Thursday, December 26, 2013

Pumpkin Spice Latté Cupcakes

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Happy Post Christmas! I hope you had a wonderful and memorable holiday with loved ones. We enjoyed our Christmas celebrations with lots of laughter, delicious food and just a great time being surrounded with family. The holiday celebrations don't stop for us quite yet. After spending Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with the Baron's extended family, we're gearing up to give a big holiday welcome dinner for my parents who arrive from the Philippines tomorrow. I'm excited since we're having our traditional surf & turf dinner of prime rib roast and seafood.... with jumbo sea scallops this year (for previous years we typically do king crab legs). But getting back on track with our week of Starbucks inspired holiday cupcakes, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to share these Pumpkin Spice Latté Cupcakes. The Pumpkin Spice Latté is such a popular drink, I knew I had to make a cupcake representing this fall specialty. For this wildly popular flavor, I made a pumpkin spice cake with a touch of espresso. These were then frosted with a sweet buttercream frosting and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice. When presented for the holiday bake off, I added a small piece of iconic green plastic straw...

I really liked this flavor because it captured everything I love about the drink in cupcake form. The moist spice cake had just the right hint of coffee and when it's topped with a sweet buttercream frosting, it just completes the cupcake perfectly. Another spin on this is to add some mini chocolate chips or even chopped nuts like walnuts or pecans!



Pumpkin Spice Latté Cupcakes

recipe adapted from Country Living

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup pumpkin purée
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground nutmeg

1 tablespoon

Frosting:
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3-4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the butter and sugars. Beat together until smooth.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition until smooth. 

Add the pumpkin purée, buttermilk and vanilla to the bowl, beat on low just to combine.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and espresso powder. Add a third of the flour mixture into the stand mixer and beat on low to combine. Add half of the remaining flour mixture and beat on low to combine. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat on low to combine.

Using a scoop, divide the batter between 12 liners in your cupcake pan. Bake for 15-18 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer cupcakes to a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.

Meanwhile, as the cupcakes are cooling, prepare the frosting. In a bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the softened butter and beat on medium speed. Beat for about 3 minutes until smooth and creamy. Add the remaining ingredients and increase to high speed, beating for 2-3 minutes. 

- If the frosting is too thin for your preference, add more powdered sugar.
- If the frosting is too thick for your preference, add more heavy cream.
- If the frosting is too sweet for your preference, add a pinch of salt. 

To decorate the cupcakes, frost the cupcakes with the frosting. Sprinkle with pumpkin pie space. 


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