are described by everyone who’s made them as less of a cake and more of a pumpkin custard. Like a mini, crust-less pumpkin pie with a whipped cream to custard ratio that traditional pies could only dream of. The flavor and texture did not disappoint in the slightest, however, removing the cupcakes from the liners was such messy business that I wondered after the first couple whether we’d be tossing the whole batch.

Chilling them longer (overnight, I added notes about it in the recipe below) and exercising all the patience when removing the liners, tiny piece by tiny piece, was in the answer in my case but you won't even have to deal with that because it was for me a circumstantial bad combination of my liners being super flimsy and running out of nonstick spray right as I was starting to grease them. They were still completely worth it, and I would’ve already made them again if I weren’t so insanely glutted from all that Thanksgrillin’ we did yesterday. That’s for next time, but one last note before I go. Cos is the true pumpkin pie lover of the house by a longshot, but I ended up eating more of these than he did because I was first to figure out what a perfectly decadent breakfast they make, and I uh, wake up earlier than he does. Mawwiage. 

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Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes , adapted a little from Mel's Kitchen Cafe
Makes 12 cupcakes

Cupcake Batter
15-ounce can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 cup (3.75 oz) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (1.75 oz) lightly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup milk
2/3 cup (3.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, or if you’re me 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon + 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg + scant 1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Sweetened Whipped Cream
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
2-3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 tablespoon sour cream
Small splash of vanilla extract
Sprinkle of cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners and grease the insides of the liners well with nonstick cooking or baking spray. [Note: My liners were a little thin so I used two of each, then my can of nonstick spray ended up being allllmost completely out. This did not make for a very pleasant lining removal experience and there were cupcakes sacrificed. The thicker the better for liners and spray them down well.] Set aside.

In a large bowl whisk until smooth the whisk together the pumpkin, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs and egg yolk, vanilla, cream, and milk until smooth. Add the spices, baking soda and baking power, salt, and mix until everything is well incorporated. Then add the flour and mix until just combined. Don’t overmix if using an electric mixer. [I mixed by hand and will again next time.]

Fill the muffin liners evenly with the batter – the cups will be full – and bake for 20 to 25 mins. Mine needed longer to cook.  Let the cupcakes cool in the pan until they come to room temperature, another 20-30 minutes. Refrigerate for at least an hour – though overnight is how long it took mine to set enough to be removed from those annoyingly thin liners. The tops will sink in as they cool. It’s all good though because it makes more space for whipped topping.

For the sweetened whipped cream, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and whip with a mixer until it forms stiff peaks and the texture thick and creamy.

Dollop a bit of the whipped cream in the center of each cupcake and dust with a light sprinkle of cinnamon. Serve chilled, sometimes for breakfast. 

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