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Saturday, October 3, 2015

Pumpkin spice latte cupcakes

It's early October in New York City, and despite last week being sunny and in the 70s, this weekend is utterly cold (last night it was below 50 degrees!) and rainy.  Doesn't help that there's a hurricane threatening to dump more rain and wind on us in the next few days.  So I figured a homemade cupcake version of the Starbucks pumpkin spice latte (which aficionados of the drink affectionately refer to as a PSL, I hear) -- which is synonymous to most people with fall -- was the perfect treat to bake today!

I'm not a huge pumpkin spice fan, but I decided to give these a go anyway.  Part of it was that they were perfect for this weather, and part of it is because I was less likely to eat them all.  Plus, I really really really wanted to try this cream cheese whipped cream frosting.  Because how awesome does that sound?!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes
From Brown Eyed Baker

Makes 12 cupcakes (I got 18) with extra icing

For the Cupcakes:

1 1/3 cups flour
4 1/5 tsp espresso powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of cloves
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar (packed)
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used canola, since that's what I had)
2 eggs
1/4 cup brewed coffee, for brushing

For the Frosting:

8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups heavy cream

For the Garnish:

Ground cinnamon
Salted caramel sauce
Coffee syrup (optional)


Make the cupcakes.
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
Set aide.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, both sugars, and the oil until completely combined.  Make sure to break up any clumps of brown sugar.
Whisk in the eggs, 1 at a time.
Add the flour mixture in 2 additions, folding with a rubber spatula (I continued to use my whisk) until no flour pockets remain.

Divide the batter between the baking cups, filling each about 2/3 full.  I opted to fill mine until they were 2/3 full and ended up with 6 extra cupcakes, although one was a bit small).
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 18-22 minutes (mine were done at 18 minutes).
Allow to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes.
Remove cupcakes and leave to cool on a wire rack.
While the cupcakes are still warm, brush the tops with the brewed coffee (next time I might try some coffee syrup instead).
Let each coat soak in before applying the next one.  I only did 2 coats each since I didn't want them to get soggy.
Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.

Make the frosting.
On medium speed, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract in a mixer with the whisk attachment until smooth and completely combined, about 2 minutes.
Slowly add the cream and scrape the side of the bowl.
Increase speed to medium high and whip until stiff peaks form.

Assemble the cupcakes:
Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes.
Sprinkle with cinnamon.
Drizzle with caramel sauce, coffee syrup, or both, if desired.

Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

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