I'm defying tradition and doing something completely unexpected by posting something pumpkin-y for Thanksgiving.
Yeah, you can go ahead and say it--I'm a truly radical rebel.
Although I'm anti-pumpkin, I feel that the presence of some rich and luxurious frosting can right any wrong, and that's the case here. The fairly unpleasant cupcake (in my oh-so-humble opinion) is made marvelous by the smooth and decadent maple buttercream.
The cupcakes are a breeze to make (no mixer required!) and the frosting isn't difficult either. You can add more or less maple syrup to your own tastes--I like more, but then again, I have a sweet tooth which cannot be sated.
Even I must admit that the cupcakes aren't bad--they're moist, and the aromatic spice blend is grand. I'm really partial to the maple buttercream too, for obvious reasons. If you happen to have maple extract rather than maple syrup, it'll do the trick too; I just don't know a lot of home cooks who keep it in their cupboards.
Have a happy toikey day, everybody!
Maple Buttercream Frosting with Pumpkin Cupcakes
(makes 18 cupcakes)
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons maple syrup, room temperature
2-3 tablespoons milk, room temperature
2-3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup (8 oz) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
To make the frosting, beat the pulp out of the butter with an electric mixer for a few minutes. Add the maple syrup and milk and briefly blend. Add the powdered sugar gradually until frosting is thick enough to spread easily. You may not use all the sugar. If the frosting is too dry, add additional milk until desired consistency is reached.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together, brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and eggs. Add dry ingredients, and whisk until smooth. Whisk in pumpkin puree.
Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about halfway. Bake until tops spring back when touched, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pans once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.