Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

It's finally fall! And for a summer-lover like me, that means the only thing excusing fall's unwelcome chilly temps is unlimited pumpkin flavoring! I honestly don't think there's a pumpkin creation that I would not eat. There's just something so cozy and delicious about fall flavors and pumpkin is most definitely my favorite! So, of course, after picking up "The Cupcake Diaries," a book with recipes and memories from Katherine Kallinis and Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne (the Georgetown Cupcake sisters! So what if I'm a little obsessed?!), I hastily flipped to the fall baking section to whip up their famous Pumpkin Spice cupcakes!
The best part of Katherine & Sophie's book is that it reveals the family traditions behind all of their to-die-for treats. The delectable cookbook and memoir introduces you to Babee, their Greek grandmother, who instilled in them a love for baking and the fire to follow their dreams. The pages of this book are filled with the love, courage, determination and perseverance it takes to fulfill your dreams -- and of course some delicious foolproof recipes for top-notch baking!

I know this is probably going to sound very biased coming from the baker herself, but these are by far the best cupcakes I have ever made -- and I owe it all to the cupcake sisters themselves! The pumpkin makes the cupcakes moist and the spices give the cake a perfect kick of fall flavor. Top these babies with the homemade Maple Cream Cheese frosting (using the Georgetown Cupcake signature swirl, of course!), and you have one heavenly cupcake on your hands! Pure Pumpkin Spice and Maple perfection is what it is! Check out Katherine and Sophie whipping up a batch of these scrumptious sweets on the TODAY show

Now that it is officially fall, don't wait to bake a batch of these amazingly sweet autumn treats! They are the perfect way to kick off the season.

Georgetown Cupcake's Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (homemade preferred, but you can also use canned puree)
2 tablespoons honey
1⁄3 cup hot water

Maple cream cheese frosting:
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup pure maple syrup for the decoration small package of white fondant (available at most craft or baking supply stores)
Brown, red, and yellow food color
Gold and brown edible luster dust (optional, available at most craft or baking supply stores)


For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 standard cupcake pans with 12 paper baking cups each, or grease pans with butter if not using baking cups. Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and salt on a sheet of parchment paper or wax paper and set aside.

Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or in a bowl with a handheld electric mixer. Beat on medium speed until fluffy. Stop to add the sugar; then beat on medium speed until well incorporated. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly after each addition. Mix in the pumpkin puree and honey. Reduce the speed to low. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, then gradually add 1/3 of the hot water, beating until well incorporated. Add another third of the flour mixture, followed by 1/3 of the hot water. Stop to scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the remaining flour mixture, followed by the remaining hot water, and mix slowly until just combined. Take care not to overmix the batter so the cupcakes will bake up light and fluffy.

Use a standard-size ice cream scoop to fill each baking cup with batter, so the wells are 2/3 full. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes (start checking at 20 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the frosting: Place all ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat until well combined. Be sure to beat on high speed for at least 2 minutes at the end to ensure that the frosting is light and fluffy.

For the decoration: Line up cooled cupcakes on a sheet of wax paper. Transfer the maple cream cheese frosting into a plastic piping bag fitted with a large round metal tip (or piping tip of your choice). Apply a signature swirl (see below). Break white fondant into 3 equal pieces. Add a small drop of red food color to one piece of fondant, a small drop of yellow food color to the second piece of fondant, and a small drop of brown food color to the third piece of fondant.

Using your hands, knead the color into each piece of fondant so the color is uniform throughout. If you'd like the colors to be darker or more intense, add more food color and repeat. Then, starting with 1 piece of fondant, use a rolling pin to roll the fondant out to a thin sheet. Dust with edible luster dust (optional). Using a mini leaf cookie cutter, cut out leaf shapes and place on top of each cupcake.
The Georgetown Cupcake Signature Swirl: The frosting on our cupcakes has a certain "style" to it-a perfect little cloud that reaches a pretty peak in the center. It's just the perfect amount of frosting — not too much, not too little — and it looks neat and sweet!

Transfer frosting into a plastic disposable piping bag, fitted with a large round metal tip. Be sure to whip up your frosting so it is light and airy. You don't need to twist the top of your bag — you can just hold it closed with one hand and use your other hand to hold the bag near the bottom and squeeze. Start in the center of the cupcake, applying pressure to the bottom of the bag, and guide the tip around the cupcake in a circular motion, then end in the center with a burst of pressure. Try to move quickly and confidently. If you go too slowly, the frosting may come out uneven. You can then add your decorations.

Makes 24 delicious cupcakes.



  1. I'll have you know I LOVE reading this blog!! So yummy. Just decided I'm making these - thanks for the recipe :)

    Your friend from Journalism,
    Sophia Y.

    1. Hey Sophia! So nice to hear from you! You're the best for reading! Definitely let me know what you think of these cupcakes -- I guarantee you won't be disappointed! We should get together and catch up sometime if you're still in the Boston area! Hope you're doing well! :)


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