At a family gathering last week, there was no way I could show up empty-handed — and I can’t come to a fall party without something pumpkin, of course. But I wanted something different. Something a little technically challenging, because I’m apparently a sadistic baker.
I found this recipe for pumpkin ginger cupcakes and knew I’d found my calling. My attention was captured with the mention of crystallized ginger, though I was worried I wouldn’t be able to find it . . . but alas, that anxiety — like most in my life — was for nothing. Target had a decent-sized bottle, made by Archer Farms, for around $6. I mashed that baby up and was ready to roll.
The only thing I didn’t notice about this recipe? It’s strictly for the cupcakes. And I’m proud to say that, for the first time, I created my own concoction for frosting! A tasty buttercream with a hint of cinnamon, which complemented these cupcakes perfectly.
Am I bragging? A little, yes. But I’m pretty proud of these — and they disappeared as quickly as I could pull them from the oven. I topped some of mine with walnuts and others with sprinkles. What wasn’t eaten by my family was taken to work, and I’m currently continuing my reign as Office Cupcake Queen.
It’s a title I’m proud to have.
Pumpkin ginger cupcakes
Recipe from Allrecipes.com
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 (3.4 ounce) package instant butterscotch pudding mix
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/3 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 24 muffin cups, or line with paper muffin liners. Whisk together the flour, pudding mix, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, allspice, cloves, and crystallized ginger in a bowl; set aside.
2. Beat the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy. The mixture should be noticeably lighter in color. Add the room-temperature eggs one at a time, allowing each egg to blend into the butter mixture before adding the next. Beat in the vanilla and pumpkin puree with the last egg. Stir in the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin cups.
3. Bake in the preheated oven until golden and the tops spring back when lightly pressed, about 20 minutes. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.
1 cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons cinnamon, or more to taste
In a medium bowl, cream butter with electric mixer. Beat in vanilla and gradually add powdered sugar until well blended. Add milk until frosting reaches desired consistency.