Saturday, September 22, 2012

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

Happy first day of fall!  Today is the official beginning of one of my favorite seasons (the other being spring). I love the change of seasons, the fall colors, the falling leaves, and the comforting food that gets cooked as the weather starts to turn colder.  In my household, we are celebrating the beginning of fall with cupcakes.  Not just any cupcakes of course though, we are celebrating with Pumpkin Cupcakes with a Salted Caramel Frosting (very fall themed).  So Happy Fall, and enjoy celebrating however you and your family bring in this wonderful season.

Pumpkin Cupcakes and Salted Caramel Frosting
from Made in Melissa's Kitchen

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. coarse sea salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. allspice
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin puree

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line the cupcake pan with paper liners and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the brown sugar, white sugar, butter, and eggs.  Beat on medium speed until well combined.  Add in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice.  Mix on low until smooth.  Fold in the pumpkin puree.  

Pour the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about 2/3 full.  Put them in the oven for about 20 - 25 minutes, or until the tops spring back when touched and a cake tester comes out clean when inserted in the center.  Transfer to a wire rack and let them cool completely.

Makes ~ 18 cupcakes.
Salted Caramel Frosting
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 stick salted butter
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups powdered sugar
In a saucepan, stir together granulated sugar and water.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Cook without stirring until mixture turns a deep amber color, about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla, stirring until very smooth.  Let caramel cool for about 20 minutes, until it is just barely warm and still pourable. Alternatively, you could use just under 1/2 cup of your favorite caramel sauce.  I actually used the one I made the other day.  You can find that recipe here.
In a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and salt together until lightened and fluffy.  Reduce speed to low and add powdered sugar.  Mix until thoroughly combined.
Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the caramel.  Beat on medium high speed until light and airy, and completely mixed (about 2 minutes).  Mixture should be ready to use without refrigeration.  If your caramel was too hot when added, it will cause your icing to be runny.  If this happens refrigerate for 15-20 minutes. 

Source:  Made in Melissa's Kitchen, 2010.

(Linking this up over at "Or So She Says" Link up Party)

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