Pumpkin, Cream Cheese, and Cinnamon

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Woohoo! It’s September and a cold front has come to Baltimore! It’s 65 degrees outside! Hooray fall! Okay, I’m done overusing exclamation points. Maybe. I may need more exclamation points because I love fall and I’m really excited about my cupcakes. I really love pumpkin but was waiting until it was officially September to break out fall ingredients.

Amalgamation of scratch and mix ingredients.

I went grocery shopping today and got ingredients for pumpkin spice cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting. Sometimes I really like to measure out ingredients and bake from scratch. And sometimes I really like instant gratification and go for the dry mixes. This was a dry mix kind of day. My favorite mix is the Betty Crocker spice cake and I thought adding pumpkin would make for an easy pumpkin cupcake recipe. I googled cupcake recipes and found some recipes that added pumpkin to cake mix. But people only seem to use vanilla cupcake mix. I decided to go with the spice mix anyway because it’s delicious and if it didn’t work I was only out $3 ($1.25 for the cake mix, $1.74 for the pumpkin). Then I googled frosting and there are  ton of frosting recipes out there. Of course, every recipe calls for slightly different ingredients. I copied three that looked good to play with.

Molly being well-behaved (pro-tip: spend two hours at the park, then bake)

The spice cake mix is simple and I just followed the box directions with the addition of one can (15 oz) of pumpkin. After baking, I taste tested one of the cupcakes. They are incredibly delicious but almost too moist. I bought doubles of all the ingredients so I can try the recipe again in a week or so. I think I’ll reduce the amount of water or oil the box calls for when I try making these cupcakes again. While the cupcakes were baking and cooling, I let the butter and cream cheese come to room temperature. Even when I use dry mixes for the baked part of the baked good, I strongly prefer mixing up my own frosting. Freshly blended frosting always tastes better to me. And frosting is so easy to make and such fun to experiment with, buying a can seems like a crime.

Hmmmm…. Frosting.

I added 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon of cinnamon to the butter and cream cheese and blended those ingredients thoroughly (less than most recipes I found online called for, but most recipes seemed to call for too much and cinnamon can be overwhelming). Then I began adding sugar, first a cup and then half cups, until that perfect consistency was reached. I’m working on making my cupcakes prettier so I decided to use a pastry bag to pipe on the icing. The results are mixed at best. But I’ll make more cupcakes in the next couple weeks and more cupcakes means more practice. Until then, the recipe for the frosting is below the fold and I’m going to go eat another cupcake. 

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (1 cup)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon

Recipe:

  • Cut up the butter and cream cheese and place in bowl until at room temperature (approx. 20-30 min).
  • Add vanilla extract and cinnamon to butter and cream cheese. Blend ingredients thoroughly.
  • Add sugar in increments. Add one cup to start, blend in thoroughly. Add rest of sugar in 1/2 to 1 cup additions, blending thoroughly with each addition of sugar.
  • Enjoy!
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