Thursday, October 14, 2010

chocolate pumpkin cupcakes by country living

For those of you who love to make Halloween themed cookies, cupcakes, and anything edible...this post is for you.

By now you probably know I have a small obsession with cupcakes, and I cannot resist passing up a cupcake recipe when I see one. So, when I stumbled upon this Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcake recipe by Country Living I wanted to share the love.

Note: This recipe can be used to make a cake or cupcakes. I have divided the recipe into sections for the cake/cupcake ingredients and directions and also the frosting ingredients and directions.

Cake/Cupcake Ingredients:

• 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 1 cup good-quality cocoa
• 2 tablespoons good-quality cocoa
• 1 tablespoon baking powder
• 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 2 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 3/4 teaspoon fresh-grated nutmeg
• 3/4 cup buttermilk
• 1 1/2 cups pumpkin purée
• 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 2 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
• 1 1/2 cups (firmly packed) dark brown sugar
• 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
• 5 large eggs
• Orange Cream-Cheese Frosting

Cake Directions:

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter three 8-inch cake pans and fit each bottom with an 8-inch circle of parchment paper. Lightly butter the parchment paper. Set aside.

2. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl and set aside. Combine the buttermilk, pumpkin, and vanilla in a medium bowl and set aside. Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl, with an electric mixer set on medium speed, until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, until the mixture is smooth and light. Alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture, blending well after each addition.

3. Divide the batter among the pans and bake until a wooden skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean -- about 35 minutes. Cool the cakes in the pan for 20 minutes. Remove cakes and cool. (For cupcakes: Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Place cupcake liners in standard cupcake tins and fill each with 1/4 cup of batter. Bake for 22 minutes.)

4. Trim each of the layers. Place one layer on a cake plate and top with one third of the frosting. Repeat with the second and third layers. (To ensure that the cake layers do not shift, cut three skewers to 1/4 inch shorter than the full height of the cake and insert them before icing the top layer.) Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:

• 1 package(s) (8-ounce) cream cheese, softened
• 1/4 cup(s) (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
• 1 tablespoon(s) fresh orange juice
• 1 teaspoon(s) grated orange zest
• 1/2 teaspoon(s) pure vanilla extract
• 4 cup(s) confectioners' sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon(s) orange food coloring

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting Directions:

1. Blend the cream cheese, butter, orange juice, orange zest, and vanilla in a large bowl, using an electric mixer set at medium speed, until smooth.

2. Add the sugar and continue to beat until light and creamy -- about 3 more minutes.

3. Add the food coloring and gently stir until the color is uniform.

4. Chill the frosting until ready to ice the cupcakes or cake.

Yield: One 8-inch, 3 layer cake or 36 cupcakes.

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