Monday, October 1, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes

Fall is definitely my favorite season!  I absolutely love everything about it!

The other morning, when I woke up, I noticed that the leaves in our backyard have finally started turning their beautiful, vibrant colors, the mornings have begun to cool off, allowing me to get out my sweaters, jeans, and jackets, and I noticed that Starbucks has begun selling their pumpkin spice lattes again.  Added up, these things can only mean one thing......October is officially here!  And what better way to welcome it back, than with delicious, pumpkin inspired food! 

However, I hate making decisions when there are so many good options out there, and what recipe I should start this October with is always the question I ask myself year after year?  Well, after much internal debating, and seeing that I'm such a big fan of coffee, I decided that this year I would pay tribute to Starbucks and their pumpkin spice lattes by creating my own version.  The main difference being that mine would be made in cupcake form!  However, I'm not saying that it couldn't be enjoyed with a nice latte!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes

Servings: 24 cupcakes

For cupcakes:
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp. espresso powder
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. salt
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin puree
1 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
¼ cup vegetable or canola oil
¾ cup unsweetened applesauce
4 eggs
½ cup coffee or espresso, for brushing

For the frosting:
2 ¼ cups heavy cream, chilled
¼ cup confectioner’s sugar

Caramel sauce


For the Cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and pre-line a cupcake pan with liners. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.  Set aside.  Next, in the bowl of an electric mixer, set to a medium speed, beat together the pumpkin puree, sugar, brown sugar, oil, and applesauce until well blended.  Add in the eggs, one at a time, making sure to beat well after each addition and scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.  Set the mixer on a low speed and slowly add in the flour mixture in two additions, mixing until it is just incorporated.  Make sure not to over mix.

Scoop the batter into the cupcake liners, filling about three-quarters full.  Bake for about 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Place the pans on a wire rack and allow to cool for 10 minutes.  Next, remove the cupcakes from the pan and while the cupcakes are still warm, brush them over with the coffee or the espresso, repeating the step again after the first layer has absorbed into the cupcake. After that, allow them to cool completely.  

For the Frosting:

Place the heavy cream in the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment.  At first, beat the cream at a medium to low speed, gradually increasing it to high.  While beating the cream, slowly add in the confectioner’s sugar, a little bit at a time.  Beat until stiff peaks form, being very careful not to overbeat.  Once the frosting is ready, use a pastry bag, fitted with a decorative tip to frost the cupcakes.  Garnish with a little cinnamon or drizzle lightly with caramel sauce (or both).

Soure: Slightly adapted from Annies Eats


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