I just had to pop in today and post these cupcakes that I made on a whim last night. They are so good and super easy to make. And I have to tell you, they’ve kind of changed my world view. Or maybe just my…food view?
Anyway, on twitter last night someone posted that pumpkin and chocolate should never go together and until I made these, I totally would have agreed. In fact, this whole month, I’ve been turning my nose up as pumpkin flavored anything. I don’t know when I got it in my head that I don’t like pumpkin, but I think it’s just one of those things that I decided as a kid and I never challenged it. I’ve been overcoming a lot of these prejudices lately, it’s a wonder I ever ate anything with how picky I was!
I had read about the pumpkin shortage that is going on and despite the fact that I don’t ever make anything with pumpkin in it, when I saw a big can of it at the grocery store a few weeks ago I couldn’t help but buy it. I just felt it was something I had to do. What if I find a recipe that calls for it and I can’t find anymore at the grocery store? I’d have been kicking myself for not buying it when I could, right? Well…maybe not, but this is how my mind works.
So last night, after being practically doubled over in pain from cramps all day (I know, TMI, sorry) I had an insane craving for some chocolate cupcakes. But I didn’t want just plain boring cupcakes. I wanted to make something fun. That’s when I remembered the canned pumpkin sitting in my pantry and since it’s Halloween, I decided it was the perfect time to try it out. I googled chocolate cupcakes and pumpkin and one of the first recipes I found was on Nicole’s blog (our fearless BBA leader). The recipe sounded good and I had enough cream cheese for the frosting, so I printed it out and started making them right away.
I’m really glad I did because these cupcakes are some of the best I’ve ever had. They don’t taste strongly of pumpkin. In fact, they pretty much taste like chocolate cupcakes, but there’s a hint of the pumpkin in there that works so well with the chocolate and adds a depth of flavor that plain old chocolate cupcakes just don’t have. And then you add in the cream cheese frosting with just a tiny bit of cinnamon and nutmeg in it and that adds a sweetness and a tangy-ness that just works so well with the chocolate cupcake and helps bring out the pumpkin flavor even more. Plus these cupcakes are super moist. If you eat them when they are still a little warm and the chocolate chips are still gooey, they practically melt in your mouth.
I tasted the canned pumpkin while I was making these and discovered that I like it a lot, so now I’ll have to find some more pumpkin recipes to try. I wish I hadn’t been turning my nose up at the all month when all the food bloggers were posting them! At least I know now. This has made me think that I just need to give up all my past food prejudices and try everything from now on. I’m sure I’ll find out that I like a lot more than I thought I did.
I made these cupcakes while I carved my pumpkin. Cute, huh? If you’re wondering, I got the pattern from The Pumpkin Lady. Happy Halloween!
Double Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes
from Pinch My Salt
- 1 1/2 cup cake flour
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup plain lowfat yogurt
- 1 3/4 cups canned pumpkin pie mix (15 oz. can)
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cup lightly-packed light brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Line 24 cupcake cups with paper liners. Or spray with cups with cooking spray if you don’t want to use liners.
2. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt together; set aside. In a separate bowl, stir together the yogurt, pumpkin, vinegar, and vanilla extract, set aside.
3. In a large mixing bowl, and using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Alternately beat in the flour and pumpkin mixtures in thirds (for example, beat in 1/3 flour mixture followed by 1/3 pumpkin mixture and repeat until everything is combined). Fold in the mini chocolate chips.
4. Working quickly, spoon batter into cupcake cups, filling each about 3/4 full. (An ice cream scoop works perfectly for this.) Place cupcake pans in the center of the preheated oven and bake approximately 20-25 minutes. Cupcakes are done when they spring back when lightly touched or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool pans on wire racks for 10 minutes then remove cupcakes from pans and let cool completely on the wire racks.
5. While cupcakes are cooling, prepare cream cheese frosting (recipe below). When cupcakes are cool, spread with frosting.
Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened (I used low-fat)
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4. tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1. In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. If frosting is too soft, chill in fridge for 15-20 minutes.
2. Spread on top of cupcakes. Top with your favorite Halloween candy!