Sunday, September 14, 2014

Dipping my toe into the flavors of fall...Carrot Pumpkin Cupcakes

Have you ever felt behind on life?  Like your weekends have been crazy, and between work during the week, and life there has not been enough time to even really play catch up?  Don't get my wrong, I do this to myself, I over commit, get overwhelmed and sometimes just need a week off.  I have been baking though, just not blogging.  Sometimes I don't feel like I have much to say, so I need to take it back to the basics.  Back to the food.  Over the past couple of weeks there has been...

A vegetable tart with vegetables straight from the Farmer's Market.

Cake...Lemon cake with a vanilla wafer layer in the center.  Served with home made lemon ice cream.

And some maple granola for a package to my mom....

But to welcome in the season, and because I am still trying to perfect my carrot cake, plus Amy made a special request for something pumpkin there were cupcakes...

Carrot Pumpkin Cupcakes with...

...Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting.

These are exactly what I wanted to make this morning.  Something that made the house smell delicious and were perfect for the first day that really felt like fall this September.  They are still more carrot cake than pumpkin, but they were the perfect hint of all of the pumpkin that is to come this fall.  If you are ready to dip your toe into the water with pumpkin this fall give these a try and Enjoy!

But if you want to jump straight in...I have taken pumpkin around the block a few times here:
Pumpkin Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Pumpkin Spice Pancakes
Pumpkin Maple Leak Sandwich Cookies
Pumpkin Granola
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Carrot Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger 
2 heaping teaspoons ground cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature 
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar 
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin 
2 cups grated raw carrots
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:
1-8oz block 1/3 fat cream cheese, softened
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons heavy cream
4-5 cups powdered sugar
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two 12 cupcake pans with paper liners and spray just the bottoms with non-stick cooking spray.

2.  In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.  Set aside.

3.  In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl, using a mixer, cream the butter.  Then with the mixer on add in both sugars until creamed, light and fluffy.  Next add in the eggs one at a time and the vanilla extract; mix until fully combined.

4.  Then mix 1/3 of the dry ingredients into the butter-sugar mixture just until combined.  Then mix in 1/2 of the pumpkin puree just until combined.  Repeat the process with the remaining dry ingredients, making sure to end with the dry ingredients after one more addition of the remaining pumpkin.  Then fold in the shredded carrots and coconut.

5.  Then using a 1/4 cup measuring cup or large cookie scoop, fill the paper liners with one spoon full.  Bake for 16-18 minutes or until tooth pick inserted in middle comes out clean.  Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 3-4 minutes and then move to rack to finish cooling.  While the cupcakes are cooling, prepare the frosting.

6.  In a large mixing, using a hand mixer or stand mixer, cream together the butter and cream cheese for 2-3 minutes until completed combined.  Then mix in the vanilla extract and one cup of the powdered sugar.  Then mix in the heavy cream and scrap down the sides of the bowl.  Finally, mix in the remaining powdered sugar one cup at a time and the cinnamon.  Let mix one minute on medium-high speed to whip some air in until frosting is fluffy.  Once cupcakes have cooled, generously frost at serve at room temperature.  Enjoy!

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