Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes


For cupcakes
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. salt
1 can 15oz. solid packed pumpkin (1 3/4 cups)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup canola oil
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup raisins (optional)
2/3 cup walnuts (optional)

For frosting
14 oz. white chocolate, finely chopped
12 oz. cream cheese, soft, room temperature, cut into small pieces
12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperture, cut into small pieces
food coloring (optional) orange for (Halloween)
colored sugars (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line three 12 cup muffin tins with cupcake papers.
To make cupcakes, in a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Toss the walnuts and raisins with the flour mixture. (Helps prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the muffins)
In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, sugar, brown sugar and oil. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking after each addition. Add the flour mixture in three additions, stirring with a plastic spatula. Mix until just combined. Do not overmix.
Fill the muffin tins about three-fourths full. Bake until the cupcakes are golden and toothpick inserted in the center of cupcake comes out clean. The muffins take 20-25 minutes. Transfer the muffin tins to a wire rack and cool for ten minutes. Then remove the cupcakes from the tins and let cool.

To make the frosting, in a double boiler, melt the white chocolate, stirring constantly, until smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Cool until slightly warm to the touch. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter on a medium high speed until smooth and blended. Add the melted white chocolate and beat again until smooth. Use the frosting immediately, coloring it as desired with food coloring. Orange food coloring is wonderful for Halloween. Colored sugars can also be used to decorate the cupcakes.

Yield 36 cupcakes.