The month of October just makes me think about pumpkins...how about you? A trip to a local pumpkin patch like Carlton Farms is one of the highlights of early fall for me. And looking at pumpkins just makes me start thinking about baking with pumpkin...such a wonderful, warm, tasty part of fall!
Thankfully, pumpkin can be bought in a can...otherwise pumpkin recipes would be much more time consuming...and messy! I always keep a couple cans of pumpkin on hand in my pantry so I'm ready to bake when the mood strikes me. A couple years ago I was cruising recipes online and came across this one...Pumpkin Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Icing (Made in Melissa's Kitchen). I don't know about you, but I love salted caramel...any which way! So the recipe caught my eye and I just had to try it. I made a batch and took them to work at the clinic and was besieged with requests for the recipe!
Here we go...
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and eggs. Beat on medium speed until well combined. Add dry ingredients, and mix on low until smooth. Fold in pumpkin puree.
Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about halfway. Bake until tops spring back when touched, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pans once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.
Makes ~ 18 to 24 cupcakes.
Source: Adapted from MarthaStewart.com.
Salted Caramel Buttercream
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 stick salted butter
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 cups powdered sugar
In a saucepan, stir together granulated sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cook without stirring until mixture turns a deep amber color, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla, stirring until very smooth. Let caramel cool for about 20 minutes, until it is just barely warm and still pourable. Alternatively, you could use just under 1/2 cup of your favorite caramel sauce.
In a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and salt together until lightened and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add powdered sugar. Mix until thoroughly combined.
Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the caramel. Beat on medium high speed until light and airy, and completely mixed (about 2 minutes). Mixture should be ready to use without refrigeration. If your caramel was too hot when added, it will cause your icing to be runny. If this happens refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.
Source: Slightly adapted from SprinkleBakes.com.
The trickiest part is making the salted caramel icing. When you are making the caramel, you have to watch it very closely...and do not stir! Once the color begins to turn, it gets darker quickly. If you overcook it, you have a stiff, sugary mess to clean up and start over. I must admit I have had to do that once or twice :(.
You can ice the cupcakes however you want...I used a rose type pattern on mine.
That's all folks! Hope you give this recipe a try soon...you'll be happy you did! As we go to pumpkin fields and apple orchards, the words of Psalm 67:6 come to mind, "Then the earth will yield its harvests, and God, our God, will richly bless us." (NLT). I'm so thankful for the many blessings God bestows! Happy Friday, dear friends. Have a blessed weekend!