Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Pumpkin pie cupcakes

One thing that I had forgotten about while living in San Francisco was seasons. It's pretty much the same climate throughout the year, so no snow, no changing leaves...I was reminded of all that again when I moved to Boston, with fall taking a turn now. It's nice seeing the leaves change around campus (although I bet the view is even better outside of Boston) - and it's a great reminder that it's pumpkin flavor time in the baking world!

Fall pumpkin is great, but the fall spices are even better. Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and cardamom all come together to create the best combination of flavors! Pumpkin pie is a staple of the fall, but I tend to stay away from baking pies because pie crusts are tricky to make. For this week's baking experiment however, I decided to dabble a little bit in pies. 

To overcome my dislike for pie crusts, I used a version of the "impossible pie" recipe, which involves a single mixture, containing both the filling and the crust components, and baking that directly. Somehow, during baking, the mixture separates and forms its own crust around the filling. I applied this idea to creating pumpkin pie cupcakes. 

I mixed up a pie filling, along with some pie ingredients, like flour and baking soda, and baked it all up in foil liners. And it worked surprisingly well - a thin crust was formed around the filling. It wasn't a very distinct difference between the two, but it was there. 

To top it off, I mixed up some whipped cream and sprinkled a bit of cinnamon with it. The result was a dense, creamy cupcake - an easy-to-handle, bite-sized pumpkin pie! Even better, I had quite a bit of pumpkin leftover, which means even more pumpkin baking to be made!

Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes - makes about 32 mini-cupcakes
(Recipe adapted from Baking Bites)

For cupcakes
  • 15 oz pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup (100 g) white sugar
  • ¼ cup (50 g) brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup (189 g) evaporated milk
  • 2/3 cup (83 g) flour
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ¾ tsp cloves
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp cardamom
For whipped cream:
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • Cinnamon, for sprinkling 
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. 
  2. Mix pumpkin, white sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, and milk together in a stand mixer on medium speed until smooth. 
  3. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices together and then add to the wet mixture. Continue mixing until no flour is visible. 
  4. Fill mini-foil cupcake liners with 1½ tbsp of batter. 
  5. Bake for 17-20 minutes until the tops are no longer runny. 
  6. Chill the cupcakes in the fridge. 
  7. Whip heavy cream and sugar together until the whipped cream is formed. Pipe onto the tops of the chilled cupcakes and sprinkle with cinnamon. 
  8. Enjoy!

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