I don't know if you realized this, but my blog title has the word "cupcake" in it, which basically means that everyone who knows me considers me an expert on all things cupcake. And I am. (I'm also an expert in judging people, nail painting, and posing in the mirror.) So it should go without saying that when I'm invited to a party, it's nearly sacrilege if I don't come bearing dozens of them. The Halloween party I attended this weekend was no exception.
Given the theme of the party, I knew I wanted to make pumpkin cupcakes, but I wanted them to be specialer (that's a word now) than your run of the mill cream cheese-frosted kind. So, I set out to make a chocolate covered pumpkin cupcake. Specifically, a pumpkin cupcake topped with a layer of milk chocolate ganache, brown sugar cream cheese frosting, and a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds. The result was EFFING DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!
So delicious, in fact, that I've eaten about four of them in the past 24 hours. DON'T YOU JUDGE ME!!!!
As much as these taste like fall, and, let's face it, look incredible, I also wanted bring something with a true Halloween-y vibe, so I also made these pumpkin rice krispie treats.
There's no real recipe here, just make rice krispie treats per directions on box. Add food coloring to the butter and marshmallow mixture (I used red and yellow to get the right shade of orange). Grease your hands well with Pam or butter and shape treats into tennis ball sized balls. Add a Tootsie Roll to the center (this is the stem), then pipe on green frosting for leaves and vines.
Chocolate-Covered Pumpkin Cupcakes
Makes about 36 cupcakes
Adapted from Boulder Locavore
- 3 ½ All purpose flour
- 2 ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 ¼ teaspoon salt
- 5 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 14 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 2/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup milk
- 1 2/3 cups pumpkin puree
2. In a mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, spices. Stir to mix ingredients.
3. With an electric mixer, beat butter on medium speed until creamy. Add brown sugars and granulated sugar; beat until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Scrape sides when needed. Add eggs one at a time and beat to incorporate before adding another egg.
4. Add 1/4 of the flour to the butter/sugar mixture and beat on low speed to incorporate. Add 1/3 cup of the milk, beat to incorporate. Repeat twice more, ending with the flour. Do not over beat.
5. Add the pumpkin puree and beat until incorporated. You might have to mix it by hand to ensure it well incorporated.
6. Spoon batter into cupcake tins; fill 2/3’s full. Bake 20-25 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.
7. When done, remove from oven, let cool in pan 15 minutes and remove to baking rack to complete cooling.
Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 oz. cream cheese
- 12 Tbsp. butter, room temperature
- 4-6 cups powdered sugar (depends on how sweet you like it)
- 1 Tbsp. light brown sugar
- 2 tsp. milk as needed
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
1. With an electric mixer, whip cream cheese and butter until fluffy.
2. Add brown sugar powdered sugar in small batches to cream cheese and butter mixture. Mix until smooth.
3. Add vanilla to frosting.
4. Add milk as needed to ensure a velvety texture.
Milk Chocolate Ganache
- 1 bag of milk chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup of heavy cream (I used half and half)
In a double boiler (a bowl sitting atop a pot of simmering water), melt chocolate chips. Add cream when they just start to melt. Mix until smooth.
**To decorate cupcakes, spoon a thin layer of ganache onto cooled cupcakes. Allow ganache to set for a few minutes, then using a round frosting tip, pipe cream cheese frosting on. Garnish with pumpkin seeds.