Moist Pumpkin Cupcakes

Let me tell you, I’m not a whiz in the kitchen. I love good food and I love cooking, but my mom’s the goddess and I never inherited that trait. Sometimes I’ll have a stroke of genius and concoct some ingenious recipe by throwing things into the pan (wok/pot/oven/slow cooker), but that’s rare. There’s a handful of recipes that I am naturally good at, but I can’t cook those every day and some of those take a lot of preparation. And money.

I’ve been on a pumpkin spice roll ever since I got addicted to that pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks. Somehow I thought it would be a good idea to deviate from the cake mix and make pumpkin spice cupcakes from scratch. It sounded easy enough in theory: a can of pumpkin, flour, sugar, and some spices.

Somehow I didn’t realize that the recipe would involve a hand mixer and some stubborn butter that would not soften no matter how long I left it at room temperature. Then after I had pour the batter into my cupcake liners I realized that I forgot to add milk. After I added milk and put them in the oven I realized that I had mixed two recipes together and the one I was using didn’t call for any milk at all, but it was already in there. Oops. Too late. Despite all that these turned out DELICIOUS. It’s my own quasi recipe. Enjoy!

Cupcake Ingredients (18 cupcakes):

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
    • OR 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • OR 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon 5 spice powder OR another 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon fresh ginger OR 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 stick of butter (1/2 cup), softened
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup milk
  1. Preheat your oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Finely mince your fresh ginger. If you’re not using fresh ginger then use ginger powder.
  3. Mix together the flour, spices, salt, baking powder/soda, and the fresh/powdered ginger. Set this aside.
  4. Using an electric hand mixer (or your arms for a good work out), beat together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until the mixture is fluffy and light.
  5. Add in the vanilla extra and beat in the eggs one at a time. It’s okay if you get chunks of butter in the sugar mixture. This just means that your butter is cooler than expected. Once you add the flour it should be fine. The most important part is that everything is mixed together well.
  6. Mix in the can of pumpkin.
  7. Stir in the milk. Do not use the electric mixer.
  8. Stir in the flour mixture until it is just incorporated. You do not want to overwork the batter.
  9. Pour it into cupcake liners and bake for 25 minutes.
  10. Cool for 5-10 minutes before frosting.

They are delicious with homemade cream cheese frosting (mix 8 oz cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, and 3 cups confectioner’s sugar). You can even spice up the cream cheese frosting with 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and a dash of vanilla.


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