Friday, March 21, 2014

Pumpkin Cupcakes: A How To

As most people know, I like talking about my opinions (which generally contradict others). But after last week's super serious controversial post, I figured I'd write about something lighter: baking. As I mentioned when I first started this blog, I love to bake. It's so calming and peaceful, and I never get the chance to do it! So after I finished up all my Friday errands, to the kitchen it was!

Today I'm going to be making my favorite recipe of all time: Pumpkin Cupcakes. I originally found this essay on the Food Network for a cooking class at school. We were being forced to make recipe with pumpkins in it. Originally, I balked at the idea. Pumpkins? Yuck! However, after searching everywhere  for a good pumpkin recipe, I found this one. Originally they were pumpkin bars, but I made them as cupcakes because they're easier to eat. I've made these in many different climates and altitudes and they've always turned out amazingly. Everyone enjoys them, even pumpkin haters (like me). Another great thing is most of the ingredients are easily found around the house. 

Here's what you'll need (edited from Paula Deen's original): 
  • Four eggs
  • 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar (code for table sugar)
  • 15 ounces of canned pumpkin (you might have to by more than two cans of pumpkin, as they generally come in 8 ounce cans). 
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ~1 cup of water (this is just a starting point, I add more or less depending on the thickness). 
  • Cupcake holders
  • Cupcake baking tray(s)
And for the yummy delicious icing...
  • 8 ounces of cream cheese (I like the Philadelphia brand)
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 2 cups of powdered sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

First things first, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. I know it's lame, and sometimes I forget, but life is always easier with a preheated oven. 

Now you can start by mixing together all your "wet" ingredients (the pumpkin as well as the sugar, oil, and eggs). Then add your dry ingredients (flour, baking soda and powder, ground cinnamon, and salt). You will need an electric mixer to do this. This is the least interesting part of this recipe in my opinion. The pumpkin doesn't smell too good, either. 

The next step is to to organize the yummy cakes into cupcake holders. I bought the super fancy cupcake holders from Whole Foods (they're called tulip cupcake holders). Since it's Whole Foods, I shouldn't have been surprised that I paid $4 for them and only got about ten. I didn't use them all for this recipe, because I like how much cupcake they can hold, but I wouldn't recommend them. They're not worth the cost. 

Let your cupcakes bathe in the oven for about 15-20 mins. Don't take them out yet though! After the 15 minute mark, I check on my cakes every five minutes. Every oven cooks differently and you don't all your hard work to go down the drain. 

Once your cupcakes are ready you can ice them. Simply mix all your icing ingredients together, and spoon it onto the cake. Perfection! 

I hope you enjoyed this post. It's a bit different from what I usually do, but I feel like it was a good break from all my political ranting. Let me know if you'd like to see more of my baking adventures!

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