Fall means pumpkins, and so when we planned the Sweet Station for my daughter Natalie’s wedding in September, it went without saying that something pumpkin had to be on the table. But I wanted to jazz it up, and what better way to do that than with a little streusel topping sprinkled on the cupcake…just under a lovely dollop of Maple Cream Cheese Frosting? They were delicious, and lent that certain : “je ne sais quoi” to the dessert selections.
The cupcake recipe is adapted slightly from the Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes in Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes:
- Preheat your oven to 350F and line muffin tins with cupcake papers.
- Sift together: 4 cups cake flour, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 generous Tbsp.pumpkin pie spice, 1 Tbsp. ground ginger, and 1 tsp. salt.
- With your mixer on medium-high, cream together 1 cup sweet butter (at room temperature) and 2 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar until pale and fluffy. Add 4 eggs ~ one egg at a time ~ beating until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of your mixing bowl as necessary. Reduce the speed to low and add the dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with two additions of 1/2 cup buttermilk (for a total of 1 cup). Mix just until combined. Add 1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin puree (not pie filling) and beat just until combined.
- Use a 1/4 cup measure or scoop to fill your cupcake cups about 3/4 full. Top with a spoonful of Streusel Topping: with a pastry cutter (or two butter knives) combine 1/2 cup cold butter, 1/2 cup quick cooking oats or chopped walnuts or pecans (your choice), 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar and 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice. You will have leftover topping, which is delicious on a loaf of pumpkin bread or on top of a fresh coffee cake.
- Bake the cupcakes until they are golden brown and spring back lightly when you touch them in the center, approximately 18 minutes. Cool n the pan 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
- For the Maple Cream Cheese Frosting: combine 2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened, with 1/2 cup room temperature sweet butter. Mix at medium-high speed until smooth and creamy. Add a tsp. of Maple Extract and mix just until combined. Add in 4 cups (1 lb.) powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add in a few tablespoons of heavy whipping cream and mix at high speed until the frosting lightens and becomes fluffy. (It won’t be as light as whipped cream, of course, but you will notice a definite difference in the texture.) *NOTE: I usually make the frosting the night before so it has a chance to set up; this way it will hold it’s shape if you use a pastry bag and tip to frost.
- When the cupcakes have cooled completely, frost them with a pastry bag and tip or an offset spatula. Decorate as you wish. Store them in the refrigerator; take them out about a half hour before you plan to serve them.
It’s okay to eat Pumpkin Streusel Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting during any season…but I do especially crave them in the fall. And our wedding guests enjoyed them too.
Fabulous Photos courtesy of Cory McCune Photography