Spiced Pumpkin Mascarpone Cupcakes And A Housewarming Party
Let me start this by a little clarification. On my previous post about the Daring Bakers' Potato Bread challenge, I said that Tartelette was anti-carb….followed by a big "Yeah right…"! Obviously my sense of humor does not translate very well in writing because I am 100% "Pro-Carb". Trust me!! This said…
This week is just flying by….started slow for, about two hours and then I got bombarded with training requests and baking orders. Small things taking a long time and I was started to wonder if I was going to post these on time for the party. What party? My baking pal, Peabody is hosting a virtual housewarming party at her new and gorgeous abode next week.
I thought long and hard about what I wanted to bring. Needs to travel easily (which can be easily done with this), needs to feed a bunch of people because from the look of things we are going in numbers, but most importantly I wanted to make something for her. Although she never fails to surprise me, I think pumpkin and mascarpone are sure values with this lady. Since we also seem to share a love for all things small, cupcakes seemed like a good way to combine both in one sweet treat.
I wish I could say I went and bought a fresh pumpkin, gutted it out and used the flesh in the cupcakes…that would be like telling you I went and milked my own cow and waited patiently on the milk creaming process to make mascarpone…that would be a lie. If one Mrs.L is cool enough to put that pumpkin in the can, then I am cool enough to use it. The week is flying by remember…and I still need my four-five hours of sleep! If, on the other hand you are opposed to the idea, by all means, go ahead and use fresh. Sara, from I Like To Cook has great instructions for it here. If you can’t find or don’t like (crazy you!) mascarpone, by all means substitute cream cheese in the frosting. Feel free to decorate the cupcakes any way you like. I used hard candy pebbles for these for a more winter look but feel free to use other sprinkles or candies, or keep them plain. The recipe is a combination of several I have tried over the years and I am now finally happy with all the ratios, fat, pumpkin, spices, flour, etc….
3/4 cup butter softened (1 1/2 sticks)
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin
1 cup milk
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place baking cups in muffin pan.
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine pumpkin, vanilla extract and milk in a separate bowl. Mix flour, spices, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Add to butter/sugar mixture alternately with pumpkin/milk batter, mixing thoroughly after each addition.
Divide evenly among the cupcake liners and bake 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.
Mascarpone Cheese Frosting:
16 oz mascarpone cheese (1 pound), at room temperature
1 stick butter, at room temperature
4-5 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
In an electric mixer, beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy. Add 4 cups of the powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until combined. Add more sugar, little by little until you get to the consistency and sweetness you like. If the frosting gets too stiff, add some milk, one teaspoon at a time.