Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Since the oven has been working again, I’ve been doing quite a bit of baking, but it’s already halfway through October and I had yet to bake something with a real Fall flare.  I decided I would make pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.

After some recipe comparison research, I selected a recipe that uses cake flour and that includes its own mix of spices instead of pre-mixed pumpkin pie spice.  As convenient as pumpkin pie spice is, I wanted to really try to make the mix from scratch.  So into the cake flour went cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, AND black pepper.

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The black pepper was actually another reason why I chose this recipe.  It seemed interesting, and I made an orange-pumpkin cake last year that incorporated pepper as well and it turned out really well.

This recipe also included buttermilk, which recent experience has shown to be a sign of a good recipe.

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And here they are, wonderfully fluffy and a nice light color.
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I made these on the same day that I made the chocolate salted caramel cupcakes for my neighbor’s Oktoberfest party.  The house definitely smelled amazing.

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The frosting was so easy – 12 Tbs butter whipped with 8 oz cream cheese, plus 3 cups of powdered sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla, and 1/2 tsp cinnamon.  It was a pretty sweet frosting, but the spice of the cinnamon and the tang of the cream cheese balanced it all out.

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I was really pleasantly surprised with how these turned out.  There was a great pumpkin flavor in the cupcakes, which themselves were perfectly light and moist. The frosting had a great fluffy texture, and of course cream cheese frosting is the perfect partner to a pumpkin cupcake.

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Definitely a successful day of fall baking.  These cupcakes would go perfectly with some hot coffee . . . as you sit back and watch the leaves flutter down from the trees, the sun catching on the bright yellows and oranges . . . yes, Fall is without a doubt my favorite season.

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