The Flavor of Fall: Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Yellow cake with some Halloween sprinkles in t...
Yellow cake with some Halloween sprinkles in the batter and cream cheese frosting. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pumpkin: just the word itself is magnificent. However, what is more magnificent? Pumpkin cupcakes. Those two words are sure to make your mouth water.

‘Tis the season of pumpkin everything: yellow trees and falling leaves, and of course, smiles. There is something about the changing colors and cozy atmosphere of fall that makes us smile randomly, laugh constantly and crave pumpkin.The holidays are approaching, the days are growing colder and the pumpkin spice lattes are brewing at Starbucks. Are you excited yet?

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This pumpkin spice cupcake recipe is a must-try. They are moist, they are rich and they are spicy. The icing is so incredibly fluffy and sweet that even if you accidentally get it all over your nose when you take your first bite, you secretly do not want to wipe it off. They are attractive cupcakes and make for a great Halloween weekend treat for kids, friends or family.

Walking across a rainy, chilly campus this week, there was nothing that sounded more satisfying than a warm, cream cheese covered, caramel drizzled and candy corn topped cupcake. Honestly, nothing could compare.

Fall means pumpkin spiced cupcakes. Unfortunately, making these requires me to eat at least two of them. I guess you are soon to be guilty of that too.

Everyone loves a great cupcake. They are transportable, small enough to hold with one hand and deserving of applause when brought to a party. This recipe should not intimidate you!

Although the recipe list seems long, and the directions look taunting, preparing these cupcakes is easier than you might guess. Give them a try and watch the smiles increase as your taste-testers refuse to wipe the icing off of their noses.

For the Cupcakes (this yields 32 cupcakes):

4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

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2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

2 ½ cups brown sugar

4 eggs

1 cup buttermilk

1 ½ cups canned pumpkin

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

12 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 pound (4 cups) powdered sugar

¾ teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions for Cupcakes:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the dry ingredients for the cupcakes in a bowl. In a bowl with an electric mixer, cream butter and brown sugar until soft and fluffy. Add the eggs until completely combined. Gradually add in the dry ingredients and buttermilk, alternating the two until completely combined. Add canned pumpkin.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, and bake 15-18 minutes.

Directions for Frosting:

With an electric mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese together until fluffy. Add sugar and vanilla, then mix until smooth and combined. Ice cupcakes generously.

This recipe is adapted from one of my favorite bloggers: Brown Eyed Baker.