Cupcake are the new rage. Cupcake shops are popping up on every corner. Wedding receptions and 1st birthday parties everywhere have cupcake towers, filled with not just the average white cake and butter cream frosting varieties. No, these cupcakes have names like Bumpalicious and flavors like Egg Nog and Peanut Butter and Jelly. And, the biggest indicator of the fad's popularity.... a reality show called Cupcake Wars (yeah, I don't predict it to last).
I have a group of friends who meet every Monday morning for a play date with our toddler boys. We call it the Smelly Boy group; 6 toddler boys, plus 2 infant boys and 2 infant girls, all pile into a play room to play, throw tantrums, smack a kid or two (that wouldn't be my son :::cough::::) and have a pretty good time, while the moms enjoy lattes and a homemade dessert. My friend Nancy is usually the host and also usually the pastry chef. But this week I wanted to pitch in. And when I saw this recipe, I couldn't type "I'm making the treat this week!" fast enough.
And wow. They were good. Really, really good. And surprisingly easy. Baking isn't my forte, but this came out pretty good.
I got the cupcake recipe from Rachael Ray magazine. I originally was going to swap out their frosting recipe, which seemed to get poor ratings, for a cinnamon cream cheese frosting I've done before. But a cooking misstep (me forgetting to add the dry ingredients to the wet) made me have to pitch a batch of cupcakes and therefore, have to use the cream cheese needed for the frosting. So, I switched it to a cinnamon buttercream frosting. I'm sure they'd taste good with the cream cheese frosting, too.
Cheesecake-Filled Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Frosting
Makes 12 cupcakes
One 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 large eggs, plus 1 large egg whites
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1. Place a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350°. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with baking liners. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and confectioners' sugar for 3 minutes. Beat in 1 egg white and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.
2. In a bowl, whisk the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. In another bowl, mix the pumpkin puree, 2 eggs, granulated sugar, oil and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Whisk in the flour mixture.
Layer each muffin cup with some of the pumpkin batter, then the cream cheese mixture, then more of the batter. Bake until springy to the touch, 25 minutes. Let cool. Frost and enjoy.
Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting
1 stick butter, at room temp.
3-3/4 C confectioners' sugar
3 Tbsp. milk (or more)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
Place butter in large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low until fluffy, 30 seconds. Add conf. sugar, 3 Tbsp.. milk and vanilla. Blend on low until sugar is incorporated, 1 min. Add cinnamon, increase speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, 1 min. more. Blend in up to 1 tablespoon milk if the frosting seems too stiff.