Well folks, I’m back! In June I announced on my Instagram that I was starting a hiatus from baking/blogging after we brought home an adorable and energetic little pug puppy named Boyd. As expected, life has been hectic the last few months adjusting to life with a puppy and I’ve had little time to bake in the same quantity I used to.
I’m happy to announce however that as of this month, I’m back at it just in time for the best baking season of the year: Fall. While I’m a true believe of baking all flavors year-round, I have to admit I am one to get caught up in the pumpkin hype this time of year. It’s not technically fall yet, but pumpkin-flavored everything has already hit the shelves (and Starbucks!) and I can’t resist getting in the spirit with a fall favorite of my own:
Spice Cupcakes with cream cheese frosting!
I’ve always felt Spice cake is under-represented among the onslaught of pumpkin each year, which is why I’m kicking off the season with it. These cupcakes are always a surprise hit with friends who don’t realize they enjoy spice cake so much! Topped with a smooth, strong cream cheese frosting and a drizzle of caramel, prepare your taste buds for the joy of the best parts of Fall – the nostalgic scents and mouthwatering flavors.
- 1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 1/2 tsp McCormick ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp McCormick ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened
- 1 c. dark brown sugar, packed
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 c. buttermilk
- 1/2 c. whole milk
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 2 ½ c. confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tbsp milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350° F
- Prepare a cupcake pan with paper liners or by greasing well (yield ~ 1½ dozen)
- In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, all-spice, ginger, nutmeg, and salt together. Mix well and set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter on high until smooth and creamy (at least 1 minute)
- Scrape well before adding the brown sugar. Mix on high until fully combined and creamy
- Add eggs and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until combined.
- Add the buttermilk and mix well, scraping the bowl as needed.
- Gradually mix in the dry ingredients and mix well between each addition, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl after each.
- Once all dry ingredients are mixed well, add the milk and beat just enough to fully combine but not overmix.
- Spoon the batter into the liners – fill only 2/3 full to avoid spilling over the sides.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool completely before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Using an electric mixer, beat together cream cheese and butter on medium speed until smooth.
- Add confectioners’ sugar, milk, vanilla extract, and salt with the mixer running on low. Increase to high speed and beat for 2-4 minutes until thick and creamy.
- Pipe frosting onto the cooled cupcakes using a pastry bag for best results.
- Top with bottled caramel sauce for an added sweet treat!