Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Pumpkin spice latte cupcakes

Would you believe me if I told you that I have never tried a pumpkin spice latte? I'm not much of a coffee drinker, and although a pumpkin spice latte sounds (and smells) wonderful, I just can't get into it. Maybe it's the cheapskate in me who isn't willing to pay that much money for a drink. Or maybe I'm just wondering how long I have to skate to burn off all those calories.

I've been curious about the hype over a certain coffee chain's pumpkin spice lattes and figured that I would try it out in cupcake form. Even though I'm not saving too many calories by eating a cupcake, I like the idea of eating my calories more than drinking them (one exception to this is my beloved In-N-Out Burger milkshakes).

While I enjoyed the cupcakes, I didn't get as much pumpkin flavor as I wanted. Don't get me wrong - these were still wonderful cupcakes, but I had expected the pumpkin to shine through more. The frosting was yummy as well, and the addition of the cream cheese helped stabilize it and prevented it from deflating.  If you are a pumpkin spice latte fan, I'm sure you would enjoy these.

Pumpkin spice latte cupcakes
  • 2 and 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 TBSP espresso powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ cup coffee or espresso, for brushing (I skipped this step)
Whipped cream frosting
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups heavy cream
Directions
For the cupcakes:  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard cupcake pan with liners (if you are making the recipe as-is, you'll need two cupcake pans for about 24 cupcakes).

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

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, beat together the pumpkin puree, sugar, brown sugar and vegetable oil on medium speed until well incorporated. Add the eggs one at a time and continue to mix until they are just incorporated. Turn the mixer down to low and gently and slowly add in the dry ingredients until they are just incorporated. Do not over mix the batter.

Evenly distribute the batter among the cupcake liners and fill them about 3/4 full. Bake in your preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Turn off the oven and transfer the cupcakes to a rack and allow them to cool slightly. Once the cupcakes have cooled down a bit, brush the tops with the coffee or espresso.Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla on medium speed until they are well mixed. Slowly pour in the heavy cream in a steady stream and turn the mixer to high until you achieve stiff peaks.

Frost on completely cooled cupcakes.

Yield: I halved the cupcake recipe and got 13 cupcakes

Source: cupcakes from Annie's Eats; frosting from Brown Eyed Baker

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