Tuesday, September 14, 2010

It's PUMPKIN season!

Pumpkin season is to me what wedding season is to Owen Wilson.
Love that movie, by the way ;)

Pumpkin Cupcakes? Heck yea I will!
I love the season of fall for oh so many reasons. I love the sound of crunching leaves, pumpkin spice chai lattes from Starbucks (way better than a regular pumpkin spice latte,) the smell of October when you walk outside in the morning, fall sweaters, carving pumpkins, and being able to walk my pug at 3pm without him hyperventilating over the Memphis heat. ;)

Another fun fact about me... my two favorite flavors in the world are s'mores and pumpkin. I will eat any and everything with either of those culinary themes. In fact, I just suggested that the local froyo (aka frozen yogurt) place in town, YoLo, look into getting some pumpkin yogurt in their machines. Can you imagine pumpkin & cheesecake swirled together in a magical mess of froyo! Yum! Ok... I digress...

So the other day when I saw the recipe for these little cupcake cuties from fellow healthy living blogger, Courtney over at Sweet Tooth Sweet Life,  I knew it would be a mere hours before I rushed out to be the ingredients and get those little guys into my oven and into my belly! I love that Courtney took a box of cake mix and "spiced" it up (pun intended.) I'm all about semi-homemade here, if you are too then check out Ann Byrn's The Cake Doctor cookbook. It's a staple in my mum's cookbook collection and she's a published cake decorator. HEY-O! Courtney substituted unsweetened applesauce for oil (which makes a moister cupcake in my humble opinion) and she substituted egg substitute for... you guessed it, eggs! Little healthy alternatives like that will save you calories and you won't even notice! Try it! Now have I mentioned that my roomie is lactose-intolerant? Because she is... which means if I don't want to consume a whole batch of cupcakes by myself, I need to accommodate her dietary needs. I don't mind at all actually, it gives me a chance to be more creative in my baking endeavors.

You're supposed to make the cream cheese frosting for these little tasty treats. I prefer actual homemade cream cheese frosting, but I wasn't about to go on a search for the vegan version of cream cheese. So I asked my roomie what she suggested. Apparently, canned cream cheese frosting is made with soy products, so it is lactose free! Who knew?! Here's the recipe... my adjustments are in purple.

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Honey Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
(Adapted from this original recipe)
Makes 24 cupcakes, or 12 cupcakes and 1 9-inch cake

1 box spice cake mix

1 15oz. can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
3/4 cup egg substitute (I used 3 whole eggs)

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup water
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Paper-line or grease 24 muffin cups.
Blend cake mix, pumpkin, eggs, applesauce, water, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice until moistened. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour batter into prepared muffin cups, about 3/4 full.
Bake for 18-23 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. After 10 minutes, remove from pans, place on wire racks, and cool completely.
Prepare frosting according to directions and spread evenly on cupcakes. ENJOY!

Look at those orange beauties!

Here's my canned frosting with the extras add-ins, canned cream cheese frosting if for a lactose free alternative or if you're just short on time ;)

Honey Agave Nectar Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cup butter (I used 1 can of Pillsbury Cream Cheese Frosting instead of butter, cream cheese, and sugar)

4 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
2-4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon (I also added some nutmeg for good measure)

1 tb. honey (I used agave nectar)

1-2 Tb. milk

Cream butter until light and fluffy. Add the cream cheese and beat for another 2 minutes.
Add the honey and cinnamon, and gradually add the powdered sugar one cup at a time.
Add the milk and more powdered sugar (if needed) until you get your desired consistency.

Thought you'd like to see the end product one more time :) How cute are those muffin liners?  Found them at Target! 75 liners for under $2!!!! Shout out to my BFF Christen and her polka dot obsession! These are so your flavor!

1 comment:

  1. I love the Fall season, too! My local froyo place (YogurtLand) does have a pumpkin spice flavor and yes, pumpkin and cheesecake do make an awesome combination. I'm going to have to get the ingredients to make these cupcakes. Thanks for sharing your adjustments. :)