Harvest Pumpkin Cupcakes

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As promised, here is another recipe that I created when I went through my “cupcake phase”.  Thankfully I have it under control now!  See my post on August 10 for a full explanation…

I created this recipe in the fall because it’s a perfect time of year to use pumpkin in baking.  I actually prefer fresh pumpkin if you feel like going to the trouble.  The details are outlined below just in case!  I use real maple syrup in the frosting, which tastes sooo good.  The cupcakes are moist and flavorful with cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg…all the flavors of fall!

Preparing Fresh Pumpkin

A few years ago, I gave a class on fresh pumpkin at church and tested it in a few recipes.  I am here to tell you that fresh tastes WAY better than canned in desserts…especially pumpkin pie!  Loaded with vitamin A and fiber, pumpkins are also low in calories.  If you have the time, it is definitely worth the extra effort.  You can even freeze it in small zip lock bags to use throughout the year.  The type of pumpkins that you carve aren’t good for cooking because they are too watery and stringy.  Smaller Sugar Pie, Baby Bear and Cheese pumpkins are the best ones to use.

Option #1-cut the top off the pumpkin; then cut in quarters and scoop out the seeds.  Place on a cookie sheet and bake in a 375 degree oven until fork tender (about an hour).  Allow to cool.  Scoop pumpkin into a food processor and pulse until smooth.  Add a little water if it is too dry.

Option #2-Scoop out seeds and peel pumpkin.  Cut into pieces; place in a sauce pan and cover with hot water.  Boil until pumpkin is fork tender.  Strain out the water and allow to cool.  Process until smooth.  Add a little water if it is too dry.

Now that you’ve gone to all that work, enjoy using the fresh pumpkin throughout the year in your muffins, pancakes, cookies, cupcakes and other recipes.  Oh, and I hope you like these cupcakes too!


Harvest Pumpkin Cupcakes

  • ¾ cup butter
  • ¾  cup brown sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla or maple flavoring
  • 1 ½ cups canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 ½ cups flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp cloves

Pre-heat oven to 350º.  Bring butter, eggs and milk to room temperature (if you have time).  Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices into a bowl; stir to combine with a wire whisk; set aside.

Cream butter for 3 minutes; add sugar and continue creaming until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Add eggs, one at a time, mixing to combine after each.  Mix in vanilla or maple flavoring and pumpkin until combined.

Add dry ingredients in 3 parts alternating with milk in 2 parts.  Mix between additions until just combined, scraping down sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.  Be careful not to over-mix because that can make your cupcakes too dense and tough.

Using an ice-cream scoop, spoon a level amount of batter into the papers.  Bake for 18-20 minutes; makes 24-25 cupcakes.

High altitude baking:  Set oven temperature to 370º and bake for about 14-16 minutes.

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 8 ounce block cream cheese
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 T maple syrup
  • Fresh grated nutmeg*

Cream butter and cream cheese until smooth and soft.  Add powdered sugar and mix until combined.  Add maple syrup to reach desired consistency.  Frost cupcakes top with fresh grated nutmeg.

*Fresh grated nutmeg is incredibly good.  Just buy the little “nutmegs” (is this proper English?) at the store along with a nutmeg grater.  I got mine at “Cost Plus World Market” in California.  But there is also a World Market in Cottonwood Heights and Park City, Utah.  Believe me, it is well worth the extra effort!

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