Usually, my contribution is dessert. Of course. :)
I don't really know how I feel about pumpkin. Or pumpkin spice. I really want to like the taste of pumpkins, mostly because it's so popular right now, but I don't think I really do. There are so many creative uses of pumpkin floating around food blogs and Pinterest. Pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin pies, pumpkin donuts. It's everywhere! And I really wanted to contribute.
One day at the grocery store, I almost bought a can of pumpkin puree. Seriously, I stared at it for a good minute or two before I put it back on the shelf. What if I bought it, opened it to bake something, and decided I didn't like it? A few minutes later, I was walking past the milk and coffee creamers and saw a pumpkin spice creamer. I don't know why I thought that would be a better idea, but I bought it and it turns out it was!
So, because of my uncertain feelings toward the pumpkin/pumpkin spice flavors, I decided that I couldn't go wrong with a chocolate cupcake. Right? Right! Almost everything tastes good in chocolate.
CHOCOLATE PUMPKIN SPICE CUPCAKES
adapted from my Black Magic Cake recipe
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup pumpkin spice coffee creamer
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup strong black coffee
- Make a pot of strong coffee.
- In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder. Carefully whisk them together.
- In another large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine sugar, eggs, vanilla, oil, and pumpkin spice creamer. Mix well.
- Measure out one cup of coffee in a heat proof measuring cup and measure out the buttermilk in another measuring cup.
- Add half the coffee, half the buttermilk, and half of the dry ingredients. Mix until incorporated.
- Repeat: add the rest of the coffee, buttermilk, and dry ingredients.
- Preheat oven to 350 degress. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.
- Divide batter evenly between the cupcake pans. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until you can insert a toothpick into the center of a cupcake and it comes out clean.
CINNAMON CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
1 eight oz package of cream cheese
1/2 stick butter (1/4 cup), room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 cups powdered sugar
- Once the cupcakes are cool, cream the butter and cream cheese in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy.
- Add vanilla, milk, and cinnamon. Mix until combined.
- Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl between each addition.
- If the frosting is too thin, add more powdered sugar 1/4th cup at a time. If it's too thick, add milk one tablespoon at a time.
- Then I transferred the frosting to a decorating bag with a tip, but you can frost them however you want. I also added some orange sugar sprinkles.
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Originally, I wasn't sure about this cupcake + frosting combination, but they work really well together. If you're looking for something that isn't too pumpkiny for Thanksgiving, you should give these a try and let me know how it goes!
Happy early Thanksgiving!