Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes w/ Chocolate Cinammon Buttercream

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Woo! That title is a mouthful, but so are these cupcakes! I decided to get a little experimental and it turned out to be a great idea. These cakes are absolutely devine and this light, flavorful frosting is the perfect match. I changed both of the original recipes, but the cake recipe came from Annie’s Eats and the base for the frosting recipe came from Food Network. These are a great holiday treat, with all of the seasonal spices that makes you need just one more bite.

Why do I bother to make my own frosting? I do it to avoid all of the unnecessary ingredients that are harmful to our health. Look at this list of ingredients for

Duncan Hines Creamy Home-Style Milk Chocolate Frosting: Sugar, Water, Vegetable Oil Shortening (Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and Cottonseed Oils, Mono- and Diglycerides, Polysorbate 60), Corn Syrup, Cocoa Powder Processed with Alkali. Contains 2% Or Less Of: Corn Starch, Salt, Nonfat Dry Milk, Cream Powder (Cream, Nonfat Milk, Soy Lecithin), Preservatives (Potassium Sorbate), Citric Acid, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Sodium Citrate, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Lactic Acid.

No thanks! I think I’ll stick to this version with 6 ingredients 🙂

Ingredients:

Cupcakes

  • 2 2/3 cup flour
  • 3 tbsp espresso powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • heaping 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
  • heaping 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup coffee or espresso for brushing

Frosting

  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup butter (room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions:

1. To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and salt. Stir together and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix together the pumpkin, sugars, and oil. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. With the mixer at low speed, add the flour mixture in two additions, mixing just until incorporated.

2. Fill the cupcake liners about 3/4 full. Bake until the cupcakes are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 18-20 minutes. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes, the remove the cupcakes from the pans. While the cupcakes are still warm, brush them 2-3 times with espresso or coffee, allowing the first coat to soak in before repeating. Let cool completely.

3. To make frosting, in your electric mixer, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.

4. Add vanilla, spices and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed for spreading consistency.
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Paleo Pumpkin Spice Cookies

paleo pumpking cookies

These were an interesting paleo experiment. My main reason for trying these was, in truth, to try out a super fine almond flour from Honeyville Farms. It’s amazing! The texture (at least in these cookies), was incredibly close to wheat flour (much closer than Bob’s Red Mill almond flour- the most ubiquitous kind available it seems). These are great; they aren’t over the top sweet and they stay incredibly soft. Thanks to the coconut oil, they didn’t dry out at all, even over the 3 days they lasted in my house in an unremarkable Tupperware container on the counter. I could see this recipe turning out great as a loaf bread instead of a cookie- if anyone tries it that way before I do, let me know! Since they aren’t dessert-level sweet, they were great for breakfast with coffee. I’d like to add nuts to them next time around to- I think it would really compliment the flavor profile. The original recipe from Multiply Delicious also had a Paleo Pumpkin Ice Cream recipe if you’re feeling adventurous- yay for ice cream sandwiches!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice, plus more for sprinkling on tops of cookies
  • 1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 small ripe banana, mashed
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips (optional)

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl whisk together the almond flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.

3. In a small bowl mix together pumpkin puree, mashed banana, maple syrup (if using), vanilla extract.

4. Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until combine.  Then add melted coconut oil and stir to incorporate.  If you are using chocolate chips stir those into the batter.

5. Drop spoonful of batter (about 1 to 2 tablespoons in size) onto prepared baking sheet.  Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with additional pumpkin pie spice.  Bake cookies for 25 to 30 minutes until golden.

6. Cookies are best kept in a airtight container in the refrigerator.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Brownies

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With fall in the air and Thanksgiving just around the corner, a plethora of pumpkin recipes is inevitable. I’ve always been skeptical about pumpkin recipes, so this is my first year jumping on the pumpkin-flavored-everything train and I found myself pleasantly surprised with these light flavorful beauties. Using only 1 tbsp of oil and no refined sugar, these are some treats you won’t feel guilty letting the kids grab.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.  Line an 11″- x 7″-inch pan with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, combine pumpkin puree, eggs and oil until smooth.  Set aside.

3. In a separate medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, spices, salt and brown sugar.  Add to the wet ingredients and mix until thoroughly incorporated.  Stir in the chocolate chips.

4. Pour into prepared pan and spread evenly.  Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until passes toothpick test.  Cool completely before cutting.