Guess who? It’s Giada, again! Except this time she’s in New Jersey!
On Wednesday I attended her book signing at Williams Sonoma in Short Hills. That’s meeting my idol TWICE in three weeks! I think I can relax now…my bookshelf is stocked.
So keeping with the theme of “what else can I make from my new Giada new cookbooks” …. How about pumpkin cupcakes? I made these for a Halloween party I was attending, but I think pumpkin recipes are perfect through Thanksgiving. And these were also great for a crowd because they’re “mini” and make up to 48 cupcakes. (I fill my cupcake liners high, so I only got about 32.)
I used these babies, which were new to me. Reynolds Foil Baking Cups can stand alone on any baking sheet, so you don’t need a mini cupcake pan. Also, you can bake a lot more at a time than the 24 a standard pan would hold. Pretty cool!
I also went with Giada’s suggestion and started with Betty Crocker Super Moist Vanilla Cake Mix. I know that obviously this is a paid placement (remember – I used to do public relations for Betty Crocker) but this is one of my favorite cake mixes anyway.
Then I added the canned pumpkin, milk, oil, eggs, and pumpkin pie spice. Once mixed, I spooned into the mini cupcake liners. I like to fill them pretty high so the cupcake gets a nice puffy top.
Once baked for 20 minutes, these little guys were perfect, moist, and delicious – even without the frosting.
One note: I recommend going easy on the sour cream. This recipe calls for 1/4 cup, but I could really taste it in the final product. And when it comes to chocolate, all I want to taste is the chocolate-y goodness highlighted or enhanced by other, subtle ingredients.
So I spread a thin layer on the cupcakes – I didn’t want to overpower the delicious pumpkin flavor either!
And voila! With some chocolate sprinkles for decoration, we have a tray full of not-so-tricky treats!
Mini Pumpkin Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting
Courtesy of Weeknights with Giada
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) canned 100 percent pure pumpkin (recommended: Libby’s)
2 cups vanilla cake mix (recommended: Betty Crocker Super Moist French Vanilla)
1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup sour cream
Optional decorations: mini-chocolate chips, sprinkles, colored sugar, small candies
Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 36 mini cupcake molds with paper liners. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin, cake mix, milk, oil, eggs, and pumpkin pie spice. Using an electric hand mixer, beat the mixture on low speed until smooth. Increase the speed to high and beat until light and fluffy, 2 minutes. Using a small ice cream scoop, fill the prepared molds with the batter. Bake until puffed and golden, about 10 to 12 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting, about 20 minutes.
Frosting: In a medium bowl, combine the powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter, cocoa powder, and sour cream. Using a hand mixer, beat on low speed until smooth. Increase the speed to high and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
Using a small spatula, spread the frosting on top of the cupcakes. Decorate with mini-chocolate chips, sprinkles, colored sugar, and small candies.
Cook’s Note: The batter can also be spooned into 12 regular-sized cupcake molds and baked in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 20 to 25 minutes.