Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting
For the Cupcakes:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons honey
1⁄3 cup hot water
For the Maple Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 standard cupcake pans with 12 paper baking cups each, or grease pans with butter if not using baking cups. Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and salt on a sheet of parchment paper or wax paper and set aside.
Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or in a bowl with a handheld electric mixer. Beat on medium speed until fluffy. Stop to add the sugar; then beat on medium speed until well incorporated. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly after each addition. Mix in the pumpkin puree and honey. Reduce the speed to low. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, then gradually add 1/3 of the hot water, beating until well incorporated. Add another third of the flour mixture, followed by 1/3 of the hot water. Stop to scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the remaining flour mixture, followed by the remaining hot water, and mix slowly until just combined. Take care not to over mix the batter so the cupcakes will bake up light and fluffy.
Use a standard-size ice cream scoop to fill each baking cup with batter, so the wells are 2/3 full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes (start checking at 15 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the frosting: Place all ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat until well combined. Be sure to beat on high speed for at least 2 minutes at the end to ensure that the frosting is light and fluffy.
Makes 24-26 cupcakes
Source: from The Today Show, via Georgetown Cupcake