Pumpkin Cupcakes: 5 Ways

Variation number 2, above: Whoopie Pies

Hello Friends! Meet our favorite Pumpkin Cupcake Recipe!
As with so many favorite things, we love to dress these Pumpkin Cupcakes up and dress them down.
Yes, I’ve counted 5 different ways we bake Pumpkin Cupcakes with this recipe: one recipe but, ideas to fit your mood or needs.

1. Whoppie Pie Pumpkin Cupcakes | 2. Topped with Cream Cheese Frosting (with leaf toppers, click here) | 3. Alphabet Shaped (how-to, click here) 4. As Cookies 5. Muffins (see below)

Our Favorite Pumpkin Cupcake Recipe:
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon salt
1 can (15 oz.) solid-packed pumpkin (about 1 1/2 cups if you make your own pumpkin puree)
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup canola oil
4 eggs

Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting
1 stick of butter, cubed and cold
8 oz. cream cheese*
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 tablespoon cinnamon*
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger*
1/8 teaspoon cardamom*
pinch teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg*

Preheat oven: 350ºF. Line three 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners.
In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and salt.
In a separate, larger bowl whisk together the pumpkin, granulated sugar, brown sugar and oil. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking after each addition. Add the flour mixture in three additions, stirring with a large wooden spoon until just combined.
Fill the muffin tins about 2/3 full. Bake until the cupcakes for 20 minutes. Transfer the tins to a wire rack and let cool for ten minutes; then remove the cupcakes from the tins and let cool completely.
To make the frosting, cream the butter until fluffy, but still cold. Add the cream cheese in small chunks. When completely combined (no lumps of either butter or cream cheese), add the powdered sugar. Beat until fluffy. Add the vanilla and then 1/4 teaspoon of the spice mix before blending one last time.


* These spices can be omitted if you would prefer a traditional frosting.

note: make sure you use Philadelphia Original; I’ve found that anything else compromises the texture and flavor.
Our 5  Variations:
1. Whoppie Pie Pumpkin Cupcakes:
Prepare batter as specified. Prepare a baking sheet with baking paper. Spoon tablespoon sized dollops of the batter on to the baking sheet. Bake approximately 10 minutes. Watch your oven temperature to make sure that these don’t over bake. Use the baking stick method to ensure that they’ve been baked through. Remove from oven, cool and sandwich these together with cream cheese frosting.
2. Pumpkin Cupcake. Bake according to recipe.
3. Alphabet Shaped Pumpkin Muffins. Prepare batter and follow this technique (click here.) 
4. Pumpkin Cookies: 
Prepare a baking sheet with baking paper. Place table spoonful sized dollops of the batter on to the baking sheet. Bake approximately 10 minutes. What your oven temperature to make sure that you don’t over bake these. Use a baking stick method to ensure that they’ve been baked through.
5. Pumpkin Cupcakes as Muffin: Bake. Cool. Serve! (Unfrosted) Their scent is heavenly!
For a healthier variation: I cut the sugar to 1/2 cup of each sugar, substitute spelt flour for regular and add 1 cup chopped walnuts.
(6. Surprise Variation: Healthy Muffin Variation:  unfrosted, 1/2 the sugar, substitute spelt flour for traditional wheat flour with handful of chopped walnuts thrown in, too).
Something you might like:

I’m so happy to meet you here and to meet your friends. Thank you for joining me and thank you for spreading the word to make the world a happy place to raise happy, healthy, creative young movers and makers with me!  Willowday Wishes