Cupcake Camp New Haven has come and gone and I’m so happy to have participated! It was a nerve-wracking couple of weeks leading up to the event for a couple of reasons. First, I was questioning my sanity about putting myself “out there”; I am just a home baker after all and I knew the event would be filled with area professional bakeries. And second, I couldn’t decide on a final flavor to make.
But once I had that final flavor chosen, made, and tasted, all of my worries were washed away in a sea of caramel frosting. This cupcake boosted my confidence and sent me on a sugar high for the rest of the weekend. I should note here that I’d never made any sort of pumpkin cupcake before this weekend and went solely on the recommendation of Elly from Elly Says Opa! about it’s greatness. And the caramel frosting was a new recipe for me too – talk about taking a chance!
I’m a lover of all things pumpkin but to tell you the truth, I could take or leave pumpkin pie. That’s why this cupcake is so great. It’s got all of the fabulous flavor of a pumpkin pie without the so-so texture. The caramel frosting is really what pulls the whole experience together though. You’ve got the spicy (not heat spicy) cupcake balanced with this deliciously sweet caramel frosting…top it with a few Heath bar pieces and you’ve got yourself an out of body experience. So…I didn’t win any contests at Cupcake Camp New Haven (not sure what the judges were thinking! but I’ve got an outrageous new cupcake in my repertoire!
source: cupcake via Elly Says Opa!, adapted from Leite’s Culinaria
Yields ~27 cupcakes
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (12 tbsp), room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups firmly packed dark-brown sugar
- 1/3 cup plus 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- 3 cups cake flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 plus 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup buttermilk mixed with 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 can (15oz) solid-pack pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
- Caramel Frosting, recipe follows
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Prepare two standard-size muffin/cupcake tins with cupcake papers*.
- In a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugars on medium speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt, and pepper into a medium bowl.
- Add the eggs 1 at a time to the mixer mix for 30 seconds each, scraping down the sides after each addition. Alternate adding the flour and milk mixtures, beginning and ending with the flour. Beat in the pumpkin until smooth. Using a large ice cream scoop, fill muffin papers.
- Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the pans on racks for 5 minutes and remove the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
source: adapted from My Baking Addiction
Yields enough to liberally frost 27 cupcakes
I’m not a proponent of using vegetable shortening but I feel that it is needed in some frosting recipes. This is one of them. Jamie (My Baking Addiction) says that you can make this recipe without the shortening – add 3-4 tbsp butter in place of the shortening – but due to the caramel in the recipe, this frosting needs a little extra stability which the shortening adds. The butter will yield a frosting that gets soft quickly and doesn’t hold up well in warm temperatures.
- 3 1/2 sticks unsalted butter; room temperature
- 3 tbsp vegetable shortening
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 lbs confectioner’s sugar, sifted
- 1/2 cup caramel topping
- 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
- Cream the butter and shortening in the bowl of an electric or stand mixer. Add the vanilla extract, salt and caramel syrup and combine well.
- Begin adding in the sugar and mixing thoroughly after each addition. After all of the sugar has been added and mixed thoroughly, give it a taste and decide if you want to add in more caramel syrup. For thicker frosting you can gradually add in a little more sugar.
*For the frosting swirls, I used the large round tip from Bake it Pretty.