Friday, October 30, 2009

Recipe Review: Jack o' Lantern Cupcakes

This recipe came from Crazy About Cupcakes. I love this book, their caramel apple cupcakes are are one of my favorite things ever. My only issue with the book is that the recipes rarely come out to 24 cupcakes. With the apple recipe I can usually get 18. With this recipe I got 24 but many of the cupcakes were only half filled once they had cooled.
The cupcakes are pumpkin flavored, with vanilla and chocolate frosting.
The directions were changed slightly into my own words.

Pumpkin Cupcakes:
1 stick of butter, room temperature
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar (I only had light brown)
1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs at room temperature
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree, canned or fresh
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Insert liners into cupcake pan.
With a mixer on medium speed, cream together the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar till fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Add the dry mix to the creamed mix, alternating with milk. Mix till integrated.
Add the pumpkin and vanilla, beat till smooth.
Fill the liners one half to three quarters full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or till a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in pan.

Chocolate Frosting:
6 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups confectioners sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup milk
Black coloring gel
With a mixer on low to medium speed, cream together the butter and vanilla. In a separate bowl combine confectioners sugar, sugar, and cocoa. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mix till fully integrated. Slowly add the milk to the frosting till you've reached the desired consistency. You might not use all of the milk (I didn't). Beat in the mixer for 1 minute or until creamy. Add black coloring gel and mix till you reach desired color.

Vanilla Frosting:
3 cups confectioners sugar
1 stick of butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
Orange food coloring
With a mixer gradually add the sugar to the softened butter. Stir in the vanilla and milk, beat until smooth and spreadable. Add a little more milk or sugar as needed. Add orange food coloring.

Frost the cooled cupcakes with the orange frosting. From here the recipe instructs to "with a knife, rough out jack o lantern faces with black frosting. Clean up the edges with the toothpick". I tried this without much success. Instead I just used a toothpick, dipping it into the chocolate and 'tapping' it onto the cupcakes.

The cupcakes are pretty good, they have a mild pumpkin flavor. The frosting is very sweet, but its missing something that would make it more than just decent. The cake and frosting don't blend very well together though, and that was the thing I disliked the most.

Overall rating out of 5:

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