Celebrate: Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Sometimes it's your boyfriend's birthday...




... and sometimes this means you have to bake.


dry ingredients


Today is my boyfriend's birthday, and so although I have much grander confectionary plans in mind for the celebration with friends, I could never show up on his birthday empty-handed, could I?  Enter: cupcakes.


wet ingredients


(Don't worry, I got him a real gift. But I hope he likes these, too!)


The star has arrived


He likes pumpkin, and he likes cream cheese, and he isn't a huge "cake" person, so I found a recipe for pumpkin cupcakes with a cream cheese frosting. Perfect! 

Ready, set... combine!


 They're not super sweet but are oh-so-tasty, so I think he'll enjoy the flavors.   


Mix.


And I think you will, too. 


Pour.


While those are baking, you have just enough time to make the cream-cheese frosting! 



That's optional.  They're also delicious as muffins (without the frosting), or could go with vanilla or chocolate frosting if cream cheese flavor isn't your thing.

Almost ready?


Don't bite yet--too hot!  Let them cool for a bit. 


Looks like they could've been filled with more batter.   Next time: Go big or go home.


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Frost and sprinkle, if you please.





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Perfect density.  



Packed and ready to go!  Will put candles in tonight. =)





Read more for the recipe.  PLUS the Hanukkah surprise ...


Pumpkin Cupcakes
Based on a recipe on Epicurious.  I doubled it (reflected below, with my other health- and flavor-related changes), and it made 12 medium-sized cupcakes. 


Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • As much cinnamon as your heart desires. The recipe calls for 1/2, but my heart desires a lot of cinnamon and less ginger/nutmeg, so I just loaded on the cinnamon. With a splash of pumpkin pie spice.
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • A few squeezes of honey
  • 2 Tbsp "butter" of choice, softened. I used Olivio spread 
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree.  (This is way more than the recipe called for, but can you really call them "Pumpkin Cupcakes" if you only use 1/4 cup??)
  • 2 Tbsp "milk" of choice, fat free
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Prepare nonstick muffin cups or baking tray.
  2. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, (ginger, nutmeg,) and salt until combined. 
  3. In another bowl, mash sugar, honey, and "butter" until combined.  Stir in egg whites first, then pumpkin, "milk," and vanilla, until mixed well.
  4. Add dry ingredients; stir until combined.  
  5. Pour batter into muffin cups -- I poured until 3/4 full, but probably would have been better if they just about reached the tops.   Bake until cupcakes spring back when touched, about 15 minutes.
  6. Let cool before eating or frosting.

Cream-cheese frosting:
(makes enough to cover 12 medium-sized cupcakes)

Ingredients:
  • 4 Tbsp lowfat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 tsp trans-fat-free margarine (or sub)
  • 4 Tbsp confectioners' sugar
  • 4 Tbsp nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Directions
  1. In a bowl, beat cream cheese, margarine, and sugar until smooth.  
  2. Add yogurt and vanilla; stir until combined.
    1. I  added a tiny drop of pumpkin in, here.  Unite the flavors!
  3. When cupcakes cool, frost!
Enjoy.


UPDATE: Sometimes your boyfriend's birthday falls on the first night of Hanukkah, and so you have to improvise. 







Happy Hanukkah! 

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