With Sweet Dreams and Even Sweeter Days

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes

I know.

It's the end of January and pumpkin season is over.

I know.

And truthfully, I had packed away the three or so pumpkin recipes I had left to share and figured I would save them for next fall, when I thought they'd be more well received.

Then I was sitting there the other night, looking at all the pumpkin recipes I still wanted to make, and something dawned on me.

Maybe some of you out there, maybe you're just like me.  Maybe you like your pumpkin in January just as much as October.  After a quick text to a friend about this matter (because really what are best friends for if you can't text them about serious pumpkin questions) we were right on board.

So while my other pumpkin recipes will be hiding out until next fall (I think - I make no promises!) this one was too good not to be shared... right now.

During my high school years I used to go to Starbucks constantly.  Of all the drinks I would indulge in, my two main picks were hands down pumpkin spiced lattes and peppermint hot chocolates.  Even though I don't go there near as much anymore, whenever I do find myself in a Starbucks these two drinks are still some of my absolute favorite treats.  

Truth be told I find a great pumpkin spiced latte pretty hard to resist.

That's why when I saw the recipe for Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes on one of my favorite blogs, I just knew they had to be mine.  And boy did they deliver.  A light pumpkin cupcake topped with a whipped cream frosting and sprinkled with some cinnamon and a little caramel is straight up heaven any time of the year.

I know all you Starbucks aficionados will be quick to tell me that caramel isn't a part of the pumpkin spice latte drink, to which my sincere response is....

is caramel ever a bad thing? 

Think on that.  

My only regret is I didn't share these sooner.  A true winner.  Enjoy.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes
Servings: 12

For Cupcakes:
- 1 1/3 cups flour
- 1 1/2 Tbsp espresso powder (not instant coffee)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- pinch grated nutmeg
- pinch ground cloves
- 1 tsp salt
- 7.5 oz pumpkin puree (slightly less than a cup)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs

For Frosting:
- 1 cup heavy cream, chilled
- 1/8 cup powdered sugar
Ground cinnamon
Caramel sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners.  Combine dry ingredients (flour to salt) in a bowl and whisk together.  In a separate bowl with an electric mixer combine pumpkin, both sugars, and oil until well blended.  Beat in eggs one at a time until combined.  With the mixer on low speed add the dry ingredients until just combined with no lumps.  Fill each cupcake well 2/3 full with batter.  Bake until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean (18-20 minutes).  Place tin on a wire rack and let cool 10 minutes.  Then take cupcakes out and place on wire rack and let cool completely.  When cool, make icing.  Combine cream and powdered sugar in a clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whip to soft peaks.  Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip (or just spread on cupcakes - keep it simple friends!) and swirl frosting onto cooled cupcakes.  Dust with ground cinnamon and drizzle with caramel if desired.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Recipe adapted from: Annie's Eats