These delicious spiced cupcakes flavored with real pumpkin are topped with a decadent maple rum buttercream frosting!
When my husband was tasked to bring dessert in for a company holiday lunch last year, I immediately took to the kitchen to make a pumpkin recipe of some sort. I am bad for hoarding dessert recipes, but even worse with pumpkin recipes and I know they are more welcome in the fall than any other time of the year. I personally like them any day of the year, but some people look at you like you're crazy to give them a pumpkin cupcake in July. Same with if you offered someone a peppermint treat in April...even though peppermint is also good any time of the year.
I chose to make these cupcakes because of the maple rum frosting. That's not necessarily my go-to thought when I think of what to pair with pumpkin. I knew that Nick would love it and thought it would make for a great recipe for him because he loves maple anything and rum is his favorite liquor. While I was not necessarily the biggest fan of the frosting, I loved the spices in the cupcake. Nick loved the maple rum frosting. It was really fluffy and he said the maple and rum complimented each other perfectly. They were a huge hit at the office too!
What you need:
For the cupcakes:
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups cake flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
- 3 egg whites
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 Tbsp. spiced rum
- 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp. maple extract
- 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- For the cupcakes: In a medium bowl, whisk together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer, beat together butter and sugars until they are light and fluffy - about 2 minutes.
- Add eggs, one at a time, mix until combined. Scrape sides if needed. Add vanilla and mix until combined.
- Add a third of the flour then half of the buttermilk. Repeat and then finish with the last of the flour mixture. Beat until combined.
- Add pumpkin puree and beat until smooth. Do not overmix.
- In a muffin pan lined with paper liners, fill each cup 2/3 of the way.
- Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Rotate the pans halfway through baking.
- Cool on wire racks completely before frosting.
- For the frosting: while the cupcakes are cooling, using a double boiler over simmering water, whisk together egg whites and granulated sugar. Whisk constantly until the sugar dissolves all the way - about 5 minutes.
- Pour the sugar mixture into a mixer bowl and beat on high using the whisk attachment until the bottom feels cool to the touch and stiff peaks have formed.
- Add butter by the tablespoon, beating until well combined before adding another. If it looks soupy, chill in the refrigerator for 5 to 10 minutes before continuing to beat.
- After all the butter has been added, remove the whisk attachment for the paddle attachment. Beat on high until light and fluffy about 5 minutes. It may look curdled at some point and that is okay - just keep beating...beating...beating!
- When buttercream is fluffy, add rum, maple syrup, maple extract, and cinnamon. Beat until well combined.
- Pipe the buttercream frosting onto cooled cupcakes. Decorate with sprinkles, if desired.
Recipe from The Busty Baker
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