It’s October; do you know what that means? You guessed it, there’s only 63 days 15 hours 5 minutes and 59 seconds until Christmas! It’s the truth!
Here’s how I know! As soon as we shuffle through September the world starts counting down the days until the big man in the red suit shimmies down the chimney. Just take a quick jog through Hobby Lobby or your local department store to see Christmas trees and decor flanking the shelves. It’s pure craziness and for a brain like mine, that can only handle one season at a time, it’s downright distracting! But let’s not panic just yet. I’m here today to take a vow to revel in October with all of its cooler temps, colorful glory and of course, the most important part, pumpkin season!
YES!! Yes!!! yessss!! What other time of the year can you eat your decorations? Sounds like a WIN-WIN to me and here’s a great recipe to reel you back into Fall, Pumpkin Maple Cupcakes. They’re heavenly and every reason not to skip the best season of all!
I started by roasting a medium sized pumpkin. No, it’s not the ideal roasting size pumpkin but, it’s the smallest one I could find at our local grocery store and since I used it in something sweet like cupcakes, it worked.
I washed it very good with warm water and gave it a quick once over with a kitchen towel to dry it off.
I carved around the stem and made a lid.
Then I quarted it, only placing 2 pieces on a lined sheet pan which yielded way more pumpkin pulp than I needed! I cooked the pumpkin in a preheated, 400 degree oven for about an hour and a half. (Depending on the size of your pumpkin the cooking time can fluctuate more or less. You will know the pumpkin is ready when it’s tender……
and looks like this.) Remove the pumpkin from the oven and allow it to cool.
Scoop out the pulp, discarding the skin.
I pureed the pumpkin pulp in a food processor and just as easy as that, it was ready to use! (You can refrigerate any leftover pumpkin puree up to five days or freeze it up to a year. Although, some say freezing it that long may effect the taste of your baked goods. I’m not sure because I’ve never been able to keep it that long. It seems to talk to me until I’ve used it all up within a few weeks….. I have that problem with a lot of things! I’ve never been able to keep anything I’ve canned or frozen past its season! Can I get an AMEN or am I the only one that does that?)
*An alternative to roasting a pumpkin would be to buy a can of pumpkin puree. It’s a lot quicker but definitely not as good!
O.K., now you’re ready to start making the cupcakes!
Whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffly, about 3-4 minutes.
Add the pumpkin puree (doesn’t that look beautiful and way more natural then the canned stuff!) and vanilla extract.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
Slowly add the dry mixture into the wet mixture until thoroughly combined.
Place paper baking cups in 2 (12-cup) muffin pans; spoon batter into cups, filling two-thirds full. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes or until just firm to the touch.
Cool completely on wire racks.
Prepare the Maple Cream Cheese Frosting as directed and pipe or spread on all cupcakes. Or serve as a muffin, without frosting, for breakfast. Either way, these are sure to become one of your Fall favorites!