Pumpkin works some magic on the batter to form a devastatingly moist and flavorful couple of bites. Or more, if you're me and sneak two cakes in succession. Shhh, don't tell.
If you leave off the icing, you essentially have a muffin.
I, however, have a small obsession with cream cheese frostings- all others are passable, but give me cream cheese frosting and I'll spoon it directly from the bowl like yogurt.
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting
makes 12 cupcakes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
4 Tbs refrigerated butter, cut in pieces
1 generous cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup evaporated milk (I didn't have any, so I made a substitute- 2/3 cup nonfat dry milk and 3/4 cup water whisked together and 1/2 cup measured out)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
cinnamon sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 12 cup muffin pan with floured baker's spray.
In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, baking powder, spices, and salt together. Add the butter and pulse a few times until incorporated and the butter becomes teeny tiny pebbles. Transfer to a large bowl. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the pumpkin, evaporated milk, egg, and vanilla until combined. Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients and fold together until just combined. Don't overmix!
Pour the batter into the muffin pan, about 2/3 fill. Sprinkle the batter with the cinnamon sugar. Bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes then remove from the pan and allow to cool completely before icing.
Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting
1/4 cup butter, softened at room temp
4 ounces cream cheese (half block)
8 ounces powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
scraped seeds from 1 vanilla bean
To make the icing, place all ingredients in a good-sized bowl and whip with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Transfer mixture to a large plastic bag, seal, and snip the tip to decorate! Alternatively, you can just smear directly with a knife. Or, store in the fridge until you're ready to ice (let stand on the counter for a few minutes to allow it to soften up a bit for ease of application).