Sunday, October 3, 2010

Ginger-Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple-Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

It's so annoying how all the cans of pumpkin go into hibernation from January to September.  Really?  Why wouldn't I want pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin muffins, and now pumpkin cupcakes, at all times of the year?  (this is also true of fresh cranberries)

But for the first week in October, Trader Joe's built a small mountain of cans at the entrance to their store at Sunset and Vine.  So we're good.  For a while, anyway.

I won't be caught again with a request for pumpkin bread in June and no pumpkin to be found!  It's a reverse-harvest kind of thing the grocery stores have driven me to: stock up on cans during the bountiful winter months, and then hope that they last through the summer.

These cupcakes were the least pretty of the three (pretty lumpy), but I got to compensate by taking my pastry decorating set on its first run.  It felt exactly like using cheez whiz in a can.  Mmmm...

Both the cake and the frosting on this one were really lovely.  I think the cake was a little too moist and heavy for some cupcake snobs, but it's pumpkin bread in cake form--what are you going to do?  The flavor was very good, if a bit too sweet; it had plenty of spices, which are probably the best thing about pumpkin desserts.  I followed Kelly's recipe on Vegan Thyme to the letter, except I didn't have crystallized ginger, so I just doubled the dry stuff.  For the frosting, I omitted the cinnamon (but sprinkled it on after), and used maple syrup instead of soy milk.

Ginger-Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple-Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Ginger-Pumpkin Cupcakes
(adapted from Vegan Thyme)

1 2/3 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger
3/4 c vegan butter (I used earth balance instead of salted margarine, which is why I cut down on the additional salt)
1 1/2 c light brown sugar (try 1 c)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 c canned pumpkin
2 eggs (I used Ener-G Egg Replacer: 3 tsp mixed with 4 TB of warm water)

1. Preheat oven to 325* and line muffin tin with cupcake papers.
2. Combine dry ingredients; set aside.  Prepare egg replacer and set it aside.  In another bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar, then add egg replacer, pumpkin, and vanilla.
3. Add dry to wet; don't overmix.  Spoon into baking pan.  Bake for about 20 minutes, until they pass the toothpick test.  Makes about 14-16 normal-sized cupcakes.

Maple-Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
(adapted from Vegan Thyme)

1/4 c vegan butter
1/4 c vegan shortening (I used earth balance's shortening sticks)
2 c powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 TB maple syrup

Cream butter, shortening, and sugar.  Then, add vanilla extract and maple syrup.  Beat until fluffy, adding milk or sugar as needed to achieve desired consistency. Frosts about 12 cupcakes.


Gauri Radha गौरी राधा said...

The vegan maple vanilla buttercream frosting looks and sounds marvelous!! These cupcakes must taste terrific :-)

Anonymous said...

Made these cupcakes today for Thanksgiving dinner with a friend. They were FANTASTIC. Moist, great texture..I love the spices, so I doubled the amount called for in the recipe and added 1/2 tsp allspice. I also added chopped crystallized ginger to the top of the frosted cupcake. yum..

Julia said...

crystallized ginger sounds like such a fantastic addition! :)

Anonymous said...

The ginger did indeed add a bit of excitement! : )
Also Julia -- wanted to let you know that I followed your suggestion in the recipe to use only 1 cup of brown sugar. I have a real sweet tooth and the cupcakes were plenty sweet for me, especially with the frosting. Thanks for a great blog. I look forward to trying more of your recipes.

Best, Karen