Friday, November 25, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes

Considering the hoopla that PSL's get each year, when I saw this recipe on Annie's Eats I knew it was a "must make" for me. I did make a few cheats to make these work for me (call me cheap and lazy, I'm okay with it). I did not brush with coffee before frosting (I thought it was unnecessary and I was right, these have a good coffee flavor to them already), instead I spread with store bought caramel sundae topping and then frosted. Trust me, the caramel adds just a little bit of sweet without being in your face. Next time I think I'll use actual pumpkin spice instead of separate spices for a little bit of flavor variety.  It was a perfect combination of pumpkin, coffee and the whipped cream frosting was like inhaling eating an actual PSL, and is probably the only time I have enjoyed a whipped cream frosting. In fact I hear them calling from my fridge as we speak...

Cupcakes:
2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tbsp espresso powder [this stuff is expensive, so I used a strong roast instant coffee]
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves [I had a hard time keeping this in the recipe due to my dislike of cloves, so I used a mere pinch of the stuff *shudder* that was enough for me]
1 tsp salt
15 oz can pumpkin puree [despite the fact that I have fresh, homemade pumpkin puree, I did use canned to clean out my pantry]
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup canola or vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 jar caramel sundae topping (you'll use about 1/3 of the jar)

Preheat oven to 350 degs F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, coffee powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Stir together and set aside.

With an electric mixer, blend pumpkin, sugars and oil. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add flour mixture in two additions, mixing just until incorporated.

Fill cupcake liners about 3/4 full. Bake 18-20 minutes, until cupcakes are golden brown. Transfer pans to wire rack, cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pans. Let cool completely. Once cooled completely, spread with caramel sundae topping.

Whipped Cream Frosting:
2-1/4 cups heavy cream, chilled
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar

Whisk heavy cream. Blend in the confectioner's sugar gradually. Whip until stiff peaks form, being careful not to over-beat.

Use a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip to frost the cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon and more caramel sauce if desired.

Store in an airtight container and refrigerate.

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