Who doesn’t love pumpkin? Pumpkin soup, pumpkin pasta, everything, anything & all things pumpkin. But my absolute favorites? Pumpkin dessert. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin crisp & yes – pumpkin cupcakes. Instead of searching the internet for the perfect pumpkin cupcake recipe, Aimee is sharing her favorite with us today…

{Tis the Season} Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

First, I feel obligated to disclose that I’m admittedly not a good baker. I absolutely love to cook, but baking doesn’t come easy to me. I think it’s because, the key to baking is precision, and I’m much more of a “little of this, little of that” girl. That said, when I started thinking about a pumpkin recipe I could test and share with Just Spotted readers, I found all of these amazing desserts and my mind definitely wandered to the sweet side. So, I decided, that’s it, I’m going for it— I’ll bake something. Conveniently enough, my son’s school was holding a bake sale that same week so I figured it was meant to be.

Since, I knew I was out of my comfort zone, I wanted to pick something that was relatively simple, yet crowd pleasing. I stumbled across this recipe for mini pumpkin cupcakes with chocolate frosting from Giada, and thought I was on to something. After reading the reviews, I made a few adjustments and came up with these pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Guess what? They tasted delicious! So, if you’re looking for something simple, sweet and seasonal for your upcoming Halloween parties, try these Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting – you’ll love them!

Yield 12 cupcakes, or 36 mini cupcakes (see cook’s note at bottom of page)

Pumpkin Cupcakes:

Ingredients
1 ½ cups (12oz) canned 100 percent pure pumpkin (recommended: Libby’s)
3 cups vanilla cake mix (recommended: Betty Crocker Super Moist French
1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

Cream Cheese Frosting:
Ingredients
4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions
Cupcakes: Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 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 ice cream scoop, fill the prepared molds with the batter. Bake until puffed and golden, about 20 – 25 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting, about 20 minutes.

In a large bowl, beat together the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer. With the mixer on low speed, add the powdered sugar a cup at a time until smooth and creamy. Beat in the vanilla extract

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 can also be spooned into 36 mini-sized cupcake molds and baked in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 10-12 minutes. The recipe can easily be doubled if serving a crowd. 

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I was born and raised in Connecticut and lived in Philadelphia, London and Boston prior to moving to Orange County. So, I consider myself an East Coaster who is embracing the West Coast lifestyle. My amazing husband and two children (a two year old daughter and a four year old son) make my world go round. I believe balance is the key to life and strive to achieve it every day. My background is in marketing, and through the years I’ve been lucky enough to promote things I truly love; children’s fashion, natural and organic food and yoga! I also love exploring, learning and sharing and that’s just what I hope to do here.

xoxo, Aimee

ps. For more from Aimee (and about her cupcakes) visit her blog Explore Life Daily, “LIKE” her on Facebook or follow her on twitter @ExploreLdaily.