Monday, October 24, 2011

Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes with a Cinnamon Buttercream & a Salted Caramel Drizzle

It's that time of year! Time for pumpkins. I LOVE pumpkins. Pumpkin Spice lattes, pumpkin bread, pumpkin soup, pumpkin anything! Much to my chagrin, the hubby is not a big pumpkin fan. So in comes my newest "creation." Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes with a cinnamon buttercream and a salted caramel drizzle.

Although none of the recipes themselves are my own creation, I did come up with overall idea. I'm not gonna lie, these cupcakes were pretty darn good and the hubby loved them as well!

The original inspiration came from I Am Baker. She made Pumpkin Caramels and Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes. I used her chocolate pumpkin cupcake recipe, frosted with a cinnamon buttercream from Fake Ginger and topped with Trader Joe's fleur de sel caramel sauce. Oh so yummy. The combination of flavors was to die for!!!

 Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes
recipe from I Am Baker
Makes approx. 24 cupcakes

1 1/2 cups Flour
2/3 cups Cocoa
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Vanilla Yogurt
1 cup Canned Pumpkin
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
3/4 cups Butter, softened
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1 1/2 cups Granulated Sugar
4 large Eggs

Preheat oven to 325.
Line cupcake pan with liners.

In a mixer, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about three minutes.  Add in eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated.  In a medium bowl, sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together, set aside.  Stir yogurt, pumpkin, and vanilla extract together in a small bowl.  Reduce mixer speed to low and alternately beat in the flour and yogurt mixtures in thirds, starting and ending with flour.

Bake for 18-25 minutes, depending on your oven.  Remove once toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, or center springs back when touched. Let cool.

Cinnamon Buttercream

recipe from Fake Ginger

Side note: I made three batches of buttercream to frost 24 cupcakes. If you are going to frost them with a knife then you will use less but if you're using a decorating tip you will need at least two batches, but probably three. I made all three batches separately because I hate the mess that powdered sugar makes when it's too high in my mixer but you can try to double the recipe if you'd like. :)

1 cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
3 – 4 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Beat butter until light and fluffy. Add sugar a 1/2 cup at a time until completely incorporated, adding up to 4 tablespoons of milk when the icing gets to thick. Add vanilla and cinnamon and beat until just combined.

When cupcakes are cooled you can frost them however you like.

Salted Caramel Drizzle
If you don't have a Trader Joe's near you, you can use another store bought caramel sauce or make your own (there are several recipes on Pinterest that don't seem too hard). If at all possible, try to find a gourmet caramel sauce, not the caramel topping you use for ice cream sundaes as it may be too sweet. Trader Joe's fleur de sel caramel sauce is uh-mazing. I seriously don't know if I'll ever try to make caramel sauce again because it's so good!

Trader Joe's fleur de sel caramel sauce

Place about 1/2 cup caramel sauce in a microwave safe dish and microwave for about 10 seconds. You want the sauce to be just thick enough to drizzle, not so hot that it is thin and melts the frosting. Once your caramel is at the desired consistency, use a spoon to drizzle the caramel on the frosting. If you want a more perfect look you could try to pipe it but that just makes more mess, and we all know that baking makes enough mess!


1 comment:

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