I pretty much like eating all things pumpkin. Pumpkin ravioli, pie, bread, mousse… cupcakes…. It’s the perfect translator of flavor and you can go sweet or savory with it. It’s a comforting sign that we’re well into the fall season too. Fall is my favorite. A symphony of colors and crunch of leaves at your feet. The taste of crispness in the air. The running around outside and getting flush cheeks. It’s like a movie scene in my head. There’s a certain pep in your step as you walk down the street or run down a hill. Spring can do that to you too – but Fall has much better food associations for me. Soup, tea, roasted root vegetables, pies, squash, apples….. Cozy time.
But here’s the thing I find about pumpkin desserts – people tend to kill all the flavor by adding too much sugar. Then it just tastes like sweet mush – flavorless – bland – could be anything pie. That’s why I usually go for sweet potato pie over pumpkin – at least I’m guaranteed some flavor. Pumpkin is delicate and subtle. With the right combination of flavors you can let it shine - and don't you want your pumpkin to shine?! I’ve chosen three recipes to share that I think do this nicely.
This one I’ve been making for Tay Tea in Andes, NY and people have been asking for it – so I’ll do it first….(the rest will follow shortly)
For what it’s worth – my take on canned vs fresh pumpkin: I don’t find it makes a big difference when baking pies and cupcakes - and actually canned gives a more reliable result. I buy a nice organic canned pumpkin and it works great and saves me time.
I developed this recipe October 28, 2006 – I know this because it’s on my ChefTec recipe printout. So cute. (I get a kick out of these things) So, nine years later I haven't changed anything about it - which is rare - because I'm always changing things up. I tell you this so you know it's a keeper. And also so you know that in the nine years I've been making them I've never had anyone not like them!
Pumpkin Ginger Cupcakes
yield: about 18 regular sized
- 6 ounces butter, melted and cooled (about 3/4 cup)
- 1 cup sugar, organic
- 1.5 cups pumpkin puree, organic canned
- 5 ea eggs
- 2.25 cups all purpose flour, organic
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1.5 tsp cinnamon, ground
- 1.5 tsp ginger, ground
- 1/4 cup ginger, crystallized and chopped
Melted butter, sugar and pumpkin puree in mixer with paddle attachment. Mix well. Add eggs one at a time and mix. Add dry ingredients and mix to combine (don't overmix - it makes tough cupcakes). Scoop batter into greased or paper-lined muffin tins for regular sized cupcakes - can also make mini's.
Bake at 325 for about 25 minutes - checking with a toothpick in center.
Cool and frost when cool if desired. These keep about 5 days. You can also freeze them.
You can easily make these vegan - substituting your vegan 'butter' of choice (earth balance soy free is what i usually use) and Ener-G egg replacer powder. I'll be posting some good vegan recipes soon, I promise.
You could keep these frosting free - or sprinkle with powdered sugar or cocoa powder. But if you'd like to ice them I keep it simple -
- 1 pound butter
- 6 cups sugar, powdered
- dash of vanilla extract
- dash of salt
- 1/4 cup milk
Cream butter in a mixer with paddle attachment. Add rest of ingredients and beat well. You could also substitute a cup of the sugar with cocoa powder and make it a light chocolate frosting.
Now cozy up with a cup of tea and think about making these.... I swear it'll be worth it.