Friday, September 11, 2009

Spice is in the air!

I truly enjoy holidays, but Christmas is my absolute favorite. It's all about the weather, the atmosphere in the stores and seeing the houses so pretty decorated. This time of year is also special in my heart, because it represents the birth of God and it's like his big birthday party. A special time of year that almost everyone enjoy and celebrates with family get-together and presents exchange and lots of food and desserts.

After window shopping and seeing some Christmas items in the stores I got some holiday jitters. Nothing says Christmas more to me than Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes and that's exactly what I have been up to this past week.

Everyone is getting a cupcake to say til later to Summer and welcome the Fall (even though Fall is not officially here).

Now for the exciting part, the recipe:

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 cup raisins (optional)
1 can (15 oz.) solid-packed pumpkin

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup canola oil
4 eggs

For the frosting:
1 stick of butter (room temperature)
1 stick (80z.) cream cheese (room temperature)
4 cups of powder sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract (great quality)

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Line three 12-cup muffin tins with decorative cupcake papers.

To make the cupcakes, in a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Toss the walnuts and raisins with the flour mixture. (This will help prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the muffin tins.)

In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, granulated sugar, brown sugar and oil. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking after each addition.

Add the flour mixture in three additions, stirring with a large wooden spoon until just combined. Don't over mix.

Tip: I add a small amount of cream cheese (about 1/2 tsp.) in the center of the cupcakes before baking for extra flavor.

Now, do you want to see what happened to the cupcake above? I had it cut in the middle so you could enjoy the inside. Yeah it tastes as good as it looks... Yummy!!!