Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes

I love the fall season. The weather starts to cool, and the air is filled with the warm scent of cinnamon and nutmeg. Its also the precursor to the upcoming holiday season. Once Halloween is here, then its Thanksgiving, and then Christmas. My favorite holiday. One thing that's in abundance right now are pumpkins. Its pumpkin season and I've been scouring the web for recipes to use with the pumpkins we bought last week at the farm around the corner from our house.

One of my favorite pumpkin recipes, and one that hubby always requests me to make every fall, is my Pumpkin Cake Roll. I've always wanted a cupcake version of this yummy dessert and have always failed in my attempts. Then I found this great recipe for Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes from Your Cup of Cake. Cream cheese and pumpkin go together so well that I knew this recipe would be awesome. And it was. The cake was really moist with a touch of cheesecake. I've finally found the perfect pumpkin cupcake.

Cheesecake filling
8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup oil
1/3 cup applesauce
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
2 eggs
2 1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 cup milk
1 3/4 cup pumpkin puree

1) To make the cheesecake filling, beat together cream cheese and sugar until evenly combined. Add egg and vanilla and continue beating until smooth. Place in a bowl, cover and chill in the freezer while making the cake batter.

2) Preheat oven to 350 deg F. Line pans with cupcake liners.

3) In a bowl of a stand mixer, beat together oil, applesauce, sugar and brown sugar on low speed. Add eggs one at a time and mix well. Do not over-beat or beat on high.

4) In another bowl, combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Add half of the dry ingredients into wet ingredients and beat over low-medium speed just until combined. Add milk. Add the remaining dry ingredients and continue beating until combined. Add pumpkin puree.

5) Scoop cupcake batter into cupcake liners about 3/4 full. Place a spoonful of the cheesecake batter on top of cupcake batter. Slightly swirl cheesecake batter into cupcake batter. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until toothpick test comes out with no orange batter (the cream cheese may come off a little). Cool completely before frosting.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Buttercream
8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3-4 cups confectioner's sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
milk, if needed
cinnamon sugar (optional)

1) Cream together cream cheese and butter for about 3-4 minutes until smooth on medium speed. With the mixer on low, add confectioner's sugar, 1 cup at a time until desired consistency. Add vanilla and cinnamon. Add milk if necessary to thin out frosting to reach desired consistency. Frost cupcake and top with cinnamon sugar (optional).

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