Monday, October 3, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes & Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting (aka - the orgasmic cupcake!)

I have officially been baking cupcakes and bringing them to work long enough that people have started making requests.  Well, maybe not people...maybe just Amelia...

Amelia is one of our newbies and we originally met when we interned together at the Firm.  At the time of our internship, I was in between my second and third year of law school, and she was a year behind me.  Amelia and I became very good friends over the summer, and I am VERY happy she is finally working with me!

Amelia LOVES pumpkin spice lattes.  Apparently this isn't that rare...although I personally am not a fan (I don't like anything coffee flavored).  One day at work a couple of weeks ago, Amelia walked into my office and handed me this recipe and said, "Please make these for me!"  So I told her it would go on the list (and I seriously have a list of cupcakes that I want to make!  Actually, I have multiple lists but I keep losing them)!  

Well, I finally got around to making these cupcakes, and let me tell you, they are a crowd pleaser! 

So, I didn't follow the recipe completely on this one...and I think that may be a first!  The first change I made was driven my desire to (1) not include coffee in the cupcake (although I couldn't get rid of the espresso powder) and (2) to include BOOZE!  So...instead of brushing the still warm cupcakes with coffee, I brushed them with Kahlua!  Yummy!

The second change I made was to the frosting.  The whipped cream frosting just  So instead, I made Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting, which is probably one of the best things ever!  The cinnamon frosting was an excellent addition to these cupcakes (also, delicious all on its own...)!

So, here's the bad news - I didn't like these cupcakes.  All I could taste was the coffee...

Now, for the good news - EVERYONE ELSE LOVED THEM!  I had TONS of people stopping by my office and emailing me all day to tell me that these were wonderful.  I had two separate people tell me that these were the best cupcakes they had had in their entire life...and, now for my favorite coworker said the cupcakes were almost orgasmic...and then added "it was good for me!"

So...if you are looking for a seasonal crowd pleasing treat, these are an excellent option!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons espresso powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup canola or vegetable oil
4 large eggs
Kahlua for brushing (you can also use coffee or espresso)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and line cupcake pans with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.  Stir together and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, blend together the pumpkin, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and oil.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
  4. With the mixture on low speed, add the flour mixture in two additions, mixing just until incorporated.
  5. Fill the cupcake liners about three-quarters full. 
  6. Bake until the cupcakes are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 18-20 minutes.  Let cool in pan for five to ten minutes.
  7. Remove cupcakes from pan to a wire rack.
  8. While the cupcakes are still warm, brush them two or three times with the Kahlua (you can use coffee or espresso for a non-alcoholic version), allowing the first coat to soak in before repeating.  Let cupcakes cool completely.
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup (half stick) butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (add more to taste)
2-3 cups powdered sugar (add more or less to make it a stiffness that you like).
  1. Mix cream cheese and butter well.
  2. Add vanilla and cinnamon.
  3. Add powdered sugar to stiffness you want.
  4. Pipe onto completely cooled cupcakes. 
  5. Drizzle caramel on top.

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