Kick fall's pumpkin cake into winter with a shot of spicy ginger buttercream frosting! Here's a Pumpkin Ginger Cupcake recipe from The Sweet Little Book of Cupcakes by Nicholas Peruzzi and Courtney Forrester of Sweet Cupcakes in Boston.
Pumpkin Ginger Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes
1 1/3 cups cake flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 large egg
1/3 cup, plus 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon whole milk
2/3 cup pumpkin
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Line 12 muffin tin cups with paper cupcake liners.
3. Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and cloves into a medium bowl.
4. In an electric mixer, or large bowl, beat the butter until light and fluffy, and then gradually add in the brown sugar and mix well.
5. Beat in the egg until well blended.
6. Add the milk to the butter mixture and blend well. Then add the flour mixture and beat until smooth.
7. Add the pumpkin and mix until smooth.
8. Pour the batter into the lined cupcake pan, distributing the batter equally.
9. Bake for 10 minutes, rotate, and bake for 17 more minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
10. Place the pan on a wire rack, and cool completely.
1. Prepare the Pumpkin Cupcakes as directed and let cool.
2. As the cupcakes cool, prepare the Ginger Buttercream Frosting. It should be freshly mixed and at room temperature at the time of decorating.
3. If piping the frosting, make a small cut to the tip of the pastry bag with scissors. Insert the tip into the bag. Flip the top half of the pastry bag inside out, and use a spatula to fill it with the frosting. Squeeze some of the frosting out to rid the bag of any air pockets, and frost the cupcakes or spread the frosting on with a knife.
4. Roll the frosted cupcakes lightly in a plate or bowl of crystallized sugar, or lightly sprinkle the tops with sugar.
Ginger Buttercream Frosting
1/4 vanilla bean, seeds only
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup trans fat-free vegetable shortening
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Slice the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds using a paring knife. Discard the husk, and set the seeds aside.
2. In an electric mixer, or large bowl, beat the butter and vegetable shortening on medium speed until creamy.
3. Add the vanilla seeds and mix for a few seconds on medium speed.
4. In a separate bowl, sift the confectioners' sugar.
5. Add the confectioners' sugar to the butter mixture on low speed until it begins to incorporate.
6. Add the ground ginger and vanilla extract, and beat at medium to high speed until fully incorporated.
Suggestion: Pastry bag and tip.
For a dreamy cloud of frosting, use a large round tip. Hold the tip close to the top center of the cake; squeeze the frosting out until it covers the cake. Then, lift the bag just slightly, and repeat for a smaller layer.
Images by Eric Levin of Sweet Cupcakes