Monday, October 20, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes

The battle seems to be brewing over Starbucks most popular seasonal drink.  (Did you catch that little play on words?)  At 300 calories and 11 grams of fat for the smallest size latte, it's hard to argue that drinking a pumpkin spice latte is worth it.  My suggestion is to avoid the delicious beverage all together and eat your pumpkin spice latte instead of drinking it.  After all, isn't it better to sink your teeth into your 300 calorie snack?

The figured out how to get all of the delicious flavors of the popular drink into a super moist, extra delicious, pumpkin packed cupcakes - complete with whipped cream topping.

Seriously people - ditch the pricey drink and go with the cupcake version.  Same great pumpkin spice appeal - but without the artificial flavors. 

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes
For the Cupcakes:
1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
4½ teaspoons espresso powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
¾ cup canned pumpkin
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup dark brown sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
2 eggs

For the Frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups heavy cream

1. Make the Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners; set aside.  I didn't have any espresso powder so to make my own, I put some instant coffee into my spice grinder and pulsed it until it was a fine powder.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves; set aside.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, both sugars and the vegetable oil until completely combined, making sure to break up any chunks of brown sugar so no lumps remain.

Whisk in the eggs, one at a time.

Add the flour mixture in two additions, folding with a rubber spatula until no flour pockets remain.

4. Divide the batter between the baking cups, filling each about two-thirds full.

Bake until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack.

Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.

5. Make the Frosting: On medium speed, beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract in a mixer with the whisk attachment until smooth and completely combined, about 3 minutes.

Slowly add the heavy cream, scrape the sides of the bowl, then increase speed to medium-high and whip until stiff peaks form.

 Add a sprinkle of cinnamon and pipe onto cooled cupcakes.

 Decorate with a chocolate pumpkin if you like too.  (Can't get that on your steaming hot beverage.)


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