Lately, I am concerned about my sanity or rather lack there of. I can’t seem to stop the pumpkin posts. Yes, I know you are done with them and I know I should be done with them but I’m not, and I don’t think I CAN stop.
These soft, citrus-y pumpkin cupcakes with cinnamon and nutmeg spiced butter cream are definitely worth squandering my sanity over. No question about it, but I DO have to wonder….WHY can’t I seem to pull myself AWAY from the pumpkins?! It’s odd at best.
As I ponder these thoughts, I look over at my favorite gongoozler, Sadie, who is sitting close to my feet while I continue my pumpkin baking. My worried eyes meet hers, and I try to convey through my silence that my mental stability is in peril here.
That’s what’s so great about a dog as a therapist. You don’t have to speak aloud your anxieties and concerns…a dog can just read your thoughts, or rather your body language and emotions. Oh, and they’re fee is simply a nice pat on the head or a good scratch. So now I assume that you are beginning to wonder if I am crazy because of my freakish pumpkin obsession or because I think my dog has ESP. You and me both my friend.
Sadie sighs a deep sigh and looks up at me with her big, brown eyes. I am afraid she is as concerned as I am as she slowly gets up, flops over a bit closer and collapses onto my feet as I continue to measure and sift. Warm, soft fur soothes my toes and soul. I inhale the aroma of nutmeg and cinnamon.
Maybe my addiction to everything pumpkin is truly a subconscious affinity for these smells which make me feel like a warm hug has just enveloped me. I take a deep breath and relax as I look down at Sadie again. She is now very much asleep and snoring a bit.
Apparently, she is no longer concerned about my mental status and perhaps the spices that fill the air are also causing a chemical reaction in my dog which help her to completely melt into oblivion. I guess it’s possible that I am not totally crazy…well at least in regards to pumpkins…I am not promising sanity in any other arena mind you.
Maybe if you make these citrus-y pumpkin cupcakes, you will have to check your sanity at the door as well because these ARE pumpkin perfection and will most definitely inspire more pumpkin recipes. I’m not sure that statement is a rousing call to make these babies, but then again I’ve always thought sanity is highly over rated.
Pumpkin Citrus Cupcakes
Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine
Makes about 18 cupcakes or one bundt cake:
1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened
3/4 c. egg substitute or 3 eggs
1 t. vanilla extract
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree or make your own
3 T. orange juice
2 tsp. orange zest
3 c. sifted cake flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. ground ginger
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
Cinnamon and Nutmeg Spiced Citrus Butter Cream
(Frosting not from Cooking Light…nothing light about the butter cream.)
1 stick of unsalted butter, barely softened in the microwave about 10 -15 seconds
3 3/4 c. of sifted powdered sugar
1-2 T. orange juice
1/8 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. cinnamon
For the Cake:
Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cupcake liners in 18 spaces of your muffin pan.
To prepare the cake batter, place granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add egg substitute or eggs, one egg at a time, or 1/4 c. at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in orange juice, orange zest, 1 t. vanilla and pumpkin.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine the flour and next 6 ingredients (flour through nutmeg), stirring well with a whisk. Fold flour mixture into pumpkin mixture. Using a large ice cream scoop, spoon batter into the cupcake liners. Bake at 350 for approximately 20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean or the cake is slightly firm when pressed. Cool in pan 10 minutes and then on wire rack. Remove from pan; place on rack and cool completely.
For the butter cream: Beat the butter and powdered sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium, then HIGH. Add 1 T. juice and spices. Beat on medium high for about 2 minutes until smooth and creamy. If your frosting is too thin, add another 1/2 c. of powdered sugar and beat in. You an continue to add powdered sugar until it is firm enough to use as a frosting. If your frosting is too thick just add one more Tablespoon of the orange juice.
If you want to pipe your frosting onto the cupcakes, use a gallon sized ziploc bag with one corner snipped off about 1/2 inch. Place coupler inside bag and then tip over the outside of the bag and the coupler. Screw the round ring over the tip, connecting it with the plastic coupler. My favorite cupcake decorating kit can be found here. I LOVE IT and it really makes beautiful swoops and swirls on your cupcake.